New Venue Electric Grinch will rock out on Feb. 3
SCHENECTADY – Coming soon to rock the Electric City with “that Schenectady sound” will be a three-bill rock and roll show featuring The Sugar Hold, The Abyssmals, and The Greetings at the new music venue, the Electric Grinch.
The bands will rock the venue Saturday, February 3 at 8 p.m. for the 21-years-old and over show that will include all local, original music.
Mikey Baish, vocalist and guitarist of The Sugar Hold felt that it was important to bring live, original music to Schenectady because there are not any places to showcase original music in the city. Although there are opportunities to watch cover and tribute bands perform at other venues in town, there isn’t a place in Schenectady where people can listen to original music, Baish said.
“You see these shows happening in Albany, Troy, and Saratoga, but almost never see it in Schenectady.” Mikey said. “With my work at the Jive Hive Live, I’m exposed to a large number of extremely talented musicians who are writing and performing their music all the time. There are world class talents right here in the Capital Region, and I think it’s important to showcase them, even more important to do so in my city.”
When he noticed that the Electric Grinch was opening, Mikey was stoked to throw an event there at his friend Mitch Ramsey’s establishment. Originally, Mikey and Ramsey were going to have the show at Mitch’s other establishment, Jay Street Pub, but the venue was too small, and the Electric Grinch was the perfect size to hold the show, Mikey added.
About the Electric Grinch
The Electric Grinch opened at the end of last year. Ramsey noticed that there was a lack of quality spaces this size in Schenectady that focused on live music and he decided to step in to fill in that void.According to Mikey, the name of the establishment came from an almost legendary bar that used to exist on Erie Blvd. in the 70s and 80s, hidden in the shadow of General Electric, which became the inspiration for the new businesses’ logo.
When Mikey first went to check the venue out, he was amazed at its acoustic design and that he could hear the band perfectly and also hold a conversation with a patron without shouting.Mikey was also impressed with how the sound panels were set up in the space and was glad that Ramsey was able to help make the place sound good sonically and musically, he said.
Although the venue has included cover bands, the venue also hosted a jazz night, and even featured acts The E-Block and David J. for their grand opening weekend.
Who is The Sugar Hold…
The band is a five piece surf punk and rock n’ roll band from Schenectady, but often billed out of Troy. The energetic, party-heavy band features Baish, Matt Malone (bass and vocals), Dan Clark (lead guitar), Ryan McCalla (keyboard and guitar), and Jesse Winchester (drums). The band, who plays all original music, came together just before the pandemic, but didn’t begin to perform to the public until two years ago.
Last year, the band headlined the MOVE Music Festival at Lark Hall, played a sold out show at No Fun with The Abyssmals, and even released a music video from the Jive Hive Live’s Halloween Special.
In addition, the band released their first full length album, “Sweet” in April. In February, the band will be heading to White Lake Music and Post to record a follow up EP.
The band’s songs focus on a wide variety of subject matter including driving beat up cars, eating cheeseburgers, and also adding in the traditional aspects of rock; sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll.
The Other Bands On The Bill..
The Abyssmals and The Greetings, the other two bands to perform on Saturday night, were two of Mikey’s first choices for the bill as both bands are also from the Schenectady area. Not only were the bands an excellent choice, Mikey noted that they know how to throw a party.
The Greetings, according to band leader Ben Gesek on bass and lead vocals, are just three friends who like to play music. The band, consisting of Gesek, Bryan Bidwell (guitar), and Spring Nguyen (Drums), also play original songs.
The trio, formed in 2018, has been around for the past six years and together, have opened for Young Culture at Empire Underground, and also performed at No Fun, The Hangar on the Hudson, and other venues in the Capital Region.
The band also recorded a few music videos with their friends who performed
at the Jive Hive that can be viewed on YouTube.
Baish has even heard The Greetings’ music described as smokey, bluesy rock n’ roll.
As for The Abyssmals…
The Abyssmals, according to vocalist and rhythm guitarist Jarpon Reyes, are a psychedelic garage rock band from the Schenectady area. The band, consisting of Reyes, Bob Forget (lead guitar/vocals), Boris Cahrenger (bass/vocals), Legs Wessela (drums/vocals), most recently, multiinstrumentalist Craig Dutra and saxophonist Joe Papparone.
For seven years, the band has performed their own originals at venues such as Rare Form Brewery, No Fun, The Hollow Bar & Kitchen, Desperate Annie’s, and at The Hangar on The Hudson.
In 2019, the band released their debut album, “Gospels, Hymns, And Other Trash”, and are currently finishing their second full-length record.
In addition to performing at the Saturday show, the band will open for the legendary Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at No Fun Sunday, February 11.
What can people expect from the show?
Mikey Biaish of The Sugar Hold summed up what people can expect for Saturday’s show in the best way possible.
“Folks who come out can expect a PARTY! Nobody has more fun than The Sugar Hold and we prove it everytime we get on stage.”
Ben Gesek of The Greetings said that people can expect a good time and the band promises to keep their guests awake.
As for Jarpon Reyes of The Abyssmals? Fans are encouraged to become familiarized with their music by tasting their music first-hand at the Electric Grinch.
Spectators are encouraged to come to the Electric Grinch early to grab a seat early for the show of risk missing out on the show.
This story was featured on page 5 of the January 31st, 2024 print edition of the Spot518.