Six local musicians performed at a recent show at Club Infinity in Clarence: Ando, Big Tim, Radio Music, Romey Chop$, J3 and InZanity.
InZanity, also know as Chris Zuffranieri, gave me a behind-the-scenes look back stage before the performance, and there was more action than I was aware of.
The band was expected to be at the venue by 4 p.m.. Zuffranieri, notorious for being "fashionably late," arrived at around 4:30. His friends -- Sonny "Skittles" Jones, Devon "Dorito" Taggart and Mike "Goldenchild" Zuelke, who work as hype-men (companions who help energize the crowd) during InZanity's act -- arrived shortly after Zuffranieri.
The guys, along with photographer Anthony "Tugboat" Schmidt, helped Zuffranieri prepare his props: poking tiny holes in water bottles (to unleash at the crowd), writing messages on socks and oversized bras (to throw at crowd), and setting up a smoke machine.
InZanity, a veteran to Club Infinity, had the security guards on high-alert due to his prankster tendencies.
Soon after assuring the security guard that he had no tricks up his sleeve (while casually leaving the water-bottle shenanigan out of this discourse), InZanity got on stage.
As the second act of the night, a crowd barely existed for InZanity's performance: no more than 30 people were on the floor. InZanity began his set by crouching on the side of the stage, wearing a Mike Posner mask -- poking fun at his previous show (in which Posner was to headline) that got canceled.
InZanity's first song, "Hampede," a spin-off of a Rage Against the Machine song, was an immediate crowd pleaser. Within seconds, the crowd woke up. Zuffranieri, a comic at heart, engaged the crowd with his vibrant personality, keeping the mood light with jokes while managing to perform flawlessly.
Zuffranieri's humor works to his advantage and is perhaps the most compelling part of both his music and his personality.
Though his set consisted of only a few songs, and there was barely a crowd gathered, every minute of the performance was high-energy, and InZanity performed as though he was at an arena performing in front of thousands of people.
Rapper Big Tim then took the stage in something resembling a comedy act. The set was a success, showcasing both Big Tim's skills as an artist and Zuffranieri and his crew's knack for getting the crowd going.
The show, an overall positive experience, lacked aggressive competition and smack-talking from other musicians: The mutual support the musicians had for one another was rewarding to witness. Each musician attentively watched the other acts and cheered each other on.
Though the show was small, it provided an intimate atmosphere and gave each musician's personality a chance to radiate. Every performance provided a unique experience. All six musicians have a bright future ahead.
Arianna Lang is a senior at Clarence High School.