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Drivin N Cryin great start to new year

ALBANY -- Any halfway decent music lover knows there are three types of concerts.

1. The performance -- The audience attends for the dancing and the special effects more than the music itself. Example: The late, great Michael Jackson.

2. The audience -- Attendees show up for the energy of the audience itself as well as the band -- and while the music is part of it, it's not why they attend. Attendance is more for the crowd-surfing, wild screaming and all-out crazy night. Example: Green Day.

3. The musical experience -- Self-descriptive.

I've been to them all in my time, and by far, the musical experience is my favorite. It's about hearing -- and seeing -- live music from a band like you've never experienced music from their recorded stuff, where you can get wrapped up in the music and taken to another place for a couple of hours.

Drivin N Cryin did just that for fans New Year's Eve into the wee hours of New Year's Day at the State Theatre in Albany.

I must first admit that I was a little concerned in the days leading up to the show. I adore Drivin N Cryin's music, especially lead singer Kevn Kinney's voice. I wasn't too sure if the live version would be nearly as good as the recorded version.

But, as the band walked on stage at 11 p.m. and began playing, I was immediately taken on a journey that I didn't want to come back from.

I got intrinsically lost in the music immediately -- which rarely occurs -- as did most of the other audience members. It wasn't a concert I wanted to sing along with; I just wanted to listen to the music. It was just amazing -- and, looking around, I saw that most of the audience members felt the same way.

On that note, I want to admit that the audience surprised me a little.

Most rock concerts are filled with young, white men -- girlfriends in tow -- and I've always been one of the rare females who adores rock music and will attend with another female friend if I'm not dating anyone -- and we always stick out like a sore thumb.

Drivin N Cryin, though, brought out not just the young white rockers. There was a good mix of all ages, races and girl pairs, guy pairs and couples there. I loved it.

The good thing about the State Theatre is that the place is absolutely huge, so for a while I stood at the stage, taking in all the music, and then moved to the balcony to experience the concert from above, which was something I wouldn't trade for the world. Not only does Drivin N Cryin obviously adore the music they're playing, but they also adore their fans. Each band member made a connection with a few audience members -- somehow -- and that was fun to watch.

And, they didn't forget it was New Year's Eve, either. There was a countdown to midnight and free champagne for everyone.

For those who missed it, you missed an incredible performance by one of the best performing bands in America. I'm thrilled I had the opportunity to go. It was the best New Year's experience ever!

Carly Farrell is a copy editor and paginator for The Albany Herald.