The Aptly Named Finger Lakes Live Open For Business in Geneva

The Finger Lakes region, Rochester included, is bursting with live music lately. Dan Smalls Presents has a handle on things on the south side of Cayuga Lake. On the north side of the lakes, The Smith hosts medium-sized shows at the theater and occasionally puts on some club-sized shows in smaller spaces around Geneva. But there hasn’t been a venue hosting live music consistently on a weekly basis in Geneva for a long time. Until now…

Finger Lakes Live, a near 300 capacity space, opened this past August and has been holding shows every Thursday through Saturday (and sometimes Wednesdays) ever since. The venue is drawing in both national talent like Billy Strings or Molly Tuttle Band (who played the night we visited), regional acts from Syracuse, Rochester or Buffalo and bands from their own backyard.

Owner Ian Pattison, General Manager Nicholas LaChance and Musical Director Matthew Elkin met at Hobart and William Smith College and watched as the landscape of Geneva changed throughout their time in school. The city has recently undergone a renaissance linked closely to the boom of wine and beer tourism in the area. With that success came a bunch of great restaurants and bars. But the friends spotted a need for a music venue.

Part of the beauty of FLX Live is that it is first and foremost a live music venue, and a bar second. The sound and sight lines throughout the place speak to this, with improvements still in the works. It’s a warm and welcoming place, with wood accents throughout. A long and easily accessible bar is backed by beautifully lit wooden cask bottle displays. The beer list spans all tastes with something to satisfy the snobbiest of drinkers as well as those preferring something that advertises on sports broadcasts. There is also plenty of wine and alcohol available as well. Within the next couple of weeks, they will begin offering pizza and other finger foods.

Patrons can view the show from hightop tables and chairs in an elevated area at the back of the room, which for some shows will be available for reservation, with bottle service possibly in the near future. There is also a large floor immediately in front of the stage, for those wishing to get closer to the band and dance. They will be hosting live bands of all kinds, everything from rock to folk to salsa to funk and everything in between, with DJs spinning dance music after many shows. Just a 45 minute drive from Rochester, Syracuse or Ithaca, FLX Live is well situated to draw people from out of town to downtown Geneva for live music. So look at their upcoming schedule and make a plan to check it out.

Schedule highlights:
11/22 – Aaron Lipp and the Slacktones, A Girl Named Genny
12/2 – After Funk, Formula 5
12/8 – Dead Winter Carpenters
12/30 – Big Mean Sound Machine

Learn more and hear from the owners in a great interview with Evan Dawson on Connections from September.