Trey Anastasio Band | Atlanta | Review | Photos

Words By: Ryan Swerdlin | Images by: Ian Rawn

Trey Anastasio Band :: 11.11.11 :: The Tabernacle :: Atlanta, GA

Photo gallery below review!

Trey Anastasio by Ian Rawn
Trey Anastasio blew the doors off of Atlanta’s beloved Tabernacle with the help of his cast of incredible musicians that make up Trey Anastasio Band. TAB, which in its current incarnation consists of drummer Russ Lawton, bassist Tony Markellis, keyboard master Ray Paczkowski and a three-piece horn section consisting of trumpet player and incredible vocalist Jennifer Hartswick, Russell Remington (saxophone, flute) and Natalie Cressman (trombone, vocals). The band played many old favorites along with a handful of covers sprinkled throughout the show, which proved to be one memorable night of music. Whether this was your first TAB show or if you were a seasoned vet, there was no way you were leaving the 11.11.11 show without a smile on your face.

From the start of the show, which opened with “Gotta Jibboo,” everyone in the venue was fully aware that the band was on fire and they were not going to waste any time. “Jibboo” was followed by a great version of “Burn That Bridge,” which had a slower blues feel than the norm. “Mozambique” was next and was just enormous! This tune is an amazing fusion of jazz and Latin beats that featured the horn section in one of the highlights of the night. Cressman took the spotlight first followed by Hartswick, both not wasting one breath of air. Both of these ladies are true talents and “Mozambique” was proof that they belonged on stage with the rest of the all-stars in TAB.

Jennifer Hartswick by Ian Rawn
The first set continued with “Alaska” followed by a great rendition of “Ooh Child” which brought the collective heart rate in the room down a couple of notches before blasting back off. “Money Love and Change” ended with a great jam featuring keys player Paczkowski which set the tone for an up-tempo, crowd pleasing “Burlap Sack and Pumps” that really highlighted Remington, who was playing tenor saxophone and boasted a great solo. “Cayman Review” came next and was a great blues tune to give everyone an opportunity to catch their breath and get a beverage. Next was a great suite of covers beginning with “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” which was only fitting being in downtown Atlanta and featured the horn section holding down the main fiddle portion of the tune. This was a very unique rendition of such a great Southern classic and got the crowd jumping up and down. Bob Marley’s “Small Axe” came next but was played as an instrumental, which allowed the horns and keys to shine during verses - another great version of a classic. TAB closed the set with “Push on Till the Day,” which was a great up-beat tune to wrap up a smoker of a set.

Trey Anastasio by Ian Rawn
Second set started with “The Land of Nod,” which had a great reggae-funk feel and got the set started off on the right foot. “Sand” came next and was a monster of a jam. The band let the music glide as Paczkowski took another lead on the keys for this airy version, which was followed by a poppy “Valentine” and a slow perfectly executed “Frost.” The blues anthem “Snake Head Thumb” came next and Harstwick offered her amazing pipes on some incredible backup vocals on this tune. Also to be noted was the thick bass line Tony Markellis was laying down here – detail worth noting on recordings of this show. “Magilla” came next and brought the vibe in the room to an old speakeasy where folks were waiting on their whiskey-rye and cigars while watching a big band play. “Pigtail” followed with “Simple Twist Up Dave” directly after which was, as always, a funky rocker. “Let Me Lie” and “Liquid Time” were placed within the set perfectly, allowing folks to again catch their breath and enjoy a great ballad.

The crowd erupted with the first notes of the next tune, a cover of The Gorillaz’ “Clint Eastwood.” You could hear almost everyone in the room singing along with the chorus, which Hartswick belted out with passion. “First Tube” was up next and was a rollercoaster of sound with the combination of Trey’s signature guitar licks along with the horn line. The end of “First Tube” was building up as if it was to be the end of the set when Trey looked back to Hartswick with a nod as she belted into the opening lines of Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog.”

The encore was great and started slow with “Windora Bug” followed by “Heavy Things.” “Show of Life” came next and would have been a great end to a great night of music. TAB had other plans as they continued on with one more cover: Dire Straits “Sultans Of Swing.” The band was in tune, the setlist was stellar, and the night could not have been any better in the eyes of this concertgoer. It is pretty apparent why TAB enjoys playing the Tab so often. Other than the shared namesake, the crowd is always on the edge of their seats, the room is always loud, and there is never an empty seat in the house.

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[Published on: 11/21/11]

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