Harbor Jam is back this summer with plans to pack the Mohawk Harbor Amphitheater.
The free concert series, which is organized by Rivers Casino & Resort, will kick off with Ambrosia on July 6 and will run every Saturday until August 17, when the Lords of 52nd Street close out the season.
“We had over 30,000 people come through the Harbor last year,” said Rob Christopher, Rivers’ marketing director at a press conference on Wednesday.
Last year was the first Harbor Jam series and many of the concerts were packed with people from the Capital Region and beyond.
“It became very apparent by the second week of Harbor Jam last year, that this was going to be something special, that this was filling a need for the city of Schenectady to provide free, fun family-friendly entertainment for the region,” said Justin Moore, the general manager of Rivers.
Bringing back the series again this year, organizers are bringing a mix of bands.
“Big fans of late 70s music, they’re going to really enjoy Ambrosia and they’re going to kick it off right for us,” Moore said.
With hits like “How Much I Feel” and “Biggest Part of Me,” Ambrosia garnered five Top 40 hits during the late 1970s. The current lineup includes three of the original band members and the band will be playing a mix of hits and more recent songs.
The following weekend, on July 13, the series showcases David Victor, formerly of Boston. Victor also toured with Styx and he’ll be performing songs from both bands.
John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band is slated to perform on July 20, bringing in more 1980s rock.
“To maintain the genre, we felt it was important to maintain a tribute band that could set the mood for smooth, fantastic, rock and roll,” Moore said.
To do that, organizers brought in CSN Songs, perhaps the most well known Crosby, Stills & Nash tribute band. CSN Songs will take the stage on July 27.
John Waite, who started his career as the lead singer of the Babys, is up next in the series. In 1988, he created Bad English, a band that went on to have a number one hit “When I See You Smile.” Today, Waite mixes blues, soul and country with Celtic folk. He’ll be at the Mohawk Harbor on August 3.
The Southern rock band Georgia Satellites, best known for the song “Keep Your Hands to Yourself,” takes to the stage on August 10.
Closing out the series is The Lords of 52nd Street. Band members Doug Stegmeyer, Liberty DeVitto, Russel Javors and Richie Cannata were core members of Billy Joel’s band in the 1970s, recording the 1976 album “Turnstiles” together. The band has been popular in Schenectady in the last few years, playing on Jay Street in 2017 and then at Harbor Jam last year.
“Arguably, our number one weekend last year was when Lords of 52nd Street came here and played. It was a packed amphitheater [with] a crowd of about 5,000 people. How could we not bring them back for another year?” Moore said.
The concerts start at 6 p.m. on Saturdays and they’re held rain or shine. Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs for seating. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from Rivers Casino & Resort, Druthers Brewing Company, Schenectady County Community College, Flavors of Lebanon, and Schenectady Ale Trail.
The concert series is sponsored by Druthers Brewing Company, Albany Broadcasting Company (WYJB/B-95.5), General Electric, The Galesi Group, Proctors Theater, Discover Schenectady, Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation, Mercury Screen Printing and DeCrescente Distributing Company.
For more information visit riverscasinoandresort.com.
The lineup is as follows:
- Ambrosia, July 6
- David Victor, formerly of the group Boston, July 13
- John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band, July 20
- CSN Songs, July 27
- John Waite, Aug. 3
- Georgia Satellites, Aug. 10
- The Lords of 52nd Street (Billy Joel's original band), Aug. 17