Jeff Bujak was the perfect opener for a high energy act such as Conspirator at The Putnam Den on October 17th . He busted out new material from his album User Correction which stays upbeat in true Buj fashion, but has deeper and slower samples intertwined within heavy synth and upbeat drum tempos. Jeff Bujak has a way of pounding on his keys like the phantom of the opera with such passion and involvement that it is difficult to stand still during one of his sets. The crowd seemed to be loving it from start to finish keeping the energy at a constant high before Conspirator took stage.
Conspirator took to the stage with impressive intensity as the crowd rushed back into the Putnam Den. The set started off slower with the down-tempo, heavy synthed “Velvet Red.” Starting slow and permeating the crowd with its groove, when the “Velvet” bass dropped, the entire venue came alive. Conspirator’s new drummer Torch left absolutely nothing to be desired. He brings a new sound and liveliness to the band and highlights aspects of each song that otherwise would go unnoticed. Watching Torch lay it down on the drums during “Liquid Handcuffs” proved that he was more than capable of keeping up with the rest of the guys in the band. Aaron Magner is more or less the Neil Pert of keyboardists and it is only a matter of time before he’s going to need to be airlifted into a full circle of his various keyboards. The intricacies he brings to each song is unparalleled by any other keyboardist in the electronic music scene. Chris Michetti shined throughout the entire set. Both Michetti and Marc Brownstein were completely in sync throughout each song, and where one took a step back the other took a step forward and the spotlight was equally shared by both.
The hardest part for Conspirator is trying to shake the concept that they are trying to follow in the Disco Biscuits footsteps. Conspirator is comprised of four very talented musicians that all bring something new and fresh to the table that is new and different from the projects they have been a part of in the past. It is easy to be overly critical as a Biscuits fan of what Conspirator does, but as a true critic one needs to step back and recognize the talent and passion each member of the band brings to such a brilliant collaborative effort of music. Overall, the show was phenomenal and you can definitely tell each member of the band is truly passionate about the music they create.
After the show Marc Brownstein stepped out from back stage to meet and snap photos with his fans. After a long, hot and tiring set, the last thing most musicians want to do is be swarmed by their adoring fans. It was definitely admirable too see a musician be so humble with his fanbase. At one point during the show, Brownstein mentioned that Saratoga held a special place for him because it was the place he saw his first Grateful Dead concert at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Sharing information like that with a crowd of people who are primarily from the Upstate region is what makes a show like this so personal and awesome. It was definitely an amazing experience to see this many talented musicians on stage together in such a small venue and it is evident that Upstate New York loves Conspirator.
Setlist: Velvet Red ->Retrograde ->Liquid Handcuffs -> Bella’s Ball -> Up -> So Much More -> Legalize It-> Flash Mob -> Struts -> Fascinate -> Retrograde