by Sam Castellano
Well, this was the first time I’ve seen Trey since last summer’s tour opener in San Diego. Last year was indeed fun. Trey dancing with Jennifer Hartswick, “Last Tube” for the surfers, and really an all-around good time. But something was different this year.
A year has passed, they’ve had more time to play, and they’ve recorded an album. In short, this band is A HELL OF A LOT TIGHTER!!! The crowd was really charged when Trey and the band took the stage. They opened right up with a killer “Simple Twist Up Dave.” I was really impressed with Cyro Baptista right from the start. His percussion added so much more to the music. It gave many songs that extra funk with a Latin feel to it. Then they played the instrumental “Tube Top Wobble.” All ten of them were really on during the changes, really tight!! “Push On ‘Til the Day” was what the song I was waiting for, and the crowd was super psyched at this point. Jennifer Hartswick and Ray Paczkowski busted out a great little duo solo. We want the funk, and we got it!! Then Trey had his first remarkable solo of the night. The lights added another aspect to the mind-boggling jamming. “Sweet Dream Melinda” was next up, though I had not heard it before. Jen was playing with a Harmonn mute during the intro while Trey was instigating some fun with a little girl in dad’s arms in the front row. Cyro continued to amaze all through this song and through the whole show! “Sidewalks of San Francisco” was another cool one. Though its predecessor was a great tune, “Money, Love and Change” bought down the house! The ten musicians really had the funk working for them here. During the jam, the horns ran offstage (one of the sax players almost tripped) and Trey took off from there. The sound with the other five (without horns) was PHENOMENAL! The horns came back out, but the jamming wasn’t through. Ray laid down an impressive keys solo, with the lights taboot! While dancing, Trey conducted the band right into “Mozambique.” A great song featuring a fabulous trombone solo by Andy Moroz. “Flock of Words” was next up. It was a little friction for the momentum before unleashing the kinetic energy of “Alive Again.” It was a great set closer. The jamming was unprecedented in the first set.
The potential energy festered for twenty minutes or so before taking off again. The second set opened with “Sand.” Although impossible in reality, this “Sand” was on FIRE!! We were, indeed, far from reality. Tony Markellis holds the tightest groove I’ve heard in some time. He reminded me of Chris Stillwell, emotionless on the exterior, but getting the job done, and damn well! There was lots of improv, sax solos, horn marches, percussion jams, and a very appropriate P-Funk jam! Trey brought it down and they went into “Mr. Completely.” It was another chance to hear Trey shine, makes me realize how I have missed that sweet sound of Trey's axe! “Noodle Rave Daddio” featured Ray in the intro and then the jam got really spacey. “Cayman Review” was the next featured tune. What more can I day about Cyro Baptista. He was all over the stage playing his washboard vest and amusing Trey during his guitar solo. “Last Tube” was the successor. Trey was GOIN’ OFF as the horns left one last time. Following the journey of the Languedoc, the horns returned. Trey brought down the band to a near meltdown before ending the piece. Dedicated to the screaming fan in the front row, “Moesha” was the set closer. It was a fun, upbeat way to end the set. The instrumental arrangement “Pebbles and Marbles” was the encore. Trey Anastasio is a true talent!
All in all, it was a great show! To think I was going to miss that show to save $$ for others, glad I did not. A predicament I’m sure everyone can relate to, and if you're like me, of course always succumbing to the enticement. I definitely suggest that if Trey is getting ready to come through your area and you’re in the same situation, fasten your seatbelt and go along for a monumental excursion!
JamBase | So-Cal
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