Valentine’s of Albany hosted the 6th annual B3nson Funsgiving event for the last time on Saturday, November 22nd. The night consisted of seven diverse Upstate New York bands, alternating on the stages of the two story venue with familiar faces around every corner. With Valentine’s set to close and relocate by the end of this year, it was only proper to gather with friends to make a few more memories at the music hall and beer joint one last time.
Hammer Hawk was the first on the lineup, a trio of musical muscle who greeted the venue with edgy rock angst. Bear Grass had a consistent growing sound with pleasant echoes of Indie folk throughout the set. Lead female singer, Katie Hammon, is a great compliment to the harmonies of the five piece band as their music was an easy listen with relaxing melodies and joyous tempos. Rival Galaxies was an intergalactic experience with their high energy robotic futuristic rock and one of the highlights of the night. Rival Galaxies has a familiar sound to Daft Punk, especially with their disco dueling keyboards. Confetti rained down on the audience along with the steady beats, mighty guitar riffs and lyrics being sang via megaphone.
The Parlor performed some of the best dance music with their Indie Jazz sound complete with a solid horn section and funky bass line. The Parlor introduced new songs to the crowd with vocalist Jen O’Connor singing soft lyrics to Eric Krans’ smooth guitar licks. The carefree duo of Scientific Maps joked with the audience that it’s been years since they’ve practiced but you wouldn’t have known without them saying so. Aaron Smith plays with a nerdy and slightly rebellious grandeur as he strums with a carefree tone.
The night ended with the annual Beard contest with categories for both men and women, making for some interesting facial hair and accessories. Sgt Dunbar and the Hobo Banned was unofficially the winner of the best/most beards in a band category. They have a gypsy sound with the accordion and powerful guitar strumming, giving off a sincere bohemian madness that they crowd couldn’t get enough of. Barons in the Attic concluded the event with their usual wild and riot starting music, making for a serious floor shaking set. Valentine’s has given the B3nson Funsgiving family a place to call home for the past few years and for that, we are all grateful. Be sure to visit Valentines before it’s too late!
wants to hear what your favorite memories are from any of the past B3nson’s Funsgiving’s at Valentine’s. Please comment below for your chance to win a poster from this year’s Funsgiving with signatures from members of each band! A winner will be chosen on December 20th.