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Pardon Me, Doug bringing the music of Phish to the Franco Center

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LEWISTON Pardon Me, Doug, a band that pays tribute to the music of the popular Vermont jam band Phish, will perform at the Franco-American Heritage Center on Friday, Feb. 22 at 9 p.m.

Phish is known for their dedicated legions of followers, known as 'phans,' many of whom travel great distances to see multiple shows on each tour. They're also known for their long shows that completely change from night to night. During a stretch of four Madison Square Garden concerts leading up to New Year's Eve, for example, Phish played 90 songs without repeating a single tune.

Pardon Me, Doug recognizes and respects that dedication by constantly adding to their repertoire of Phish songs for each show. They also perform songs in which the audience has its own parts in the song's arrangement, as though collectively the audience itself were a member of the band.

The level of audience participation at their shows would appear to indicate that Maine 'phans' have found Pardon Me, Doug to provide a suitable fix between Phish tours.

At a recent gig at Brian Boru in Portland, for example, the band opened the second half of their show with 'Wilson,' a song with a call-and-response part where after each 'ba-dump, ba-dump' from the band, virtually the entire crowd replied by yelling 'Wil-son!' in unison.

Taken in tandem with an upcoming show by Rustic Overtones, another by a Grateful Dead tribute band, a regular comedy series and pair of shows by Bob Marley on March 30, it's becoming increasingly evident that the Franco Center is aiming to draw in new audiences.

'Appealing to wider audiences is the central challenge of any venue, including ours,' said executive director Louis Morin, who says he'd like to see the Franco Center become recognized as 'the Merrill Auditorium of the L/A region' where all sorts of acts appear and none seems out of place.

'We'll always be the place where you can see the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra or experience an evening of songs sung in French, which we've got coming up in May with Suzanne Nance and in November with Joelle Morris,' he added, 'but I also want the 20- and 30-somethings who have never been to the Franco to see for themselves what sort of jewel they have right here in Lewiston.'

Tickets to Pardon Me, Doug are $5 and can be purchased online at, by phone at 689-2000 or in person at the Franco Center box office Monday through Friday between noon and 4 p.m.  Tickets can also be purchased at the door.  Doors open at 8 p.m. with an opening set by the Lewiston rock-reggae band Repeat Offenders.


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