The Primate Fiasco brought their antics and a new album to CNY with successful shows in both Syracuse and Buffalo. March 24th, Funk n’ Waffles downtown was well packed as the Syracuse crowd gave the band their best turnout yet. The energy was high and copies of their new release, Massachusetts Winter, were flying out of the merch booth like hot cakes. The energy was so high that a few songs into the set, Primate Fiasco decided to make it an official CD release party.
Opening the show was the psychedelic blues groove thang called Big Sexy and the Scrambled Eggs. They are a talented group out of Syracuse that are young and hungry. Less than two years together, there is a crazy amount of chemistry between guitarists AJ Guinto and Corey Fleming and ability to noodle around the blues with just the right amount of psychedelia. Big Sexy’s Cosmic Diner serves up Bluesy Noodles. It’s listed on the menu right after the Scrambled Eggs. I feel that it’s important to point out – AND PROMOTERS TAKE NOTE – aside from sounding good, this is a band that really does their job and understand how things are supposed to go. For a month leading up to this show, what seems like literally every other day, I saw a NEW social media post come out from these guys advertising this show and urging fans to come out. Perhaps this is why the place was so packed? So take note promoters and biz heads – Big Sexy and the Scrambled Eggs know what’s up and are a promoter’s dream. They get “it.”
Primate Fiasco gets it when it comes to putting on a hell of a high energy show. They opened with a cover of Cake’s “Stickshifts and Safetybelts” before diving into classic Fiasco. The turnout and energy in the room prompted the band to declare this an official CD Release Party right there on the spot. They proceeded to play Massachusetts Winter, cover to cover, in its entirety. Songs like “Astronauts” and “Steamfunk” have evolved in their live shows over the past couple years. Others, like “Mary Towne Estey 1692” and “Because Summer”, are brand spanking new and have never been shared until this tour. One new instrumental has a long and eclectic name I will shorten and call “Louis CK Races a Giraffe.” The song is as eclectic as the name. The final song on Massachusetts Winter is a heartfelt “Little Arrow” that includes a shout out to Syracuse, as it chronicles some of the places that Primate Fiasco consider home while touring. The new CD is so very good and we highly recommend you get a copy. Check back here soon for a CD review from us.
After spoiling the crowd with the whole new album, Primate Fiasco switched directions and played a cover of Mr. Tambourine Man like you’ve never heard it before. This band has an uncanny ability to put a fresh and new spin on an old classic song, giving it a whole new character of its own. I call this taking a song and doing it “Fiasco Style.” Next, they gave the crowd an improvisational one-two punch with the classic duo of “Wristband Tan Line” > “March of the Goosepimp.” This exchange really drew my attention to sousaphone player Kevin LaRose. During “Wristband” he was dropping these outrageous bass bombs that were on the level of anything Phil or Gordo might deliver. He gave the end of the song this heavy, disco sounding, dance party groove that eased us into “Goosepimp.” Kevin is constantly evolving his sound with variations of electronics and effects and he is really onto something with what he has been toying with lately!
After a good half hour of improv heavy dance party, Primate Fiasco brought it back down, using “Everything Peaks” as a transition to the rare and introspective “Song For a Friend” before cranking it back up to close out the night with the highly requested… scratch that. By this point the crowd was straight up demanding Primate Fiasco’s biggest hit, “Sidekick.” You can’t stir up this kind of frenzy, drop the mic, and go home. For an encore, drummer Will Sigel grabbed his portable setup and the band unplugged their instruments. They stepped off the stage into the crowd, and closed with a lengthy acoustic jam performed from the center of the packed house. And that my friends, is Fiasco style.
SETLIST: Stickshifts and Safetybelts, Not Expecting Guests, Numbers, Astronauts, Mary Towne Estey 1692, Steamfunk, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Because Summer, Birds Are Bad Swimmers, Louis CK, Bernie Sanders, and Aretha Franklin Racing Giraffes Through the Holyoke Mall on Black Friday (in G), Little Arrow, Mr Tambourine Man, South Pole and the Pyramids, Wristband Tan Line > March of the Goosepimp, Everything Peaks, Song For a Friend, Sidekick.
Encore: Acoustic jam from the crowd
Author: George DiFabio
Photography: Jerrie DiFabio