Any other faithful WUPE listeners out there that are like me and LOVE seeing concerts at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center? I don't what it is about SPAC that always keeps me coming back for more. It might just be my favorite place to see a show.

Now, believe me, I'm not knocking summer evenings on the lawn at Tanglewood, because I love that experience too, every single time. The reason I love SPAC so much could simply be nostalgia. The very first concert I ever saw was at SPAC. ZZ Top's "Afterburner" tour. A bunch of friends and I even camped out overnight in front of Wood Bros. in Allendale to get our tickets. And at the show, while everybody else was getting ZZ Top t-shirts, I spent my money on a ZZ Top keychain(the one they always showed in their videos--still have it, too).

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Or the reasons could be that I always saw a great show there and never had a bad experience. And boy, did I see some great shows there. John Mellencamp for "The Lonesome Jubilee" tour. Eric Clapton for his "Blues" tour. Three friends and I even took a limousine to see that one. The list goes on: Doobie Brothers(several times), Joe Walsh, George Thorogood, the Del Fuegos, Bonnie Raitt/Chris Isaak, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters for his "Radio KAOS" tour(I think I saw God during that one), ZZ Top's "Recycler" tour, YES, Def Leppard, Skid Row, Guns n' Roses, Richard Marx(my girlfriend at the time forced me to see that one and you know what? Marx was awesome!), and Van Halen(#3, with Extreme's Gary Cherone singing lead). Halen's opener, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, almost blew Van Halen off the stage. And that's just a small sampling of the shows I've seen there.

Even storied music history plays a role in why I love SPAC. Jackson Browne, for his live album "Running On Empty", recorded one of the songs backstage at SPAC. And Guns n' Roses recorded the noise of the crowd when they played SPAC for a track on Use Your Illusion 2, "Get In The Ring". You know what? I was in the audience that night. So my over-the-top screaming(along with thousands of other SPAC attendees) is now recorded for posterity on a Gn'R album.

What is my point in all this rambling? Merely that I absolutely adore the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and I'm so happy that they're a venue for live concerts again!

SPAC recently announced their schedule for Summer 2021 and they've got some great concerts lined up with plenty of returning favorites. Just some of the highlights:

  • June 21 - Steely Dan w/Steve Winwood
  • July 18 - Chicago
  • July 22 - Black Crowes Present: Shake Your Moneymaker
  • July 31 - Rod Stewart
  • August 10 - Doobie Brothers 50th Anniversary Tour with BOTH lead vocalists Tom Johnston and Michael McDonald
  • August 15 - Hall & Oates
  • September 17 & 18 - Dave Matthews Band

Check out the complete lineup and for more info, click here.

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