Feeling the Finger Lakes

CMAC Official Poster (Welker)

Reeling in their wide-open exploration of the past few shows, Phish sculpted two sets with distinctly different vibes, delivering a powerhouse performance in the serene surroundings of Canandaigua, New York on Tuesday night. With a laid back first set that matched the feeling of the cool, upstate evening, and a fiery second half, Phish unveiled many crowd favorites en route to a start-to-finish show that will be remembered, above all else, for its stellar “Mike’s Groove” and intimate environs. Upon walking into CMAC Performing Arts Center, the uniquely designed and miniature pavilion immediately gave the show a much cozier feel than the east coast blowouts of last weekend. Many thought this Tuesday night, out-of-the-way affair would explode in a jealousy-inducing show for those not in attendance, but in a very Phishy move, the band played a straight forward setlist loaded with Phish anthems, delivering two flowing sets of music without ever moving to into the stratosphere.

6.27.10 (G.Lucas)

An uncharacteristic “Possum”opener led off the second set in rocking fashion, prepping the crowd ready for a highlight-reel “Mike’s Groove.” Blasting into the inferno of “Mike’s,” the band entered the lair of the beast with intent to slay. Trey led the band through a series of explosive peaks with snarling leads and filthy volition, scripting a menacing musical tale. As Mike’s bass pulsated at the heart of the jam, the band carved a darker version that shied fr0m dance rhythms in favor of demonic vigor. Coming out of the composed ending of “Mike’s,” for the first time this summer, Phish chose “Simple” to bridge the “Groove,” pumping consistent energy into the set. Deconstructing the feel-good groove, the band entered sparse and melodic segment that gradually morphed into gorgeous ambient space. Briefly sounding like their course was set for “2001,” Page began a piano solo over the space-aged texture, artistically slipping into the night’s big surprise – “I Am the Walrus.”

6.24.10 (J.Thomas)

The transition from “Simple’s” ethereal excursion, and Phish’s take on The Beatles’ classic, worked perfectly, infusing the show with a massive surge of retro-enthusiasm. Feeding off the energy in the small pavilion, the band continued to build out of the song’s ending, getting into a ferocious piece of heavy psychedelia. With menacing walls of sonic dissonance, Phish got straight-up medieval on the piece, as “I Am The Walrus” grew into far more than a straight ahead cover. Bringing the song further out than John or Paul had ever imagined the band carried a harrowing intensity, bringing the entire venue on a sweltering mental roller coaster. Bringing the jam to a head, Phish created another summer highlight while sliding smoothly into “Weekapaug.” All tour long, “Weekapaugs” have outshone their “Mike’s” counterparts, and once again, this version overflowed with creativity, weighting the back end of the “Groove.” Connecting several segments of galloping, rhythmic exercise with scintillating guitar leads, Trey threw down fast-paced licks of all variety amidst this dynamic piece. Moving through a minimalist, percussive section, Trey never relented with his thematic leads, providing a cohesive plot to the entire jam.

6.27.10 (G.Lucas)

The band pushed “Weekapaug” out of the box and into an abstract, bass-led swamp before the jam disintegrated, unfinished, into “Limb By Limb.” This late second-set version evoked memories of Chicago’s placement; though the band didn’t seem to connect on this outing like they had throughout the set, and the piece ended before reaching an earnest peak. “Joy” filled the late-set ballad slot before Phish dropped into “Harry Hood” to punctuate the set’s improvisation. Picking up a notable pace right away, this version carried the direction and intent of old, moving gracefully and without hesitation, through a fluid, whole-band conversation. The band moved directly to the heart of the matter, side-stepping any meandering in this potent, well-phrased dosage of bliss. Bringing the show to a purifying peak, “Hood” hit the bulls-eye last night, leaving time for an anthemic afterthought of “Golgi.”

6.27.10 (G.Lucas)

That was the second set, but the first set felt a whole lot different. Combining choice songs and plenty of structured improv, Phish played a notably laid back set to match the first pleasant evening of summer tour. The pastoral setting of the Finger Lakes region breathed life into the jams of the first set, all adopting a similar musical inspiration. Illustrated most clearly in “Ocelot,” “Reba,” and “Bowie,” this frame was underlined by its improvisational placidity. Each of these central jams sprouted creative roots within this milieu, tying the set together thematically. Trey’s minimalist playing and tasteful whaling contributed to the contour of the opening frame, which took place all under blue-to-purple sky. “The Connection” set the tone for the mellow set whose feel was enhanced by the second “Curtis Loew” of tour – when’s the last time one could say that? “Undermind” was also infused with the laid-back style on display in this non-stop summer stanza.

As we prepare for the final four night run of June, look how far we’ve come. On the third and final Tuesday of tour, Canandaigua provided a lively evening of Phish that set table for the band’s long-anticipated southern run. Ending in Atlanta on the Fourth of July, the first leg of summer is quickly coming to a close, but with four more nights on tap, the adventure is hardly over.

Look out South, here comes the end of Phish tour.

I: The Connection, Down with Disease, Sample in a Jar, Ocelot, Reba, Horn, Funky Bitch, Undermind, The Ballad of Curtis Loew, David Bowie

II: Possum, Mike’s Song > Simple > I Am The Walrus* > Weekapaug Groove, Limb By Limb, Joy, Harry Hood, Golgi Apparatus

E: First Tube

6.24.10 - Camden (Jeff Thomas)

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2,101 Responses to “Feeling the Finger Lakes”

  1. SillyWilly Says:

    kids over on hoodstream said stream should be up for second set.

    i guess it might be alphapig

    he’s usually pretty decent

  2. Skyballs Saxscraper Says:

    @ Kaya

    It took a moment for the crowd to fully realize it, but when they knew it was ole Curtis… place.blew.up.

  3. butter Says:

    i heard there is not too many nirvana cover bands down there

  4. SillyWilly Says:

    kids on hoodstream are saying cell service sucks at the venue.

  5. albert walker Says:

    5 divideds too many for my ass

  6. punkmug Says:

    Good to hear. Thanks Silly. I have to say that I’m already ready for it now! Bring it on. I’m in the zone!

  7. punkmug Says:

    Divided is weird for me. Don’t care for it much on playback, but more often then not I love it live. IE, Chicago DS was sounding really nice.

  8. willowed Says:

    Ok…well if you find one boys….enjoy
    Signing off.
    This is what’s about to happen

    Willowed: So…what’s up
    Wife: Nothing
    silence
    silence
    silence
    silence
    silence
    Willowed: What are you doing?
    Wife: Reading a book
    Willowed: Does it have pictures of motorcycles?
    Wife: No stream tonight…hun?
    Willowed: (Head down)……No
    Wife: You’re an ass
    Willowed: I love you

  9. willowed Says:

    I felt the same way about hood and divided in 2.0- so sick of them. no life

    3.0 divided and hood vibes are back and better than ever
    5 is a bit much though

  10. albert walker Says:

    Toyota Divided was hot

    nice little Trey solo also

  11. SillyWilly Says:

    @AW

    i agree.

    i like Divided, but its always played in the 7-9 slot first set, and 5 through half a tour really is too many.

    yeah, it features Trey, but I wish they would scale it back and use it on more rare occasions

  12. willowed Says:

    remember those years when they played guyute to death……that is what’s happening with divided

  13. SillyWilly Says:

    i think maybe as the 3.0 stuff settles in, they’ll dial down the old school stuff and make it more of a treat.

    like I said, I love Divided because its such a Phishy tune, but I’d dig it more every 5 or 6 shows instead of every 2 or 3.

  14. punkmug Says:

    Its hard to beat a live DS while the sun is going down in the live setting. But yeah, its slightly overplayed this tour. Heck, not to jinx you AW but it might show up again in Atlanta at this rate.

  15. albert walker Says:

    like I said before

    I’m quite happy Divided and KDF are most likely off the table for Atlanta

    would have liked to hear Time Loves and Llama

  16. kayatosh Says:

    @skyballs

    curits is $$$. just as nice as the 6/12 version.
    6/29 connection, bitch, and bowie were high qual, as well – $$$. ocelot – $$.

  17. punkmug Says:

    @Silly. ::just poured a blueberry stout:: welcome to the Black Board. It’s good to see a new face around here!

  18. kayatosh Says:

    They’re savin whipping post for ya, aw.

  19. albert walker Says:

    you’re right it’s being played almost every third show

    gonna be hard to escape it unless they played it tomorrow

    playing tonight actually screwed me most likely

  20. VoidBoy Says:

    @Willowed,

    You still there? Feel your pain… really. Been there, been there. I feel for you….

  21. willowed Says:

    No worries AW
    I see a face melting Split with your name on it

  22. SillyWilly Says:

    So I was at this place in Madison called the Terrace. (its like this huge lakeside patio in downtown Madison) and this older dude (mid 50s) had a Telluride BG festival t-shirt on. I said “Nice shirt.” and started talking to him.

    turns out him and his buddy have never seen Phish, but they scored Phish T-ride tickets.

    I asked them if they’d sell me a two-pass.

    They said not a chance.

    bastards.

    dont even know what theyre stepping into.

  23. punkmug Says:

    @AW. Yeah, you would want it them to play it tomorrow to almost totally seal the deal that you would not hear it in GA. Alas, they played it tonight..setting up a tour closing first set appearance. Once again…sorry if I’m jinxing.

  24. willowed Says:

    Make a sign that says

    93-94 style Split please!

  25. SillyWilly Says:

    @punkmug

    LLFA. well played.

    hey, will you be at Deer Creek or Alpine Valley? Ill be at both. hope to see you there

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