– Fish performed a special, not-for-profit concert to raise funds for flood cleanup efforts.
– The band showcased their musical prowess and ability to seamlessly transition between classic hits and new favorites, creating unforgettable moments for the audience.
What do you get when you blend the musical prowess of Fish, the band’s endless energy, and a heavy sprinkle of Wizard of Oz references? A very special, not-for-profit, jam-infused night at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) in Saratoga Springs, New York. The band, fresh off a summer tour, took to the stage to raise funds for flood cleanup efforts in Vermont and upstate New York, proving that their hearts are as big as their talent.
The show kicked off in style with a high-octane performance of “Kill Devil Falls,” showcasing the band’s seamless ability to transition between classic hits and new favorites. The audience was treated to a virtuoso performance from guitarist Trey Anastasio, who fired off a series of riffs that were as bewildering as they were beautiful. It wasn’t all about Anastasio, though. The rest of the band laid a solid foundation for improvisation, with drummer John Fishman’s agile hi-hat playing being a particular highlight in the band’s superb rendition of “Mal.”
The crowd was given a blast from the past when the band broke into a rendition of “Punch You in the Eye,” a song which had been absent from the setlist for almost a year. This nostalgic nod was well-received by the audience, but it was the unexpected musical tribute to The Wizard of Oz that really whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Midway through a jam, Anastasio began playing the familiar riff of “Welcome to Munchkinland,” which initially seemed out of place but soon merged beautifully with the music, creating an unforgettable climax.
The second set was no less impressive, with the band delivering an extraordinary performance of “A Wave of Hope,” a song that has become synonymous with outstanding improvisation. However, the band didn’t rest on their laurels, instead following up with a spectacular rendition of “Simple.” Bassist Mike Gordon and Anastasio created a fantastical space, transitioning seamlessly between different musical themes, much to the delight of the audience.
The performance came to a close with a soulful rendition of “Wading in the Velvet Sea,” with keyboardist Paige McConnell taking the lead vocals. As the band left the stage, the original version of “We Welcome You to Munchkinland” echoed through the venue, marking the end of a truly magical evening. Fans, left in a state of euphoria, couldn’t help but wonder how they could return to the real world after such an exceptional show. But with the band set to return to the stage for another much-anticipated performance, one thing is clear: the magic of Fish concerts is here to stay.
In bringing references from the Wizard of Oz to their dizzying improvisations, Fish proved they are in a league of their own. The band continues to cement its position as one of the greatest live bands of all time, creating unforgettable musical moments, and reminding us all that in the world of music, anything is possible. So, get ready to enter a world where “Welcome to Munchkinland” might just become your new favorite song. Bravo Fish, you’ve done it again!