Fast Annie’s, Hamburg N.Y. – “Battle of the Bands” Spring Jam, 03.15.1981

Parousia 1981: Ready to take on the completion at the Fast Annie’s Spring Jam.

Parousia 1981: Ready to take on the competition at the Fast Annie’s Spring Jam.

As you can see in the flyer, on this night (Sunday, March 15, 1981) Parousia was scheduled as the last band on stage, after a very long night of musical acts beginning at 3:00 pm in the afternoon and ending with us as the closing act at 2:00 am the following morning.

Fast Annie's 03-15-81

Parousia’s booking agent, Dave Buffamonti of Back Stage productions, approached us late in the evening with a proposal.  He asked us if we wouldn’t mind swapping our closing slot with Crossroads, who were scheduled as second last…

We thought about it and although the idea of closing the show was appealing, Dave had been very good to us and we couldn’t say no to him.

Fast Annie's 3.15.81

It seemed that Crossroads decided they wanted to be the last act of the night, and that it would have a greater impact, closing the show with a set of heavy rock to blast away the lingering boredom of bands currently on stage such as ‘Crash Cadillac’ and before them, ‘the Hostages’.  Both good bands, but ‘Crash’ was a 50’s act and ‘the Hostages’ were on the ‘very mellow’ end of the rock music spectrum.

Hours had gone by since a quality full-sized rock band took the stage, not since the Road and they finished playing over three-hours ago… that was too long to wait for the audience, not enough meat!  The people craved a real rock band and Crossroads had originally been scheduled to give it to them but they swapped that spot away for our closing spot, leaving Parousia to provide what the audience was so very hungry for… a full spectrum classic rock band!

Parousia 1981: Gerry & Barry Cannizzaro, Patt Connolly, Kim Watts, Garth Huels, Eric Scheda, Robert Lowden

Parousia 1981: Gerry & Barry Cannizzaro, Patt Connolly, Kim Watts, Garth Huels, Eric Scheda, Robert Lowden

Parousia took the stage and the crowd went wild!  We were loud, tight and lively. It was one of those “perfect storm” moments where everything came together just right, the moves, the timing… the audience was ready to rock and Parousia was right there to deliver.

I recall the band belting out a cover of “Hocus Pocus” by Focus, that song alone totally won over the audience… we played the full version of the song with yodeling, organ and flute; plus all the drum, keyboard and guitar solos.  People were flipping out… in a good way.

While the band was performing the song “Cross Eyed Mary” the crowd up against the front of the stage were straining to ‘high-five’ Barry, as he sang the song and strutted along the edge of the stage, imitating Ian Anderson, wearing a beard with a Bowler hat and cane.

Barry Cannizzaro as “Ian Anderson” of Jethro Tull

Barry Cannizzaro as “Ian Anderson” of Jethro Tull

The band’s ‘short but sweet’ set of music was overall well received, but in particular, the last song in our set, the angry and passionate “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by the WHO, a favorite classic-rock tune among many local music fans.  And these fans were no different; the crowd went wild, waving their fists in the air, pumping to the beat.  It was the perfect ‘anthem’ to reflect the angst arising out of chronically depressed conditions in Western New York. Many people were like us, broke and struggling since the mid 70’s and this one song commiserated with those feelings.

PAROUSIA Live 1980

PAROUSIA Live 1980

As soon as the band finished playing a guy named Dino approached us. He introduced himself as the manager of a local club called Dad’s Café.  Dino was in the audience and “fell in love” with the songs we played.  And just like that Dino hired us to perform the exact same set of music at his club on Clinton Street in Buffalo and we ended up playing several shows there. Dad’s Cafe became one of Parousia’s all-time favorite clubs to play.

By the time Crossroads took the stage, the majority of the crowd was leaving. I guess Parousia gave the audience their “orgasm” and now it was time to ‘get dressed, have a cigarette and go forth into the night’ leaving Crossroads to play in front of a scant remaining audience. The response was lukewarm at best.

The BEEZ (aka: Crossroads) 1981

The BEEZ (aka: Crossroads) 1981

Fast Annie’s liked our band and immediately booked Parousia to return on Saturday night, December 5, 1981.

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