After a muggy day in the Capital Region, two regional bands took to the stage at the Putnam Den in Saratoga Springs and saturated an already soggy crowd with funk and fun, sprinkled with some purple.
Buffalo favorites Aqueous started the show around 9:30 p.m., leaping right into “Aldehyde,” which saw snazzy work on the wah pedal from guitarist Mike Gantzer. Slowly bleeding into “Origami,” Aqueous had a few stop and starts led by interim drummer Rob Houk, who is in the running to take over as full-time drummer.
“Complex Pt. I,” “Peaches” > “Warren in the Window” and “Numbers and Facts” rounded out the well executed setlist. During “Warren,” Gantzer and fellow guitarist Dave Loss heavily teased Phish’s “Meatstick” that was greeted with an uproarious cheer from the half-full crowd. “Peaches,” a cover of a song by the Presidents of the USA, was the crowd favorite of the set, with everyone belting, in unison, the catchy chorus.
Following a short break, Pink Talking Fish emerged, with guitarist Dave Brunyak playing a few melodies over the house music. Wasting no space or time, the band kicked off two sets with “In the Flesh”>”Tube”>”Life During Wartime,” and a final reprisal of “Tube,” with Brunyak nailing the bluesy ending that Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio wrote into the diddy.
“Have A Cigar”>”Wild Wild Life”>”Simple”>”Pigs” brought a mellow, then rocking mood to the set. Bassist Eric Gould led the segment, bopping the band through some of Phish, Talking Heads and Pink Floyd’s most iconic songs.
“This Must Be The Place”>”Fearless”>”Esther Interlude”>”Run Like An Antelope” completed the set, giving a sweaty crowd a much needed breather. The second set featured “Ghost,” with an irregular breakdown in the middle, and “Money,” complete with the opening and closing cash register noise from the original.
“The Lizards”>”Crosseyed and Painless”>”One of these Days”>”Lizards” was easily the highlight. The band doesn’t seem to miss even a single note, making this group of musicians maybe the only capable people to get up and perform the music of three of rock’s most beloved groups.
In fitting fashion, the band covered Prince’s “Purple Rain” (a song Phish has been performing for years) as a tribute to the passing of the Purple One. “Loving Cup” sent the crowd home happy and satiated.
Putnam Den, Saratoga Springs
Set 1: Aldehyde > Origami, Complex Pt. I, Peaches > Warren in the Window, Numbers and Facts
Notes: Meatstick [Phish] and Linus and Lucy [Vince Guaraldi] teases in Warren
Pink Talking Fish
In The Flesh>
Life During Wartime>
Have A Cigar>
Wild Wild Life>
Pigs (3 Different Ones)>
This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)
Run Like An Antelope
Making Flippy Floppy**>
Crosseyed And Painless
One Of These Days***>
Birds Of A Feather
*w/ Prince Caspian tease
**w/ Rift tease
***w/ “Still Waiting” vocals
%solo piano performance by Richard James