Every Thursday through Saturday night, two pro piano players sit down at Jive and Wail's two baby grand pianos and proceed to bang out Top 40 hits from a plethora of eras, including time that has not yet come to pass, though these future-songs cannot be heard by present-day ears. Audience participation is not only encouraged but demanded by the dueling pianists—who are not above threatening their audience with atonal jazz if no song requests are forthcoming. Once you've made your request, the bar's high-tech sound system makes sure you won't miss it while refreshing your tipple at the full-service bar.
Multifaceted rocker Todd Rundgren has been entertaining fans for more than 40 years with an eclectic range of music, including hits such as "Hello, It's Me," "Can We Still Be Friends," and "Bang the Drum All Day." Since albums—like collections of porcelain stegosaurus figurines—are best presented whole, Rundgren will reward loyal listeners by playing two of his albums, Healing and Todd , in their entirety. The show is part of a six-stop tour and one of two dates featuring The Fixx—the English New Wave band known for ’80s hits such as "One Thing Leads To Another" and "Saved By Zero"—who will kick things off and guard the stage against robot encroachment until Rundgren arrives. The beautiful, ornately wrought interior of the Roberts Orpheum Theater, which has played host to performers from Mae West to Pearl Jam, wraps musical notes in a veneer of class before delivering them to eardrums in gilded sonic envelopes.
Off Broadway—heralded as 2010's Best Rock Club by the Riverfront Times—lures in crowds several nights a week with a barrage of local bands and national touring acts of all genres. On Thursday, July 28, singer-songwriter William Elliott Whitmore performs with Strawfoot, an old-time revival country band with the requisite fiddle, banjo, and washboard abs. tune-yards annexes the venue on November 8 with violently convivial ukulele jams augmented by African-inflected vocal gymnastics, looped drums, and a duo of synchronized saxophonists. Musical Merry-Go-Round matinees amuse kids monthly on Sunday afternoons with entertainers such as Super Stolie on August 14 and Little Miss Ann on September 11.
• For $25, you get a ticket for seating in sections 107–112 (a $49.50 value before fees, or up to a $62.05 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees). • For $45, you get a ticket for seating in section 104 or 115 (a $99.50 value before fees, or up to a $113.25 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees).
Since opening with a Frank Sinatra performance in 1990, the stadium now known as Times Union Center has seen more than 15 million guests pass through its turnstiles. That’s only slightly smaller than the population of the Netherlands and roughly equal to the number of people worldwide who enjoy candy corn. Besides attracting such entertainment titans as the Rolling Stones, U2, Disney’s “On Ice” series, and the Harlem Globetrotters, the multifunction arena is also home to the AHL’s Albany Devils and college basketball’s Siena Saints.
A popular local gut-bustery for the past 17 years, Comedy, Etc. II keeps its calendar stuffed with a slew of elite court jesters—many of whom have been featured on the Tonight Show, HBO, Comedy Central, Last Comic Standing, the Bob & Tom Show, and more. Watch local comics test out their soul tickles on Wednesday open mic night ($5 ticket value). Otherwise, chuckle at a better-known act such as John Rathbone ($10–$12.50 ticket value)—who's been seen on Comedy Central, heard on the Bob & Tom Show, and touched by thousands of random passing strangers—or the fast-paced one-lining of Dan Chopan ($10–$12.50 ticket value), who's appeared on MTV, PBS, and more.