Jeff Tortora, Blue Man Group member and 2010 Syracuse New Times Syracuse Area Music Awards (Sammys) Hall of Fame inductee, is taking a break from playing with his Las Vegas-based group to come home and make more music with his home-based band, The Whatafuocos. With a set list of covers spanning classic to modern, heavy to light, from Zeppelin to Primus to Filter to Rage, Tortora is more than ready for the home jam at the Lost Horizon, 5863 Thompson Road, on Friday, Aug. 19.
The Whatafuocos played a show last October when Tortora was home for the Sammys show and bassist Matt Cooper made sure to leave the invitation open for another gig the next time the drummer swung into Syracuse. This time the reunion will be even bigger than the last.
“Playing is like a vacation for me,” Tortora says in a phone interview from his bed on an early Monday morning. “It’s great. And there’s like a dozen of us playing now.”
A dozen isn’t an exaggeration. The band includes Tortora on drums and vocals, brother and guitarist James Tortora, bassist Cooper, guitarist Steve Evans, guitarist Shawn Sullivan, bassist and vocalist Jimmy Puma, bassist Dave Kane, drummer and vocalist Bob Kane, drummer Kevin Dean, percussionist Michael Paratore, violinist Leila Dean and keyboard player Steve Schad. The killer combo of rotating musicians should make for a show of “complete chaos, or rather controlled chaos,” according to Tortora. “It should be entertaining.
It’s a pretty intense set list.”
Tortora’s usual schedule calls for seven shows a week, often two a night, with Blue Man Group at The Venetian in Las Vegas. The group also travels, but for the most part, Tortora is nonstop right in Vegas, so the weeklong break at home is welcomed. “It’s been hectic but cool, and I’m super-psyched about the gig,” Tortora says. “It’ll be good to be back and play.”
Also performing that night are Silent Scenario, Give Us Jersey, The Soul Within, Nextake, Formerly Unnamed and Born Again Savages. The all-ages show starts at 6 p.m. Admission is $7. For more details, call 446-1934.