I was able to do both nights in Albany and can confirm edger's findings. This was the first time I had not just driven through Albany and I got a glimpse of both sides of the tracks. Downtown Albany is full of life from restaurants to pubs to late night music venues. Central Ave between downtown and my hotel, 6 miles out, was pretty drab.
There was quite a Shakedown just east of Times Union Center that was vastly different, yet the same on both nights. Night one was a nitrous circus, with balloons as far as the eye could see in the air. The cops sat on horseback and allowed it all to go down uninterrupted. I even saw a wook selling a moving box full of old used VHS porn tapes, which made me chuckle. Not to mention, a full mobile drink cart selling almost any cocktail you could imagine. Night two was a bit different, I walked in to a cop standing beside a nitrous tank that he was draining at full blast. Only the odd balloon was observed tucked in some corners, away from the police truck filled with poached tanks. Discarded Balloons and trash everywhere.
As far as the music goes, I am sure you have all read the set lists and highlights. My standout moments were being second row for set 1 of night 1, specifically the transition of Theme into Free. Being row 1 in the 100's right beside Mike for set 2 night 1 was a cool experience to, specifically the No Men's into Piper into a huge Twenty Years Later.
Set 1 Night 2 was, by far, my favorite set of the 4 I witnessed. The Chalkdust was the highlight of my weekend, the video below doesn't do it justice. I am pretty sure the band missed each others cue to end the song where it would normally end which led to this extended version, so good. Wolfman's, Scent of, NICU, Gumbo, Steam, I Didn't Know, Bathtub Gin to end the set complete with the Russian Dance Segment and a Vacuum Solo!?! So good! Great company with almost a whole row in the 200's to dance in.
Set 2 Night 2 found all of our folks together to rock out in a hazy hue, and that we did. The Birds of a Feather made me laugh because before we walked in, my buddy stepped on a dead bird on the sidewalk and i immediately said "I guess we get a Birds of a Feather tonight". The Mercury into Light was huge, Mercury is always sluggish to me at first but always seems to blast off and that Light, damn, I love that tune.
Night 1 Set 1 view point (thanks timmyB)