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Hayley Jane & The Primates at The Cutting Room- NY, NY

Hayley Jane 90s show

It’s the last Hayley Jane & The Primates show of the year 🙁 They are my first tickets for 2018 though! I was excited to bring 3 more people to their first HJP show. It was also my first time in the Cutting Room in years. Located a quick walk from MSG, this venue feels more like an old-school club with tables and chairs scattered around the room, some with “reserved” tents on them, and a waitstaff hoping you’ll want to eat and drink. The elaborate stage and colorful art on the walls made the tables more of an obstacle than anything else. Every inch of the space makes you excited for a show and I was looking forward to dancing up close. The next surprise was also table related.

When Kinetic and crew found an open table, we read that there was a $20 minimum. This is after the $20 ticket price. I truly hope the band was able to up their fee for this show. They deserve it for one, and I’m less reluctant to spend on drinks when I know it’s supporting the music. Since I don’t drink, I asked for water. The waitress was quite upset and reminded me of the $20 minimum. She and the rest of the staff were running around crazy. I didn’t see my water for 15 minutes and she asked if I wanted anything else. Handing her a $20 bill I said, “just the water please.” Not happy. That was the only damper on an otherwise great show.

This was a special show too. HJP were playing a tribute to the 90s! I missed the Halloween show Jenny and the Gumps where they played tracks from the Forest Gump soundtrack and was excited about this theme show. This time last year, they played a Bowie set at BB Kings which was my favorite show of theirs I had seen up to that date. I asked Josh if he taped it am remembering now that I should ask them to circulate shows.

Hayley Jane 90s show

There are so many great songs to choose from (including some ironic choices) but honestly, I wanted to be sure they played enough of their songs as well. Blind Melon, Alanis, Green Day, Spin Doctors, and yes, plenty of the original HJP I love. Aside from staying seated, the vibe was great. Why is it that those with the reserved seats up close seem like the least likely to dance even if they could? We had a fine view I wanted everyone to want to dance. I could see Kinetic want to move more, I could see Hayley want to move more. It was important to remember this was a Phish pre-party and so we had to save energy.

I got to connect with the band afterward in the downstairs greenroom to trade hellos and hugs. Most of the band was headed to Phish; we discussed stubbing around the space to dance upstairs. Hayley and I danced the bridge this summer but she had floor tix. I’m super cool and so is the bridge but not enough of a draw to get anyone off the floor.

Although I saw Phish 19 times in 2017 (WTF, is this high school?) I feel I saw HJP more or as much. Something about intimate settings, spending time getting to know the band, being at a wedding together, and the deep, profound joy at their shows helps lift them in my memory. 2018 will provide more opportunities as well. I expect to see them at more festivals, on bigger stages, and with new collaborations.

Thank you, Hayley Jane, Josh, Justin, Ryan, and Greg.

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