Yosi worked the crowd of yeshiva students into in an immediate frenzy with his opening tune. The yeshiva students were getting rid of all the stress bottled up inside them. It's difficult work studying the torah and Jewish laws and customs and now it was time for them to let loose in a real rock club. The concert was only ten minutes old, yet a mosh pit had already erupted in front of the stage. The most pit was all fun and games until a yarmulke flew off a head onto the floor. When that happened, the mosh pit came to stop, so the yarmulke could be safely picked up and given a gentle kiss. But as soon as the guy who lost it put it back on his head, the moshing resumed. The guy got so excited that Yosi had to tell them to calm down. "I appreciate very much you enjoying the music. There is no problem with moving and dancing, just don't hurt anybody, don't hit anybody please." But, unfortunately, Yosi's request was ignored. The moshing continued all night as the guys terrified girlfriends looked on from the edge of the club. The only thing that could stop the moshing was a fallen yarmulke. There was even an occasional stage diver flying off the stage and into the crowd's waiting hands
Some memories from Yosi's Wetlands gigs:
CHRIS ZAHN: Yosi Piamenta: the Hasidic Hendrix, the Sephardic Santana, the Gefilte Garcia. We did a Rock For Shabbas benefit here. It was the first time I'd seen Yossi. It was Inasense, Yossi... I think Evan and Jaron actually played on that. Yosi came in. "Wait a second. What is this, the pot-smokin' rabbi, here? What the hell is going on?" He was great. He's just so much to deal with.
When you get him on the phone it is not a quick two-minute phone call. You are on the phone for 20 minutes. He's yelling at you. He's yelling, he's loud. We had a nice run with him. He'd fill up on all these off-nights. "You tell us, Yossi, what's a great night for you to play?" "Moooooooonday, April 14th is a great night!" "Okay, sounds good to us."
[He'd draw] guys. Jewish people. There'd be a big Hasidic Brooklyn contingent that came out. A lot of young guys. A lot of them under 21. In the Hasidic tradition, it's okay to drink if you're under 21. That's what we were told that night because there were a lot of older drinks buying for under 21. When we busted them and threw them out they were like "it's okay, it's okay". "No, it's not okay, you're under 21. Get outta here!"
RODNEY SPEED (maintenance, 1990-2001): I remember the Hasidic Jewish gentleman that became whacked out on acid. Whooooa, boy. That was so crazy.