1st Annual Applestock Rocks Altamont

4 10 2010
No, not that Altamont.      

Saturday was a beautiful fall day at Altamont Fairgrounds, where several Albany-area radio stations came together for the first ever “Applestock” music festival.      

Fly 92.3, Jamz 96.3, and The Cat 104.9 were just a few of the Pamal Broadcasting channels involved in the cooperative event, of which Heineken and Heineken Light were the main sponsors.      

“About three to four months of planning go into an event like this,” said on-air personality Brian Cody.      

Cody, of the “Morning Rush” show, credits Fly 92 staffer Terry O’Donnell with the pursuit and booking of all the acts, including 2009 breakout (and college favorite) Asher Roth.
Asher Roth gets up close and personal with the screaming crowd Saturday.

Chrissy Cavotta, co-anchor of the “Morning Rush” said that WFLY was very pleased with the first day’s turnout of about 2500 people, “especially with the weather this past week!”      

Cavotta noted that Saturday’s lineup was more geared toward “the Fly crowd,” with Sunday’s itinerary of tribute bands likely to attract an older audience. She emphasized the cooperation of “all our stations.”      

Cody agreed, but made sure to mention that they expected at least a 70% return of day one’s audience.      

The Times Union reported that presale tickets went for $12, or $19 for double-day passes.      

Hopefully Applestock will gain a following as the “Summer Jam” series sponsored by 92.3 did previously. Two years ago the day-long concert was moved up the thru-way a bit to the larger Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Cavotta explained.      

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Gates opened at 11 a.m. and the first band scheduled, Ten Year Vamp, went on at noon. Rounding out the first half of the day were Kaci Battaglia, Burnham, and pop-punk favorite Cartel.    

Members of Ten Year Vamp and Cartel could be seen throughout the rest of the afternoon- sipping water, carrying equipment, and posing for photos with eager teenybopper fans.      

Shontelle

 At 2:30 that afternoon summer radio sensation Shontelle took the stage and performed her singles, “T-Shirt,” “Perfect Nightmare,” and “Impossible.”      

UAbany senior Amy Skeldon, 21, came to Applestock with her roommate. “She sounds… She needs a lozenge,” Skeldon commented during the [Shontelle] set.      

The Barbadian songstress had a careful strut, as if her black leather knee-boots were too small or too high. While the crowd was engaged, playfully singing along, the whole act was uneasy.      

“Big ups to Fly 92,” Shontelle said as a send off, “I’ll be back! Love you.”      

Fans flocked to the barricade as Shontelle left the stage, hoping for a photo or autograph from her.  She kindly appeased them.     

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A sense of nostalgia fell over the 20-somethings in the crowd when the Madden twins, of Good Charlotte, came on for their acoustic set. The edgy pop-punk outfit leapt onto the scene from Waldorf, Maryland when much of the crowd were just in middle school.      

The twins, Benji and Joel, appeared without Paul Thomas, Billy Martin, and Dean Butterworth- their bassist, lead guitarist, and drummer. They promised that the band would come back around on a “proper tour” soon, likely in promotion of their upcoming album  Cardiology.

The album will be available from Capitol Records on October 26.   

Benji and Joel Madden

The boys were very conversational, amidst whipping out old favorites like “The Anthem” and “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” from their triple-platinum 2002 sophomore effort The Young and the Hopeless.

Joel Madden, lead singer of GC, told the audience about two rather exciting recent milestones. “Yesterday was eight years since Young and the Hopeless dropped,” and “Last week it was 10 years since Good Charlotte (their self-titled debut) came out.”

Several fans shouted to them as Benji strummed a honey-faced guitar and Joel tinkered with his metal stool.      

“Play ‘Riot Girl!’” one shouted.
“Uhh… Can you give us 10 minutes to remember it?” Joel said.      

Good Charlotte capped of their six-song set with new release “Like It’s Her Birthday,” then said “These days it’s hard for bands with instruments, bands like us, to get on the radio… so big thanks to Fly for having us out.”      

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A full 30 minutes after they were scheduled to appear, OneRepublic, fronted by Ryan Tedder, came on stage- without introduction and began to play.      

The 10 song set didn’t really pick up until after their current single “Secrets,” when someone from the audience yelled out a request: “Play ‘Teenage Dream!’”      

“I know I’m full-figured,” quipped Tedder, clad in skinny jeans and a gray henley, “But I’m not Katy Perry.”
Instead they picked up with “Say” off the band’s 2008 debut. 
 

Ryan Tedder

The set reeked of improvisation- Tedder often spontaneously running with a high note (regardless of pitch) or jumping offstage and drummer Eddie Fisher frequently breaking to swig his label-less brown beer bottle or flick his cigarette.      

After a strange segue into covers of “Stand By Me,” “Seven Nation Army,” and “Sexy Back” (compliments of Ben E. King, The White Stripes, and Justin Timberlake respectively), OneRepublic closed out their performance with fan favorite “Apologize.”      

They immediately left the stage and headed for the Sportsmen LX trailer about 50 yards away, despite the line of fans already waiting by the barricade.      

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By the time headliner Asher Roth was announced, about an hour after his listed roster spot, the crowd, sunshine, and pleasant fall temperature had waned.      

Sporting a dark “Midwood Lacrosse” hoodie and a haircut that bordered “the Farrah,” Roth bounded from backstage asking, “What’s up, you beautiful human beings?”      

Including his drummer and DJ in much of the show, as well as a mic-wielding sidekick referred to only as “Brain,” Roth spat out rhymes off Asleep in the Bread Aisle- his album that has sold nearly 150,000 units to date.      

Suburban teens and hipster parents all jumped, swayed, and bobbed together while an energetic Roth sing-spoke the choruses of his triumphant first single “I Love College.”      

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