Phish returns to CMAC after four year wait

Just before Phish sinks their toes into the ground and sets a different course for the Midwestern leg of their 2014 Summer Tour, The Vermont quartet will leave the Big Apple for greener pastures for one more Upstate stop in the Finger Lakes. Their pit-stop into Canandaigua Performing Arts Center Tuesday, July 15th will mark the 5th time Phish has visited Canandaigua; albeit only the 1st time in the past four years.

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Thus far on the 2014 Summer Tour, the band has charted new territory by perhaps placing their single-most ever determined focus on their new material, off their recently released album “Fuego”. Before the Phish faithful started hitting the message boards with “Mehs” and groans of disapproval, the first 6 shows of this tour beg phans to listen to the already interesting song combinations, cleverly slotted new album material, and in spots, those dirty, spacey jams all of us jaded vets drool over. In addition to the most recent shows at the Mann in Philadelphia and tour opener in Mansfield, Ma., Phish continued to recently please their “Upstate Base” with 3 consistent nights at SPAC in Saratoga Springs, NY over July fourth weekend, at what has evolved as the real summer home base for the band from Burlington.

In addition to staying true to his pre-tour omen of limited cover material this tour, Frontman Trey Anastasio and crew have mostly refrained from traditional second set opening favorites “Crosseyed and Painless” and “Golden Age”, despite the Mann 2nd night’s Crosseyed. The band really seems to be in their place, really focused on their core material, spanning the past 30 years and with their new material from “Fuego” –  with the title song “Fuego” really showing some tentacles as the band’s next true jam vehicle.

Canandaigua is no stranger to the strange when it comes to Phish. Informally known as the “Fleezer” show (derived from combining Finger Lakes and Tweezer) from June 22, 1995, and this NYS Music Contributor’s first show, Phish dropped an almost entire Tweezer 2nd set. Surprises could still be in store  for the CMAC as Phish has been known to drop serious sleeper setlists for shows that have yet to sell out.

Note to NYS Music readers: Tickets are still available for the Canandaigua show.