Photos by Lorenzo Cook
As summer fades and fall begins, the festival season comes to a close once again. The endless lineups of favorite bands, the coming together of masses of people and the weekend-long festivities will return in a number of months, but until then, we have shows like the one put on by Conspirator, SOLARiS, and Mister F at the Westcott Theater on October 11th. Located just outside Syracuse University’s campus, the Westcott Theater hosted an audience composed of both students and locals, bridging the gap between the University and its surrounding community.
Before fans could see headlining act Conspirator’s elaborate display of visuals , the crowd’s light-up hula-hoops provided aesthetic entertainment during the evening’s first act, Mister F. Made up of members from Timbre Coup and Capital Zen, Mister F’s music fuses the progressive, funk, and rock elements found in the group members’ outside projects. Utilizing a five-string bass and a seven-string guitar, Mister F’s uncommon instrumentation set the dance-dominated tone for the rest of the evening..
Following Mister F’s set, fellow Upstate New Yorkers SOLARiS continued the night’s electro instrumental theme with their 3-piece fusion tunes. Although SOLARiS played an opening set, the extendedness of their jams and the crowd’s participation created an environment reminiscent of any headlining act. Drummer Daniel Scott Lyons’ ability to direct tempo changes with his quick-paced clicks influenced smooth transitions and allowed the band to jam without pause for almost the entire set.
As Conspirator took the stage against a backdrop of sun and palm trees, bassist Marc Brownstein introduced the band’s newest member, known simply as Torch. Brownstein explained that while Conspirator has played in Syracuse more than almost any other city, Friday night marked the first time in town for the band’s most recent addition. Inexperience, however, played no role in their set. As Conspirator’s jams evolved from slow grooves to an all-involved dance scene, the togetherness exemplified in the crowd also showed in the band’s ability to flow from jam to jam.
Conspirator’s electronic backdrop altered with the band’s music. The sun and palm trees that once occupied the set’s beginnings transformed throughout the show, creating abstract patterns representative of the band’s psychedelic tunes. While the season most closely associated with sun and palm trees has transitioned into the recent past as well, experiencing a show like this is always a fine way to spend Friday night.
Setlist: Right/Wrong -> Onamewa -> Flash Mob -> Velvet Red -> Up -> Dynasty ->Orch Theme -> Hellsling
Encore: Caves of the East