Riverside Park July 3, 1981

Pictures from our set at the annual 21st Ward “Towpath Festival” (whatever that is) at Riverside Park on the west side of Buffalo.  I always thought of it as an extended Independence Day celebration – – these pictures were taken July 3, 1981.

Parousia Performing at Riverside Park

I remember there were a lot of people there and they were pretty enthusiastic.  Of course, we were quite loud, as usual (I think they heard us across the river in Canada), so we pulled a lot of curious people from the midway festivities.  Family entertainment at it’s finest.

Parousia Performing at Riverside Park

Parousia Performing at Riverside Park

There is a scan below of the review where someone complains of the foul language coming from the dim-witted guitarist.  Hey, that wasn’t me, that was the other dim-witted guitarist (Barry’s 15 minutes of shame).  This dim-witted guitarist kept his mouth shut!

Parousia Performing at Riverside Park

An enthusiastic crowd enjoying Parousia – Riverside Park July 3rd, 21st Ward Independence day celebration

Parousia Performing at Riverside Park

Patt in full front man mode.

Parousia Performing at Riverside Park

Gerry providing the big drum sound.

Parousia Performing at Riverside Park

… and Robert providing the big bass sound.

Parousia Performing at Riverside Park

Eric with the full keyboard setup.

Parousia at Riverside park flyer

Buffao Evening News Calendar 1981

Parousia Performing at Riverside Park

A rockin’ show!

Parousia Performing at Riverside Park

Parousia Performing at Riverside Park

Barry belting out the Tull.

Parousia Performing at Riverside Park


Financial Statement - Riverside Park July 3,1981

Financial Statement – Riverside Park July 3,1981

This was a free live concert financed and produced entirely by whatever money Parousia amassed in its anemic bank account.  We had to produce this gig as efficiently as possible and still sound good.

Parousia Performing at Riverside Park

Outdoor sound is tricky. We needed someone experienced and were lucky enough to know John McGovern who agreed to set up and run sound for the gig for just $20.00. We owe a lot to him for a great sounding show. When we had John working with us, we knew we had a guy who cared about the sound and not how much he was getting paid.

Dave Styn working on the massive PA system, making sure they can hear us in Canada.

John ran the soundboard from the top the 14’ U-Haul truck parked about 20 feet from the front of the stage, in the middle of the crowd.  Truck rental cost $57.00 got the day.  We paid Garth $100.00 because he fronted money for the band to rent extra sound equipment from Pegasus. We needed a BIG stereo P.A. stack to fill up the great outdoors and that we did. Four Perkins bins for mid-range, four bass scoops, four treble horns and extra power amps. The band was so loud that night, people heard us across the Niagara River in Canada!

And now, a special treat… Below is a complaint against Parousia published in the August edition of the Riverside Review newspaper.  Matt Gurnsey, an attendee at our concert in the park, complains of ‘foul language‘ coming from Barry Cannizzaro, aka: “the dim-witted guitarist.”  Hey, that’s rock, N’ Roll, right?  …There’s no such thing as bad press!

Riverside Review. Parousia show review. July 1981

Buffalo Backstage Review June 1981Buffalo Backstage Review June 1981

11 comments for “Riverside Park July 3, 1981

  1. May 11, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    I remember playing drums on that balmy day in July… It was a very humid evening in Riverside Park. A big orange ball of a sun was just starting to set and a huge crowd was gathering in the park for the up-coming annual fireworks display. The sunset was beautiful. We watched the stars come out as the summer sun slowly descended into the back-drop of the Niagara River… it was a great view from the stage.

    Our show that night was hosted by the local 21st Ward Independence Day Association Inc. It was an especially good day for me because I was back in Riverside, the old neighborhood where I grew up from 1959-1976; I lived on Baxter Street, about two blocks away from where we were performing on stage in the park, just west of Tonawanda Street between Hotaling Drive and Esser Avenue.

    Earlier in the day, it was touch-n-go as to whether we would actually be performing at all. Black & grey storm clouds were gathering in the sky all day long… playing peek-a-boo with the sun. It actually rained a small amount in the late afternoon while were in the middle of our sound check and all of our equipment got wet… Eric Scheda’s Hammond organ went out of tune from the extreme humidity that built up throughout the day. We had to re-tune that organ at the last minute and had to use wax on the tuning-heads… weird!

    Later that night, while we were playing “Just what I needed” by the Cars, two fire trucks came roaring down Tonawanda street, directly behind us, about 10 yards away from the stage… and the fire trucks, police cars and ambulance were so loud, it completely drowned us out … I couldn’t hear any music for about 8 seconds which seemed like an eternity… I was holding the beat steady following the song by memory hoping that when all the wailing subsided, we would still be in sync with each other… and we were! Nobody missed a beat; we kept going on with the song like nothing happened.

    Oh yeah, in the fifth band photo there is an image of the back of an audio mixing console, sitting on top of the speaker… That is an old classic Peavey mixer… it was the first “professional mixing board” Parousia ever owned. Later on, when we replaced our equipment with bigger and better stuff we used that Peavey to do a keyboard sub mix from the stage.

    Our outdoor performance that evening was met with such enthusiasm by the audience that they rushed the stage afterward. I must have shaken 50-60 hands and hugged about 15 people I never even new! That was a good night for us all. Me on the drums, my brother Barry on guitar, Garth Huels on lead guitar, Patrick Connolly, vocals and flute, Robert Lowden bass & vocals and Eric Scheda on keyboards. Keith Huels helped load, unload and set-up equipment with Dave Styn and Steve Styn. Mike Smith and his girlfriend Shirley set up and worked the light show. Last but not least is John McGovern… the man responsible for our power-house live sound. Hat’s off to John! He made us sound great (and very loud). Rock-on!

  2. Barry Cannizzaro
    May 15, 2013 at 8:10 am

    Wow man, does that bring back some very fond memories of our band Parousia or what? We look so damn young; energetic; enthusiatic, healthy, and yes, freakin’ alive back then. Was that really me; with what I think were muscles? I am so proud to have had the opportunity to play in such an excellent band with a bunch of class individuals. What a truly golden once in a life time experience that was. I’m also very glad I had the chance to really “piss off” that pinhead Gurnsey who wrote that very flattering comment about me being a dim-witted guitar player and all, as well as all those stupid Canucks. Wait, there I go again; hopefully pissing off more jackwaggens; man, am I damn proud of it! Tee Hee! I think I still got it. Take care ‘bro and company and always remember: Rock and Roll will never die! Do you hear that pinhead, I mean Gurnsey! Peace out pilgrims!

    The original one and only; dim-witted guitarist!

    Barrymannia (Barry C)

  3. May 18, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Barry (dim-witted guitarist) did say “Let’s scream loud enough so that every mother f*ckin’ moose in Canada can hear you!”

    • Barry Cannizzaro
      May 18, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      Hey Pat!

      No problem man; your wish is my command! F**K UUUUU, GURNSEY!

      Was that loud enough?

      Please check for my further comments below!

      Take care all you Parousia folk!


      • Cheryl
        July 23, 2014 at 11:28 am

        Hey I can remember when Barry would say “Lets everybody get nude”. He was in a bikini bathing suit with just his guitar in front of him.. Too funny.. Those were the days…. Cheryl

    • May 18, 2013 at 11:14 pm


  4. Barry Cannizzaro
    May 19, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Wow, Did I really piss off all those Canadian moose (including Bullwinkle) that much? Hmmmm, could be! As Bugs Bunny would probably say.
    You only live once folks (at least in this life), so why not!
    I remember palying the role of Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull on that eventful day at Riverside Park, (or was I really Abraham Lincoln…who knows?), it felt MAAAAARVELOUS people!
    To paraphrase a comment from past president Abraham Lincoln; “it’s not how many years you live in your life, but how much life you live in those years.” How profound (or corny; depending on how you look at it) is that!
    Keep the faith pilgrims and all you Parousia people somewhere out there in cyber Parousialand!

    Take care,
    Barry ‘da dimwit

  5. Kevin Ciprich
    October 15, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    Ahh, Parousia, I remember dressing up in a shaggy black costume and dancing in a little hand made shack while the band played at riverside park… (’80’s)

  6. Tim Gerwitz
    August 29, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    You guys really worked hard.

  7. Dave Styn
    August 29, 2021 at 5:40 pm

    Totally awesome gig to do. So glad we didn’t have Keith’s truck. ????

  8. David Fultz
    August 29, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    I remember this. You guys did sound good!

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