For four-fifths of Generation Gap, the rock band's gig Tuesday at the New York State Fair will feature the music of their formative years: the '70s.
The fifth member of the band is living his formative years now.
Guitarist Gio Pettigrass, 17, joins drummer Sam Chindamo, bassist Kevin Kiniry, singer Sue Alexander and guitarist Michael Montagna in the Auburn band. Its name plays on both the age difference between Gio and his boomer bandmates, as well as the wide chronological range of material they cover.
Tuesday in the fairgrounds' Empire Room, however, Generation Gap will lean heavily on the Creedence Clearwater Revival, Eagles and more '70s music in its catalog. They'll do so in the spirit of the day's Chevy Court headliner, The Commodores.
Chindamo, the owner of Sam's Shoe Service, said the groundwork for Generation Gap began about three years ago at a local graduation party. He hadn't picked up the sticks in 20 years prior, he said.
Gio Pettigrass played "Guitar Hero" before he became one.
Six months later, the debut show took place in Alexander's garage. Then Gio came along.
Chindamo praised the young guitarist's chops, which won him Best Guitarist honors at the Rockin' the Redhouse Battle of the Bands event in March at the Landmark Theatre in Syracuse.
"Gio plays guitar like there's no tomorrow," Chindamo said. "Everything clicked."
Gio's youth doesn't put him on a different musical page than the rest of Generation Gap, Chindamo said. On the contrary, the young guitarist and occasional keyboardist is as keen on playing Elvis or Stevie Ray Vaughan as everyone else.
The fair will mark the first show outside the immediate Auburn area for the band, whose schedule has been getting busier this summer, Chindamo said. Its clip of one gig every five days should calm down by November, he said.
But that, of course, depends on how many fans Generation Gap — and its unique age dynamic — wins at the fair.
"The younger people are dazzled by (Gio) and the older folks just like what we play," Chindamo said. "It's a really nice package."
Five questions with Generation Gap drummer Sam Chindamo
Q. What's the first concert you remember seeing?
A. Man oh man, I went to like 100. Maybe AC/DC.
Q. What's one venue you've always wanted to play?
A. Harborfest in Oswego, on the main stage.
Q. Who's your biggest musical influence?
A. (Led Zeppelin drummer) John Bonham.
Q. Do you have a desert island album?
A. A CD of all Allman Brothers Band.
Q. What's your favorite song to play live?
A. It's not even much of a drum song, but "Knockin' on Heaven's Door."