Summer heats up with live music

Gridley Paige

Summer in Utica is a long anticipated and enthusiastically received event and the city has long held customs of festivities that provide opportunities to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.  One of the many ways the natives get restless is at the F.X. Matt Brewing Company sponsored Saranac Thursday events, which run in the brewery’s outdoor courtyard on Edward Street from the end of May through the first week of September (May 22nd – Sept. 4th this year).  These events highlight the rich tradition of music in our area as well as the pride we take in having our own local brewery.  But, chances are you knew all that already, so let’s get into the nitty-gritty details that you need to know to maximize your ‘Nac-T experience!

What you can expect:

  • Cheap seats!  Admission is a measly $5 and gets you a drink ticket you can redeem at any of the beverage stations in the brewery courtyard.  Mostly, you’ll be standing (read: dancing) but there are a few picnic tables in the area if you prefer to take a load off.
  • Great music!  Schedule of performances detailed below.
  • Community!  Not only are you guaranteed to see several of your favorite friends and neighbors, but area businesses and organizations volunteer to sling your bev’s at each event.  A portion of the proceeds from the events is donated to the local chapter of the United Way.  A fun way to do a good deed and mix and mingle with your fellow U-towners, isn’t it?
  • Food!  Vendors are located in the courtyard as well as along Varick Street, Lukin’s Brick Oven Pizza, The Celtic Harp, O’Donnels Pub & Grill and The Nail Creek Pub & Brewery all have menus of their own.
  • People watching at its finest!  You’ve been, you’ve seen, you know what I’m talking about – get out there and have a look; get out there and be seen.

GritNGraceAnd the party doesn’t have to stop at the brewery, because venues up and down Varick Street host their own after parties into the evening with local area musicians, drink specials and generally more merriment than you can shake a stick at.  You can make a night of it, and regret it the next day like the rest of us.  These are bonding moments, people.

Last and certainly not least, upcoming Saranac Thursday performances are as follows and all bands are local to Utica unless otherwise specified:

June 19 – Gridley Paige your favorite top-40 and beyond, through a local filter

June 26 – Annie in the Water from Albany, NY

July 30 – Showtime, rock, pop, funk, jam, Showtime runs the gambit

July 17 – Enter the Haggis keep it continental, hailing from Toronto (Fan alert!  You will not be seeing the band this year at the Great American Irish Festival as you are accustomed to, so make sure to get out for this show!)

July 24 – The Crazy Fools bring a blend of jam-flavored original and cover songs

July 31 – Audio Revival, ROCK from NYC

Aug. 7 – Grit N Grace keep it country

Aug. 14 – Target for a little R&B and soul in your Thursdays

Aug. 21 – The Bomb brings an edgy but crowd friendly take on the hits you know and love

Aug. 28 – Dusty Puppies have a set of Modern and Classic rock for your ear

Sept. 4 – Simple Props round out the lineup to bring you your favorites, live and loud

Enter the Haggis


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