Venue Profile: Bogie’s in Albany, A Scene Coming Together

While the venue is closer to 30 years old, for the last five years the local hardcore and metal scene in the Albany area have really called Bogie’s on Ontario Street home. To say that Bogie’s has character is like saying the Pope is a little religious – from the black walls and the sticker covered bathrooms, to the fliers thrown throughout the place celebrating past and upcoming shows. Above the bar there are signed drum heads and cymbals, each to tell tales of legends and start-ups alike coming through those doors, to play for the diehards that make up Bogie’s core clientele.

This coming weekend Bogie’s is reaching out to the community for help. The music scene is not a lucrative one and to keep the metal and hardcore scene alive, Mike Valente is asking friends, family, and fans to come support the venue.  “Repair Fest” is a weekend-long show held at Bogie’s with some of the best local bands on the metal, hardcore and similar scenes. 

Friday night headliners Sworn Enemy will be gracing the stage along with Valente’s own Troycore band, Brick By Brick.  Saturday will be headlined by local industrial rock band, The Clay People.  The music continues on Sunday with headliner, Full Blown Chaos.

‘s Managing Editor/Photo Editor, Jim Gilbert, sat down with Mike Valente before a Goatwhore show last month and asked a few questions.  Here’s what Mike had to say about Bogie’s and some of the memories inside those walls.

Jim Gilbert: How long have you run Bogie’s?

Mike Valente: Five years.  

Jim: What have been some of the more notable bands that have played here the past five years?

Mike: Corrosion of Conformity, Tommy Tutone, Sepultura, Soulfly, Marc Rizzo, Stigmata, Black Flag, I could go on and on.

Jim: What’s one memory that sticks out?

Mike: Tommy Tutone (of Jenny/867-5309 fan) was blasted on something.  He was wearing sunglasses, chewing gun, he had the worst bus I’ve seen and he was hyped up really good.  He needed someone to sell merch, so Matt was helping him out and Tommy told him to sell signed photos for $3.  $1 for Tommy, $1 for Matt.  When Matt pointed out they were $3 and that only accounts for $2, Tommy ignored the question and told Matt that he should try to get a hummer from the girls.  Completely wasted.

Jim: Repair Fest is coming up. What is it and what are some goals?

Mike:  There are a ton of repairs needed here.  The bar is surviving, there is enough for salaries except mine and Ralph (Mike’s partner at Bogie’s) most the time.  The repair funds will go toward doors, floors, ceiling, bathrooms, coolers, etc.  This place has taken a beating over the years.

Jim: Do you attribute the damage to the hardcore scene?

Mike: Not the hardcore or metal scene.  Those guys are the most respectful, it is when we throw college parties that everything gets destroyed.  Like a tornado goes through here.

Jim: Can you tell me about your affiliation with Black ‘n Blue out of New York City?

Mike: Freddie and Cousin Joe, they are BNB.  They’ve helped a lot and have Black ‘n Blue Bowl, big names and they are only three hours away.  Upstate Black ‘n Blue is completely separate but we help each other out.

Jim: What are some bands that played here before anyone knew who they were?

Mike: State Champs. They played the first spot of six bands.  they started at the bottom but worked hard.  They are getting big and they are going to be big.  They deserve it.

Jim: Any bands out right now to look out for?

Mike: Sure.  Before I Had Wings, Collateral Damage and Ego Destroys.  There are others, too.

Jim: Is there a difference between the Albany scene and the Troy scene?

Mike: Not a difference anymore.  It is the same kids, they go wherever there is a good show.  Troy bands are very proud of their Troy connection though.

Jim: What’s the scene like now?

Mike: It is okay, all the promoters are working together.  Trick Shots, Upstate Concert Hall and Bogie’s.  We try not to book over top of each other.  None of us are getting rich off this and we all have other jobs to pay the bills.  We have to work together and we do.

So this weekend, if you have a free day, free afternoon, or even a free hour, come down to Bogie’s at 247 Ontario Street in Albany and support the local venue. If you can’t make the festival, please consider to donate online at their GoFundMe account ( and check out future dates at Bogie’s including these in May: Adrenaline Mob on the 14th, Vanna on the 24th and Blacktide on the 31st.