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. BingosBrother Says:

    way to rub it in my mind-hole Leo;) More details if possible.

  2. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    I wouldn’t mind a boogie on at every show I ever see

    More funk please

  3. c0wfunk Says:

    have mercy tease was columbus 00 the year w/ the giant storm..

    I saw a real legit have mercy in philly 99 during Bowie – great show there, that december tour has a bunch of hidden nuggets often overlooked.

    2 days til more phish. This band is such a powerhouse right now I am just glad it’s all going down. Still putting back together the events from merriweather, so much went down it was unreal. Just heard camden II for the first time – love the MJ stuff and the light was nice too. I am the walrus blew it up. This tour has too many highlights to even consider them all deeply.

    New phish!! counting the hours to atl.

    Tonight and tomorrow mark the first phish shows I was in the same state for and missed since 1996.

    But I’m glad for all my peeps there loving it and living it.

    Oh yeah how long ’til atl??

  4. c0wfunk Says:

    obviuosly i am the walrus is not the same show as camden, my consciousness stream got a bit out of whack there. Been working crazy long days this week trying to keep up while phish is taking my weekends.

  5. Mr. Completely Says:

    set 1: party time > undermind > funky bitch, moma > boogie on, camel walk*

    *note: entire audience died from exhaustion during camel walk

  6. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    ^aka The Jim Jones set

  7. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    don’t forget Sally

  8. c0wfunk Says:

    could throw a funky tweezer or tube in there too

  9. albert walker Says:

    tonight looked fun huh?

  10. Gavinsdad Says:

    Recap tomorrow. Sick ass show. With my friend Arthur Guinness to end the nite…a perfect circle.

  11. PBS Says:

    I guess ZZYZX’s hot tip was one night off.

    Have Mercy – Played 11 times
    Light Up – 13, all but 2 in the 80’s.
    Time Loves a Hero – 6, all but 2 in the 80’s.

    Not just a long time since played…silly rarity. Really bummed I wasn’t able to make the Raleigh>Charlotte run happen.

    ::sighs and goes back to hoping for west coast fall tour::

  12. YborCity Says:

    Walnut creek looked like a party! Any word on the Light jam? 13 min is promising… Holy bustouts, batman indeed

    A good friend of mine was there and said he had a blast.

  13. Gavinsdad Says:

    Ybor: light was dirty. These recordings are a must have.

  14. AintNoTele Says:

    Great show. I definitely had a blast, light up was rockin as all get out.

    Post show notes: don’t eat the brown acid…actually, eat the brown acid

  15. Bandito Says:

    Looks like a sick show. And the Duder got his Velvet Sea! I think he really digs that one…

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    they were going to end that set with sally > tube before, you know, the dying

    2nd set Wolfman’s > Ghost > Sand > 2001

  17. goat Says:

    @PBS, Time Loves a Hero was played at Star Lake in 98…

    Can’t WAIT to hear this show.

  18. Andrew Says:

    Light was indeed dark at times, towards the end of the jam Page threw a crazy sonic boomerang that waffled sound for a quick second…portal’d

  19. AintNoTele Says:

    Nice meeting you gavinsdad! Sorry we couldnt stick around longer. We had a lot of friends running around we havent seen in a while

  20. Mr. Murph Says:

    What a rocking show!

    Llama opener by fan request in the 6th row. First Roses of summer was a treat. Mike dropped major bombs during Cavern.

    Second set had a rocking Number Line to start. Nice little Halleys into the best Light I have ever seen. Dark and mysterious. Fluffhead is always a nice one. Light Up had some very good vocals by Page.

    Boogie encore had us all ready for tomorrow nights funk.

    Didn’t get my Weigh but I swear Mike saw my sign. Going to make another and try again.

    See you there tomorrow.

  21. Jeffiem Says:

    Just getting on after the show. It was a great one for me… My first show really knowing the music. Divided Sky was definitely a stand out in the first set, along with Roses are Free. I think the entire second set was a highlight… Light definitely stands out. Some friends had fourth row seats, so i went up from the lawn for the beginning of Set II. It was so crazy from that vantage point, with the communication. You can really feel the fact that the band is making brand new music right in front of you, especially in a space type two like tonights light. I didn’t know any of the bust out covers, but I enjoyed them all, particularly Light up or Leave me alone. Free busted open, which was awesome. Loved Coil. Loved Suzy. Love Boogie on. Love this band. Can’t wait to spend a summer with them in a couple years.

  22. lot rat Says:

    first boogie on encore since cypress night 1?

    bonner springs 00?

    the greek is coming

  23. hoedown Says:

    Wow! Looks like an amazing show. Boys are really mixing it up. Great start to the last 1st leg stand. I want to listen NOW! Congrats to all those in attendance.

  24. hoedown Says:

    I hope for Miner the show was hotter than a Cat in a Korean Deli…

  25. Born Under Punches Says:


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