Posted by: David Giacalone | August 12, 2018

Orleans closes the Harbor Jam concert series


. . above & below: Orleans at the Amphitheater, Aug. 11, 2018 . . 


The last concert of the free Harbor Jam series at Mohawk Harbor’s amphitheater took place Saturday (August 11, 2018). It featured the Woodstock era band Orleans. This was my first time attending a Harbor Jam concert in this inaugural season, and I brought along my twin brother, Buffalo attorney and gadfly Arthur Giacalone, who enjoys a good live concert. [If unfamiliar with the location, see our posting, which has many images of the Mohawk Harbor Marina and Amphitheater photos]

IMG_8107 Known for songs such as “Dance with Me,” “Still the One,” “Let There Be Music,” and “Dancing in the Moonlight.” Orleans has had many personnel changes over more than four decades. The performers on stage last night included two original band members: former Congressman John Hall and Lance Hoppen.

In an article posted at the Gazette website this evening (Sunday), “Orleans delivers the hits in closing Mohawk Harbor series,” reporter/reviewer David Singer wrote: “In general, the group had a nice sound. Three guitarists and vocalists, Hoppen’s brother on keyboards and a drummer. They took several guitar solos, never more than one round each — Hall even played slide on a few. They moved through some decent rock and blues, sounding less like the AM radio band that many expected, at the same time performing their hits as we all remembered them.”

Singer concluded the review with a nice summary of the band and concert:

“Still the One,” “Dance With Me,” and hard work on the road has been enough to sustain the band for decades. They earned it Saturday night.

The series has been attracting healthy-sized crowds, as described in the Gazette article, “Harbor Jam heats up in Schenectady” (by Indiana Nash, Aug. 2, 2018). However, a rain that lasted all afternoon surely kept crowd size from reaching the prior attendance numbers. Nonetheless, the Harbor throng was large enough and enthusiastic enough to make seeing a favorite old band an enjoyable event.


David Singer makes a fascinating point in his Gazette article, about the lack of any political statement by politician and environmentalist John Hall:

IMG_8102 Interestingly, Hall never mentioned that he served as a representative for New York in Congress years ago, and has since returned to the band. He stayed away from any political messages as well, perhaps knowing how to read his crowds after all these years. The closest they came to any political message was with the song “Lady Liberty.”

Hall wrote the song for his parents, who came to the United States to escape persecution — his mother from then-Czechoslovakia and his father from Scotland. Each band member took a verse, singing about their family members. This was a tough song to get through musically for the listener, but it served to deliver a clear message on the value of immigration to their lives.




The success of this inaugural Harbor Jam series should ensure its return next year (“if the river don’t rise, or the GGR fall” too much). Sponsor Rivers Casino and Resort says at its website, “Stay tuned for what’s coming in 2019!”

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