Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

KISS at The Amp – Syracuse, NY – August 27, 2019

August 28, 2019

This will not be a typical concert review. This is just an article about the experiences I had that evening. If it were a typical review, I would just say how great KISS was that night. They’re my favorite band. I’ve seen them in concert 27 times, 4 on this tour alone. This was, however, my first time going to the St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center Amphitheater At Lakeview On The Lake Amphitheater With The Long Name (called “The Amp” by locals).


As you can see, I’ll also be inserting pictures I took that night into this review because I know people don’t like to read too long without seeing a lovely photo.


I had not originally planned on going to this concert. I had seen KISS perform at Madison Square Garden earlier in the year, and was not sure I wanted to spend the money to see them again. Although they are my favorite band, I can admit that they charged way too much for ticket prices for this tour. Another reason keeping me from wanting to go was The Amp itself. Let’s just say it does not have a reputation of being a top notch venue. However, I noticed early on that tickets were not selling well for this show. I also knew that Ticketbastard now used “variable pricing”, which meant that the price of the ticket can increase or decrease depending on demand. So, I waited. About two weeks before the show the prices decreased dramatically and I got a second row ticket for $139. This ticket was originally priced at $750.


I also paid for “premier parking” for the event, having heard about the parking nightmares for other concerts at this venue. This cost me $52. Imagine having a venue where the parking situation is so bad that people are willing to spend $52 just to get a decent spot. Syracuse seems to have a problem with not providing enough parking for the venues they build. I’m also talking to you, Carrier Dome.


When I got to the premier parking lot, I still could not see the venue. I thought maybe it was a gimmick. Maybe the show was just going to be at the old Grandstand. After getting an airport-worthy pat down, I walked the long road down to The Amp. I must preface these next statements by saying that I hate amphitheaters, or “sheds”, or whatever they’re called. They’re just a cheap venue made to save money on taxes, and also on heating and cooling the building. That being said, I was initially impressed by The Amp. I liked it more than the Darien Lake Amphitheater or the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. That really isn’t saying much though. A bowl full of rotting food would probably look good next to a bowl full of poop.


One of the first things I saw when entering The Amp was 8,000 port-o-pottys. I was afraid there were no real bathrooms. I would rather stab myself in the face with a fork than use a port-o-potty. I eventually did find a real bathroom. I walked around the venue while the opening act (a painter) was performing. There are a lot of bugs flying around. I don’t know how people could sit on the lawn with all of those little bugs everywhere. I also bought some merchandise, which included a set of KISS guitar picks. I bought these because I had seen the band three other times on this tour and had never caught a pick (foreshadowing alert). Then, at about 8:30 I made my way to my seat. The fun was about to start.


I found my seat only to have some man tell me that his wife was sitting there. So, I found someone who worked at the venue and told them. While I had a ticket for seat 9 in the row, this couple had tickets for seats 10 and 11. Only problem was, the row only had 10 seats. When this couple sat down at 6:30, they informed the staff of this and were just told to sit in seats 9 and 10. I guess the staff thought that the person who had seat 9 (me) would never come down to watch the show?


After a staff member told me he would fix the problem, I noticed him just go back to his post and stand there. It was now about 8:35, and the concert would start in 10 minutes. I went up again and asked if he was going to fix the problem. He said he couldn’t leave his post. I asked him to find someone else to help me. He told me to stand at his post while he found someone. So now I was a temporary employee of The Amp and was expected to help people find their seats. Some sort of manager came back and tried to fix the problem. She asked if I would sit a few rows back. No, I wouldn’t. I paid for a second row seat. She told the couple one of them had to move. The man had a shouting fit and said they would have to have security come and forcefully remove him. I thought this was going to be another Asian doctor on United Airlines situation. I told them I would stand in the aisle or stand at an open spot I noticed in the front row. They told me no, this would go against fire code.


Eventually the main manager of The Amp was called over. By now, KISS’s intro music was playing. He told his employees to put a chair in the spot in the front row that I mentioned earlier. So, I now had a front row seat. It all worked out fine, but it was an unnecessary headache that none of us had to go through if they had not sold a ticket that didn’t exist or if they had addressed the problem when the couple first sat down. After this happened it brought my opinion of The Amp down a lot, and it wasn’t very high to begin with.


During the first song of the show, Detroit Rock City, I caught a guitar pick that was thrown by Paul Stanley (remember the foreshadowing earlier?). I ended up getting three picks, which was the exact number that came with the set I bought earlier. I noticed they were a completely different design though. Also, one of Gene Simmons’ picks was a thick nylon design which was not available for sale. I also was able to catch a water bottle thrown into the crowd by Gene. This happened at the perfect time because the water bottle I brought with me was empty and I was really thirsty. Gene’s water was nice and cold. It was pointed out to me later that he may have drank from that bottle before throwing it, which kind of grossed me out. I didn’t even think about that. I hope he wasn’t sick or anything. Later on in the night I was able to catch, and then deflate, one of the large balloons that was thrown out to the crowd.


While trying to leave the parking lot there was an ambulance, with it’s lights on, that had to wait with the rest of the cars that were trying to leave. I couldn’t believe this venue didn’t have an emergency exit for things like that. That was another strike against the venue for me.


Like I mentioned above, I’m not going to write a detailed review of the actual show. KISS was fantastic, like they always are. I’m going to end this article by posting some links to videos I filmed.

Thanks for reading,

Video – Shout It Out Loud
Video – War Machine
Video – Calling Dr. Love
Video – Rock And Roll All Nite

CNY Nostalgia rant

April 12, 2016

I started in 2005, and in 2007. This was before Facebook and Twitter. I believe MySpace was still in its infancy. At the time, there was pretty much no other place online to view old photos and videos from the area. Actually, that was one of the reasons I started the sites in the first place. I couldn’t find anything posted online from the Syracuse area from the past 40 years or so.

When Facebook started to get more popular, I started to notice several pages popping up that were using my photos. This was kind of annoying, but also understandable. People were enjoying the photos and wanted to share them with their friends. I didn’t mind that, but just wanted some credit. After all, it did take a lot of work to find and gather all of these pictures (and videos), scan them and then post them online – not to mention the cost of running a site containing hundreds of pictures. By the way, I do all of this for free. I have ads on my page and sell merchandise to help balance the web hosting costs. These things don’t bring in a lot of money, I usually end up losing money at the end of the year. Anyway, I quickly edited all of my photos and put the “Syracuse Nostalgia” logo on them. I originally didn’t do this because I figured it would be cool to see the original, unmodified photo. I also edited all of my videos to include “Syracuse Nostalgia presents” before each clip. I then created a Syracuse Nostalgia Facebook (and later Twitter) page so I could post content myself, instead of having other pages post my pictures and videos.

It’s been a lot of fun hosting the Facebook and Twitter pages. I try to post something timely every day – whether it be an anniversary of a news item, or a video from that day 20 or 30 years ago. The pages have become quite popular. It’s great to see people’s reactions and have them share the posts and sometimes post things themselves.

However, I have recently noticed something disturbing related to my Facebook and Twitter pages. In the past year or so, a section of was created that was called “CNY Nostalgia”. I thought the name seemed a bit familiar, but also thought it would be cool to see what they were going to post. Well, I soon found out that they would often just copy what I had posted. Oh, it would not be word for word or anything but what was happening was very obvious to me. I’ll give a few examples.

  • On March 25 I made a post about the 40th anniversary of Penn Can Mall. On April 1st Johnathon Croyle posted an article in CNY Nostalgia about the 40th anniversary of Penn Can Mall. In the article, he clearly copied a lot of the information that was included in an old newspaper article about the opening of the mall. He even switched tenses in the middle of the article, first talking about opening day events in the past tense then talking about them in the present tense. This makes me believe that he just copied this old article word for word. This old article has also been posted on my site for several years. Now, I know he could have gone back into the Post Standard archives and found the article but I have a feeling he just used what he found on my site. Oh, and seemingly just to annoy me, he called my favorite mall “Penn Call Mall” in the article. I guess an editor was not available that day.
  • On February 12, Jacob Pucci posted an article in CNY Nostalgia about the history of Sweetheart Market. This article greatly resembled an article I wrote about the same topic years ago on my site. A lot of the information in this article was directly quoted from a video interview I did with Sweetheart Market owner George Gelsomin that has been on my YouTube page for several years. The CNY Nostalgia article also features a Sweetheart Market commercial that, you guessed it, came from my site.
  • On April 9 I made a post about the 38th anniversary of a University Ave fire that took the lives of four fire fighters. On April 11 Johnathon Croyle posted an article in CNY Nostalgia about the same fire. Now, this post was more personal to me because my uncle, Robert Schuler, was one of the fire fighters that passed away that day. If CNY Nostalgia had posted this article on the actual anniversary of the fire, or if they hadn’t done this sort of thing several times in the past then it would not have been so annoying to me.

Now, I obviously don’t mind if people share my photos, videos or articles. I encourage it and think it’s great. But, what has done with CNY Nostalgia several times is very inconsiderate. Like I mentioned, I don’t get paid at all for what I do with the site. But, the writers at certainly get paid for their work. For them to so blatantly copy my work is frustrating to say the least. If wanted their own version of Syracuse Nostalgia they should have contacted me. I would have gladly taken the position.

Syracuse Nostalgia on Twitter and Facebook

September 29, 2014

I don’t really use this blog much for updates any more. For more updates and information please follow the site on Twitter and Facebook.

Benny’s Lost 80s Bash concert review – SRC Arena, Syracuse, NY 8/2/14

August 3, 2014

Although I have never posted a concert review on Syracuse Nostalgia before, I thought Benny’s Lost 80s Bash would be a good place to start. For one thing, it took place in Syracuse (at the SRC Arena at OCC), and for another, it was a nostalgic 80s show. So, it seemed appropriate.

Tickets for the Bash were given away for free at local Geico locations a couple of months before the concert date of August 2, 2014. All proceeds from the event, which included parking fees, merchandise, donations, and concessions went to the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund. We also found out during the show that, other than travel expenses, none of the bands were paid for their performances.

The doors to the venue were supposed to open at 4pm. However, when we arrived at 4:15, we found a line of a couple hundred people waiting to get in the building. People were complaining about having to wait so long, and were fearful that it would start raining. People were also getting hungry and had to use the bathroom. We saw several people (probably illegally) go into the port-o-potty behind a fence that was in a construction area. We also saw a couple people get tired of waiting and leave the line. At about 4:50pm, we were finally let into the arena.

After a visit to the concession stand to get some typically “nutritious” concert food and then to the merchandise stand we took some seats in the bleachers on the side of the arena. The venue was not full by any means, but it was a good sized crowd. I’m bad at estimating these things, but I would guess there was about 1,000 people there, give or take a hundred or so.

The first performer was advertised as “Christopher Anton of Information Society”. I did some research about all of the bands before the show. I found out that Christopher was not the original singer of Information Society. He joined the band in 2006 and was replaced by the original singer in 2008. So, he did not exactly fit the 80s theme of the night. As it turns out, his band was a melting pot of 80s musicians. The drummer was from the band When In Rome, and the saxophone player was from Oingo Boingo. Christopher also started what became to be a trend of the night, playing 80s hits from other bands. Here the band plays When In Rome’s “The Promise” –

The next band up was Animotion.


Both original vocalists Astrid Plane and Bill Wadhams seemed to still be having fun on stage after all these years, which made for a very enjoyable performance. Vocally, they sounded great but something seemed to be missing from the band’s sound. It was soon apparent that it was the lack of a bass player in the band. The mustachioed keyboardist tried to cover up for this, as did the saxophone player (they again had the Oingo Boingo saxophonist playing with them). This was strange because, according to their Wikipedia page, Astrid was married to their bass player, Charles Ottavio. The mystery was solved at the end of their set when Astrid announced that she was recently divorced. The band also kept up the night’s trend of playing songs made popular by other 80s bands. Animotion played Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me”, claiming that “everyone thinks this song was by us anyway”. They ended their set with their hit, “Obsession”.

Next up was Dramarama, who had a much heavier rock sound than the first two pop bands.


Dramarama was the surprise hit of the night, despite being the one band with which the crowd was least familiar. I would have to guess that they had more people gathered close to the stage for their performance then any other band that night. Singer John Easdale was the one artist I saw that came out to the merchandise area to sign autographs, take pictures, and talk with people. Other artists may have done the same, but I did not see them. Here they perform their hit from 1985, “Anything, Anything” –

Following the surprise hit of the night, was the surprise let-down of the night, Tommy Tutone.


In this article, I’m going to refer to Tommy Tutone as the singer, although I know that’s not his name and it’s officially just the “band’s name”. To me, that’s about as silly as Darius Rucker from Hootie And The Blowfish getting angry when people call him “Hootie”. Come on, you’re Hootie. And Tommy Heath is Tommy Tutone. Anyway, Tommy and his band were very disappointing. His voice sounded awful, and the band was very sloppy. They all seemed very disinterested in being there. They also kept up the night’s trend of playing other band’s hits. They played a Tom Petty song so badly I could barely tell what it was, and they played another southern rock song so poorly that I couldn’t remember what it was right after they played the song. During their performance I kept thinking of a skit from the show “Will & Grace” where the character Jack is in a restaurant and yells “Shut UP, Patti Lupone!” at the Broadway star (see what I mean here). Anyway, I kept thinking, and saying out loud in Jack’s voice, “Shut UP, Tommy Tutone!”. They ended their set with their hit “Jenny (867-5309)”, which was also barely recognizable. I’ll spare you from having to see a video from this performance.

Before the next band performed, we were greeted by a surprise appearance by Stephen Baldwin. It was very nice that he came out to support his mother’s cancer charity, but he wasn’t that great at being a hype man. You could tell he was a bit uncomfortable talking on the stage.

The next band to perform was Naked Eyes.


Naked Eyes was originally a duo consisting of Pete Byrne on vocals and Rob Fisher on keyboards. Rob died in 1999 at age 42. Pete reformed Naked Eyes in 2005. Musically and vocally, they sounded great. I just thought most of their songs, aside from their two hits (“Promises, Promises” and “Always Something There To Remind Me”), were a bit dull. At least between them and Tommy Tutone we got a chance to sit down and rest our feet. Here, from our seats in the bleachers, is the band performing “Always Something There To Remind Me”.

The headliner of the night, as far as I was concerned, was A Flock Of Seagulls.


Consisting of only one original member, Mike Score, Flock sounded incredible. Missing was Mike’s infamous hair-do, replaced by sunglasses resting on top of his head. No, it wasn’t that bright in the arena. The band had a lot of energy and was definitely a crowd favorite but, unfortunately, played a very short set. This was probably due to the whole show starting about an hour late. They were so good, I taped three songs from Flock’s set.

All in all, it was a very fun night for a great charity and I hope the Lost 80s Bash will return next year!

Oh, wait. Am I forgetting someone? Oh, yes. Benny Mardones was the actual headliner of the night. However, we left after A Flock Of Seagulls. I’m sorry, I’ve never been a huge Benny fan. Also, since the show started later than planned, it was getting quite late and I had to work early the next morning. I would like to thank Benny for putting together such a great show though! It’s very rare that we get such a show in Syracuse, so hopefully this tradition will continue!

August 3, 2014

Vote for Syracuse Nostalgia!

August 31, 2011

While there is no “Best Web Site” category, we notice there is a “Best Blog” category in the Media section of the New Times “Best Of Syracuse 2011” ballot. That’s close enough, right? So, if you have enjoyed this site over the years, and you plan on voting in this year’s ballot, please click on the link below and write in in the “Best Blog” section. Thank you!
Here’s the link to the ballot –

New video clips posted

July 16, 2010

I’ve just added several new (old) local commercials and news broadcasts to the video section. Click here to check them out!

Syracuse Nostalgia

Over 40 Syracuse video clips added

September 19, 2009

I’ve just added over 40 Syracuse, NY video clips to the Syracuse Nostalgia site – including old news clips, local programs, and commercials.

Click here to go directly to the video page.

If anyone has any old video tapes (VHS, Beta, U-Matic, etc.) containing programs taped in the Syracuse area prior to 1995 and would be willing to let me borrow them for use on this site please send me an e-mail at . After I go through the tapes, I will send them back (if you want them) and, if I find any clips to use for the site, will send you a DVD including these clips.

Also, if anyone happens to know what happened to all of the WTVH Video Archives please send me an e-mail at the address above and let me know!

Thank you,
Syracuse Nostalgia

Videos gone from site

February 18, 2009

YouTube has permanently disabled my account for a couple of videos that they claimed were “copyright infringement”. Aside from the fact that I don’t agree with this, the thing that upsets me the most is the fact that they not only deleted the videos in question, they deleted my whole account – including several home video clips that were absolutely no one else’s property but my own. So, I will be creating a new account and will be uploading these videos again. This will take a very long time. Also, all of my videos will be made “Private” from now on so no one will be able to search YouTube and find them. I hate to do this, because a lot of people have found my site because of YouTube, but I can’t risk this happening again. So, once the videos are re-uploaded, the only place you’ll be able to see them is on my site.


New Syracuse commercials & news clips added to site

December 28, 2008

I just added several video clips to the Syracuse Nostalgia site, as well as one to the Penn Can Mall site. Click on the links below to go directly to the new pages.

Syracuse, NY News Reports – Page 3

Syracuse area commericals – Page 4

Penn Can Mall video clips