The Egg is the friendliest and one of the most architecturally unique venues in America. With the Albany, NY skyline as a back-drop, you drive from the Interstate exit ramp straight into the Empire State Plaza underground garage. I'm expecting stadium parking rates and I'm pleasantly surprised by the $5.00 parking fee. The underground garage is cavernous. I park next to the elevator bank, take three steps from the car and I am right up to the concourse level of the Egg. Exiting the elevator, you're greeted by a smiling customer service person that is helpful in every way. Go this way for the box office, that way for the concession and everyone is cheerful. I pick-up my ticket and make my way to the Kitty Carlisle Hart Theatre, where I am greeted by the Head of Security who notices my camera bag and asks if I would like a tour to see the best places to shoot from in the auditorium. That's a first, a personal tour, a few minutes before the theatre is open to the public. There were so many friendly interactions with the staff that I thought to myself; I wish every venue was just like this one.
Ghost Light opened the show at a few minutes after the 7:00 pm ticket printed start time. They played an opening 45-minute set. I was very happy to see Holly Bowling on piano & keys and adding her wonderful talents to the sound. Ghost Light is a rocking jam band. They play a tight set, work within a well-defined framework and you can see the musical influences of the jam band genre throughout their Egg musical journey.
Greensky Bluegrass came on after a brief break and promptly launched into a 15-minute shake off any rust opening song. Watching the musical cues, the band had their eyes focused on each other. This is a collaboration of musicians that know each other well; they all have big ears and are in fine-form from years and years of playing together on the road. The second set was rolling along, the band played a hauntingly great version of Bruce Springsteen's 'Atlantic City' and then the fun began. There were Egg jokes sprinkled throughout the show. The band had an impromptu discussion as to the of origins of Paul Simon's 'Mother & Child Reunion' and then played a wonderful version for the enthralled fans. Who knew, Mother & Child Reunion was inspired by a restaurant menu item that Paul Simon saw one night when he was out having dinner? It's all one big metaphor.
The band members were having fun and the audience was loving every minute of the concert. Casual Wednesday is a rollicking, fun, unique Greensky Bluegrass tradition. The show was excellent. Everyone had a great time. By the end of the evening, I was happily poached, I yoked myself up from my seat and made my way home with a big happy sunny side up smile.