Words by Dennis Cook :: Images by: Susan J. Weiand

Trey Anastasio & The 70 Volt Parade :: 12.02.05 :: The Warfield :: San Francisco, CA

Trey Anastasio :: 12.02 :: SF
I had all of about seven feet between a legend and me. Call him something else if you want, but his mythology precedes him. And you could feel the viscous Trey-love pouring from the faithful surrounding me. Just before the lights went down, I could see in their eyes they expected tonight to out-rock all the nights that came before. Strangely, despite where I was standing, I've never been part of this club. Phish just plain missed me. I had other things to do, and they always seemed, even in their earliest days, to have an overabundance of support and hardly needed mine. Loads of respect for 'em, but not a lot of enthusiasm. So, this abject expectation of peak experience is actually kind of odd to me. Even with bands I hold dear, I never walk in with anything but an open mind. Magic can never be assumed in my book. Yet, on every side of me, people were primed for launch. The thing for me is either the drug works or it doesn't. If you just convince yourself it's having this spectacular effect then what you have is a placebo. So, the question with Trey is this: What's the potency of what he's selling these days?

70 Volt Parade :: 12.02 :: SF
Bobbing and dipping as the pre-recorded intro recording played, Trey Anastasio buzzed with the exact same expectation. It's admirable that he goes into his performances believing that power and glory are waiting to unfold. It's sure as hell intoxicating, and even a skeptic like myself was feeling a slight tingle in my frontal lobe as they launched into "Push On 'Til The Day." Following the acoustic flurry of the opener, the fan-freakin-tastic (though quite out of place) Hackensaw Boys, it was clear the evening was to be charged by a crackling, slightly off-kilter energy.

Right away, the crotch-level pump of rhythm team Tony Hall (bass) and Raymond Webert (drums), both also in Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, grabbed our limbs and shook them like a meth-addled go-go dancer. It isn't what I expected, though I don't think I had anything but a vague idea of where Anastasio's muse had taken him lately. I'd been seriously impressed by his earlier solo band with Cyro Baptista and the large horn section, which had a '50s big band meets psychedelic rock thing happening. 70 Volt Parade embraces clean, somewhat spare arrangements with serious low-end chug. This approach works fine with the material from Anastasio's latest hyper pop album, Shine. It's when they stretched out, explored without a map, that the ensemble faltered.

Ray Paczkowski :: 12.02 :: SF
The band takes all their cues from Anastasio, who is so thoroughly the alpha male it's kind of stifling. As he meandered in one of many pointless jams late in "Night Speaks To A Woman," I was struck by what lengths fame and history allow someone to noodle. A less well-known artist would find the crowd wandering off if they took to the same confused wandering. When he left the script of actual compositions, it was clear he's not sure what to do with all this freedom he's wrestled loose in the past year. That confusion seeps into the playing of the other players in the band, who shined in moments but are clearly focused on pleasing Anastasio before serving a greater musical purpose.

That taint of ego infused the whole show. I know so little about the man that I could only judge the music based on what I was hearing, and if the newer stuff has any personality, it's his. Unfortunately, in a world where My Morning Jacket and the Mars Volta are blowing minds nightly, it's hard to regard Trey as anything but what he is presently - a middle-of-the-road legend coasting on his rep while trying to get into the mainstream. It's like watching a kid who never gets over wanting his or her parent's approval. He wants the WORLD to know his name. The gigantic, and in many respects unprecedented, success he experienced with Phish didn't fill some hole inside him, and there's something sad about music consciously designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Anastasio, Webert, Hall :: 12.02 :: SF
The songs from Shine are in a word, god-awful. "Sweet Dreams Melinda," "Come As Melody," and the title tune were all trotted out. They lack darkness, menace, some hint of anything besides comfort and light, delivered with a boatload of Hallmark clichés. But that ol' yin-yang has it right – things are unbalanced when there's an absence of one side of the eternal equation.

It makes sense that a performer with multiple millions might write music like this. His lifestyle insulates him from hardship outside of his personal demons, but want and challenges are essential. We need to wrestle our demons from time to time so we can heal into a stronger, wiser person. If you keep them outside the mansion gate, you never engage them in a way that lets you grow. It's not uncommon amongst the strata of popular musicians he's itching to join. Tom Petty, Sarah McLachlan, and their ilk all have a similar sheltered gloss. It's pretty, like chrome, but lacks any real depth. This is the music BMW SUV drivers listen to on the way to Pilates classes and Whole Foods runs. Deep it ain't.

70 Volt Parade :: 12.02 :: SF
None of this is to say he's not also pretty brilliant musically at times. His guitar dexterity is often thrilling, especially when the whole enterprise is pouring on coal and heading down a steep grade. Anastasio and 70 Volt Parade play big, big, big (when they aren't mired in the smallness of Shine). It has the enormity of Led Zeppelin or stadium-era Cure. Surrounded by mostly gifted players (there's one exception), he harnesses more energy, in moments, than almost any single human being I've ever encountered. Combine that with his enormous likeability, and you've got some serious chemistry. Call it ultra-charisma.

But charisma and unbridled enthusiasm can't erase all sins. One thing standing on his own has done is expose his voice to greater scrutiny, and it's not much of a voice. By the third tune, I was gritting my teeth. He regularly runs out of breath, his phrasing is fractured, he forgets words as often as he remembers them, and he tries for registers that serve only to crack and strain his pipes. There's a very narrow range in which he's comfortable, which surfaced during the quite nice three-song acoustic section. Maybe because of the intimacy, it was the best he sounded all night. I'm vaguely astonished that someone with his bread didn't hire a vocal coach ages ago. If Phil Lesh can humble himself enough to become a student again, there's no excuse. Sure, dig the passion he belts it out with, but that alone cannot disguise a serious want in this music.

Jennifer Hartswick :: 12.02 :: SF
The inarguable standout in 70 Volt Parade is Jennifer Hartswick, a dynamo in every respect. Singing, blowing gutsy, imaginative trumpet and tuba, or just grooving with an earthy presence, Hartswick is a delight, pure and simple. Her longtime pal Christina Durfee provided the perfect songbird accent to these very boyish tunes. A feminine presence in this setting is always welcome in my book, especially when it oozes talent and charm like this pair. Rounding out the band are Ray Paczkowski (keys), Russell Remington (saxophone, flute), and Les Hall (keys, guitar). Hall is the weak link here. His playing might be described as so subtle as to be absent much of the time. I kept trying to figure out what he was adding to the mix and frequently found myself scratching my head. I suppose it could have been the house mix, but especially when both he and Anastasio were on guitars, it was impossible to pick up his contribution.

The "surprise" of the evening came after the acoustic numbers when Grateful Dead alumni Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzman joined in on percussion. I caught myself smiling more than the just-alright performances warranted, but like the Phish fans that simply glow being in Trey's presence, I have my own nostalgia monkey to mind where the Dead are concerned. Mickey did the Mickey thing on "Iko Iko" and then banged pleasantly on myriad hollow objects for "Casey Jones" and "Eyes of the World," which had the strangest, best jam of the night (though in fairness, it too never built to anything but a confused muddle). I'll argue with anyone that Kreutzman is one of the most unsung drummers in rock history, second only to Ringo Starr in getting shortchanged for his brilliance within a band of much larger personalities. It makes me grin to see his graceful hands swim through the music. On all three tunes, he summoned images of water flowing freely in my mind. Cool.

Trey Anastasio :: 12.02 :: SF
So, back to the original question – How good is this new drug Trey is offering? Not that good really. When the first things that come to mind about a band are stamina and confidence, not emotional content or musical inspiration, it's not a positive sign. They play well, and someone totally unfamiliar with either Phish or the whole jam subculture could find their way into it pretty easily. Those people might also be Counting Crows or Coldplay fans. Without the nostalgia factor (which is HUGE), it's hard to know if the seats would be filled. The room seemed full of people ready for a fix of something they had long ago. For sure, they want to believe it's the same high, and they might be pretty defensive if you try to tell them it's a sugar pill. But listening with honest ears, what I heard was a professional, slightly self-indulgent band working through material of highly varied quality. Given the abundance of "dealers" with more potent stuff out there today, it's hard to imagine returning to Trey and his merry band again.

JamBase | San Francisco
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[Published on: 12/9/05]

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Ozox star Fri 12/9/2005 11:06AM
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Poor article. Referring to Kreutzman as "unsung" displays the ignorance that infects this entire article.

Andy starstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 11:07AM
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An interesting, albeit harsh at times, take from someone who never drank the Phish cool-aid. I can appreciate that perspective, although I think that Trey is still searching for his own groove admist the realities of evolving beyond one of the most versatile and well rounded (balanced) bands of all time.

I had a bit of a different take on the experience given the hundreds of evenings I'd spent with the man and having finally reached a point where I was willing to accept his art for art's sake. I give his new band a little more credit, but then again, I can't argue with the fact that I wasn't really ever taken 'there'.

For what it's worth, the second night of the Warfield was a whole lot better.

My Reviews

Tan starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 11:21AM
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I can't get over how right on this review is. Dennis Cook is maybe the best writer ever.

I'm a huge, huge, huge Phish fan. Still am. That shit was out of control, no doubt in my mind. I went to this show - SO pumped. Hadn't seen Trey play guitar since the last Vegas run, which had moments, but overall never gave me my 'fix'.

Needless to say - this show didn't either. Hall is a joke - was he even plugged in? Sure the Eyes jam was fun, but the actual song was so butchered, it was embarrassing.

Last time I checked, several moments of glory don't make for an awesome show. I couldn't believe my ears when I ran into people outside of the show and they were telling me that 'this night was going to go down in rock 'n roll history'. Cause Mickey Hart played a fucking cowbell? Give me a break.

In short - I had tickets to go on Saturday. But I can't be paying these kind of prices for a sick light show.

It's not like I want to write this comment either. I want to like it so much, but I can't. I pride myself on being a serious music fan. But this music just isn't for me, seriously.

In the end - it just makes me sad. Think of how much fun this USED to be.

Monica Way starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 11:24AM
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Monica Way

Dennis, thank you for finding the words to describe this time. That's the puzzle of so many Trey fans these days I think, it's finding the words for what's going on right now. And again, you really impress me with your ability to frame the uncomfortable. Perhaps it is because to you, it's not uncomfortable to talk about these things...

bbqribs starstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 11:24AM
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Wow, it takes alot of guts to write such an article. I find that most reviews on Jambase are too positive. (Some bands do suck!) This obviously wasn't such a review.
I am a great phish fan, and loved Trey's old solos stuff, but this new band sounds like a garage cover band. He says that if we don't like his new stuff than don't come. I won't

rpmills starstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 11:45AM
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Made it to Sat. night, I will say that I enjoyed myself but I left the show definitely not feeling like I had just rocked out at a kick-ass show. Trey definitely laid down some tasty licks but all in all the experience felt incomplete. Don't get me wrong I still love Big Red and will continue to support him; just waiting for him to find some solid footing again.
On Hall, he did not do much on the guitar (the keys were alright) but I do remember on Sat. night him doing some pretty cool sythesizer work. Thought I might throw a compliment his way considering the bashing he's taking.

Chip The Meat starstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 11:54AM
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Hey Trey,

Bo Bice might have been the missing ingredient to your performance.

Article was well written.

Mucho props Dennis.

SuperDee starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 12:09PM
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Hey Dennis,

I love your writing immensely. As an avid (and perhaps irrational) Trey-lover, it was both painful and understanding to read your words. I went to the show Saturday night and while most are saying it was the better show, I can still agree with all of your statements. I liked the show and had a great time because all of my friends were there, my head was loose, and one of my heroes was on stage in front of me playing the guitar that has made me gently weep so many times in the past.

Yet, you hit the nail on the head when you said there are challenges to performing in a world where bands like My Morning Jacket and Mars Volta exist. Where the Phish band, in my opinion, would still be bursting with fruit flavors in such a world, this Trey band is not doing anything groundbreaking. That is not to say I don't like it but my reasons for liking it have quite a lot to do with the past and little to do with what was actually occurring in front of my eyes.

Ah the bittersweetness of it all - it's what makes music great.

Thank you, Dennis, for your honesty and your artistic and eloquent way with the pen (or, in these modern days, the keyboard).


djwmusic starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 12:16PM
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Excellent and daring article. The views posted are one that you do NOT find on Jambase very often and it is refreshing to read an article like yours Dennis.

HickWylde starstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 12:21PM
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Ozox, I don't see how you can blame Dennis for ignorance when he clearly stated at the beginning that he was never really got the phish thing. I think it was a great article and dennis seemed to articulate what he felt from the show. It will be nice when Trey can seem to find his groove again.

banjo45 starstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 12:22PM
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I was at this show, and I enjoyed it greatly. I was even closer to the stage than the writer. It was a return to the warfield and nothing but an enjoyable show. A musician pisses a bunch of people off by doing what he wants to do. Calling the songs boyish, and bitching about him trying to be mainstream. It sounds like you only went because you got paid for the article. Just have fun damn it.

Del starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 12:22PM
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Puhlease. This article is so on the money.

I avoid Trey shows like plague because I don't want him to ruin my memory of all the great things he has done before.

Show me a great guitarist in the world, history, whatever, who hasn't been able to be a secondary player, or just a lead guitarist in a band? I mean, Hendrix even blended at times. John Mclaughlin managed to do it. Countless others have too. But not Trey. He's too lost in his own world, ego, and music.

Without Phish he's just a run-of-the-mill musician. Chances are you can see a better band than his 4-5 nights a week at the 55 Bar in New York City.

Del starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 12:29PM
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although, let me add, this part:

-It makes sense that a performer with multiple millions might write music like this. His lifestyle insulates him from hardship outside of his personal demons, but want and challenges are essential. We need to wrestle our demons from time to time so we can heal into a stronger, wiser person. If you keep them outside the mansion gate, you never engage them in a way that lets you grow.

-is really weak, and unnecessary. check your personal thoughts on how they operate at the door. does Bruce Springsteen magically get out of the gates?

other than that, great.

Vega Productions starstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 12:31PM
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Vega Productions

Sadly....I have to agree with this article.

Trey, you will never admit to reading--or maybe admit to CARING about these posts, but I think that you might want to have a looksy at what people think of your current show.
It is great that you have tried to clean up your life, but this joy juice that you are spewing is best kept for back-yard bonfires--not $50 a pop theatre performances. Give PHISH some respect and hang it up.

After saying this--I can't wait to get my hands on the 95' NYE show!

camcombs starstar Fri 12/9/2005 12:33PM
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Trey Anastasio has charm. He is like an old friend that you love, and admittedly he can get away with some things that one would be pissed about if it was your first show. Alot of people have spent days/months/years with this man, and your remarks are just too easy to write...The Tom Petty, Sarah Mclaughlin comparison is fair, but what are they supposed to do? Mess their own life up for artists sake? That would be Layne Staley... Also, what does comparing Mars Volta and MMJ do to add anything to this article? Dig deeper and have a bit more respect for a living legend.

Ozox Fri 12/9/2005 12:37PM
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Hickwylde, I called him ignorant because he is and on top of that he is unprofessional. He made his point, then goes out of his way to insult. Calling the music boyish can serve no purpose but to insult and berate (all after one evening) Anybody who knows anything about this type music knows you don't make statements like that after one freakin show. Being one to call em like I see em - the guy is a hack.

puffinandy starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 12:41PM
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Dennis Cook you are my hero keep it up!!! and Ozox, read the article again and figure out what dennis meant by "unsung" before displaying your ignorance. Also i agree much respect to Phish, but trey alone...... aint cuttin it.

theheatson Fri 12/9/2005 12:43PM
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Have not seen him since coventry, and I won't until he's back with PHISH. Don't worry he'll come around. I like Like Mike if Trey could be like Mike.

KennethNoisewater star Fri 12/9/2005 12:51PM
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This article is awful...

"That taint of ego infused the whole show. I know so little about the man that I could only judge the music based on what I was hearing..."

The author sure talked a lot of crap for claiming to 'not know anything about the man." This guy obviously does not like phish, or trey at all. Just a little biased. I bet his Widespread Panic reviews are the exact opposite of this. To Jambase: Fire whoever wrote this. The article is horrible.

johns13 starstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 12:53PM
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Well written and objective. I think this scene, particularly the ex-phish crowd, need to hear these objective voices. I am a die hard phish fan and left the recent trey tour opener in minneapolis feeling deflated. The new songs off of shine are too poppy and thin and the band playing them was too PRODUCED to seem genuine. I couldn't help but notice all the cock rock that was going we really need to see so much sword fighting? It seems that there was a lot of ego stroking going on onstage.

The sad part was the best part. The acoustic section of the show was great fun and the crowd went absolutely ape shit. What i don't understand though is why trey continues to play these songs in a solo-acoustic setting and not electricly with his band. If you still love the songs and want to play them, give them their due. But that just begs the question - if the songs are still worth something, isn't the band that made them what they are worth something as well?

Still waiting for trey to come to his senses and into his own.


cofor20 starstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 12:53PM
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Tantheman summed i"t up for me:
It's not like I want to write this comment either. I want to like it so much, but I can't. I pride myself on being a serious music fan. But this music just isn't for me, seriously.
In the end - it just makes me sad. Think of how much fun this USED to be. "
I saw Trey on Leno last night. It mad me sad & confused. I would have never did that in front of people.

Jazzzzz starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 12:55PM
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Jambase FINALLY found a writer! Your amazing. I hope you stay around, the site really needs it!
Article well articulated.

SaltyDog star Fri 12/9/2005 01:04PM
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Dogging Tom Petty? Shame on you.

I agree that the songs on this new album totally lack substance, but you are absolutely clueless from that point forward.

And what's with the stereotypes? "This is the music BMW SUV drivers listen to on the way to Pilates classes and Whole Foods runs. Deep it ain't."

Dude, you and your writing are completely unprofessional. Continue to enjoy writing long winded drivel for free for Jambase.


shmc starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 01:05PM
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Great review Dennis. Always enjoy your perspective and insights. The review reminds me of the last Trey show I should not have gone to.

matbeck starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 01:14PM
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adamb star Fri 12/9/2005 01:19PM
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You are friggin nuts...please don't come back to see Trey again. You must have been the one that threw the cup.

EJBCO starstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 01:31PM
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Wasn't at the show. And I'm not the biggest Phish or Trey fan. But while I appreciate your concerted effort to see things/shows objectively and report them as such, I have to agree with Ozox. Your assessment of both Bill Kreutzman and Ringo Starr as drummers to appreciate deflates the remainder of your arguments. Kreutzman, being the better of the two percussionists is average at best. And Ringo? Geeze man, the band was better off when Paul sat behind the kit and secretly recorded over his boring drumming. With all of the creativity of the Beatles and the fact that all they did in the end was record in the studio makes Ringo's lame contributions to their efforts stand out even more so as incredibly and obviously lackluster. I often wonder how much better the Beatles music would have been with a competent and creative time keeper to back them. My guess is we would all know the difference upon the first listen.

Crazy Shoes starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 01:39PM
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am a huge phish fan and have been for years. Denis hit the nail on the head with this one. Instead of simply bashing he thought it out and questioned what happened instead of just saying this sucks. Great writing! To bad trey can't find his groove that we all want to hear so much.

theragman starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 01:40PM
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I'll be honest. When i saw the part about you never having been into Phish i was expecting another "snobbish indie scene writer gets sent to jam band show and hates hippies" deal. But you tapped right into the vein that's inside everybody interested in Trey's MUSIC not parking lot party right now.

good work. A+

JeffM starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 01:50PM
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Great review. Very well written.


ec123 starstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 01:57PM
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A nice un-objective article..I disagree with Dennis, but appreciate his views. After all music is personal taste.

As for Trey, I saw him in the spring in NY and again this Fall. The band and the music have gotten much much better, and I had a great time at the show this fall. Its rock and roll, full throttle, good times..well worth $35. I agree MMJ in concert and on cd is AMAZING....but you can't compare Trey to that band, they are compltely different entities and at entirley differnet stages of their careers. As for happy go lucky songs on Shine...its a friggin pop album, what else do you expect, especially coming from phish where the lyrics were never the focal point of the band. Its funny when people write positive lyrics in rock, they are all of the sudden a pussy. Its ridiculous.....we have more than enough negativity in this world, and I don't need Trey to sing about it. Think of Trey Band as a better version of "Wings"....

Anyway I feel trey is onto something here thats only going to grow and jell as the band takes time people!! In the meantime keep exploring new music

thesaxophonist starstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 01:58PM
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great article man, someyone needed to say it. unfortunatley i dont agree totally. i think that i let the unattractive parts of his 70 volt parade go because it's just as much fun, for me, to see the guy get off while he's playing. whether or not it creates a tremendous sound it's awesome he is sticking with it. music doesnt always have to be perfect or be better than the other. part of the glory of music, again for me, is that there is the ability to make mistakes. not being able to hit that high note with his voice or bends the string the wrong direction is beauty within itself.
i remember when i first hear hendrix, i couldn't get into it, that acid rock guitar solos and his playing just didnt get me off so i didnt listen. trey, no matter what he plays will please ears and make people smile just because of this energy the man gives off.

Ozox Fri 12/9/2005 01:59PM
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Puffinandy, I know exactly what was meant by "unsung" so get off your high horse.

This article was written a jaded dead head - quote -("I have my own nostalgia monkey to mind where the Dead are concerned.")who had no business at the show in the first place. The only people who liked the article are those whos opinion was backed by it. The article is a joke, I'm not going to go as far to say the same about the author but it's drivel like this that makes people not want to log on to this site.

I understand and respect a writer trying to get his opinion acrossed, but the manner in which it was done was both lacking in class and taste. For example - quote - "This is the music BMW SUV drivers listen to on the way to Pilates classes and Whole Foods runs. Deep it ain't."

I mean give me a break. How childish~

Goaty starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 02:11PM
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Phish rocked my world over and over again and I left the trey show feeling unrocked and went to an umphreys show later in the week and got rocked ten times the amount I did at trey.

SugarMagnolia456 starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 02:12PM
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extremely well written, and really analyzed trey's new concerts quite tell.

people critisizing this for its small subtle mistakes are being rediculous.

jahrome17 star Fri 12/9/2005 02:16PM
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I can't believe this article. First, to say "The songs from Shine are in a word, god-awful." is arrogant and just plain wrong. The writer of this article is very obviously NOT a songwriter. Actually, if ANYTHING, Trey's new songs are better than ever, from a song-writing aspect. The very fact that people are quick to label his songs "poppy" is actually an indication that his songs are good. People like well-crafted poppy songs, whether you music snobs like it or not. A song does not have to be incredibly complex or include excessive noodling to be a good song.

Additionally, 70V Parade is not a nostalgia-fest. Maybe it was for this writer, but my experience has been that people with OPEN MINDS are actually really enjoying them (especially with the new drummer). This article was the biggest load of crap I've read in a long time.

Andrew W. starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 02:23PM
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Andrew W.

Honestly... to say that "This article was written a jaded dead head - quote -("I have my own nostalgia monkey to mind where the Dead are concerned.")who had no business at the show in the first place." is pretty much the most close minded statement written here. Anyone can go to any show and say whatever they want about it.

Also, would you rather JamBase publish only positive reviews brah? I would have to say that pusblishing the glowing "Trey melted my face and I was in heaven staring into his dreamy bloodshot eyes" wouldn't be doing anyone any good. A spade is a spade my friend. Sorry to harsh your leftover 90's buzz but the fact remains that his shows would not sell one ticket for it not have been for Phish.

Phish was the best thing that ever happend to my young life in the early 90's, and although I loved the show I agree that Trey and 70 Volt Charade are a nostalgia act. Dennis hit it on the head.

Anyone remember the Bittersweet Motel scene about pissing in our ears. Well, I bet Trey more than not appreciates criticism and if he can deal, so can his fans.

greenbear starstar Fri 12/9/2005 02:35PM
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i was there, bben there before!!! and guess what- i wasn't judging it like some new huey drug. don't need a fix, just fun, friends, and a forum. got what i wanted- and for half price in front of the warfield. i'd be thankful too to play some tunes on a BMW SUV on my way to whole foods- maybe berkeley, or mill valley, but huh- we're they vegan....
yea, sometimes it seems trey has gone lame, but atleast his new is cause it is compared to the old... this guy the auther- seemed a little lame... do we have something of his to refer to? and oh god- lets run out to MARS... maybe in a huge arena or something...
dude, take it from me, get a job that doesn't involve cliches....

SaltyDog star Fri 12/9/2005 02:40PM
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Go take a look at this guy's website:

It really tells the story. My favorite is where he has zoomed into the photo showing he wrote the cover story about MMJ for An Honest Tune.

You da man dude. I'd rather read a Street Sheet. What a tool.

distresstube star Fri 12/9/2005 02:42PM
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dennis- i understand that a lot of these people like your writing, but it's only because they share in your provincial point of view.
you're a hack! those comments about sara mclaughlin and counting crows...coldplay and tom petty "and their ilk"...
can't you make a coherant argument without marginalizing the work of others? your credibility is at stake here, bro. you can't afford to go on your ad hominim attacks and think of yourself as a legitamate writer.
and your contempt for "BMW SUV drivers", "pilates" and "whole foods" speaks more about YOU and your scornful crusade against your own subjective perception.
all this, and i haven't even touched on the matter at hand. well, i'll save it for later. for now, brush up on your skills, and i'll check back in on you later.

Ozox Fri 12/9/2005 02:50PM
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conductor, You call my statement close minded but provide no explaination as to why. Provide backing or some sort of reasoning, otherwise your comments will be brushed aside and viewed as baseless. Also, I never said he couldnt go to the show lol. Reading comprehension > conductor.

McReed star Fri 12/9/2005 02:51PM
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Hey, I also think Trey's shows are pretty weak these days, but this writer is a LOOSER.

"This is the music BMW SUV drivers listen to on the way to Pilates classes and Whole Foods runs. Deep it ain't."

Very high school buddy. Your words have far less depth than any of Trey's crappy new songs. The harsh review of Trey at Bonnaroo was good, but the difference here is the writing. These are the words of a teenager.

clasbrown Fri 12/9/2005 02:55PM
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WHOAH! two things: this is drivel. really, such writing would be better suited for the local rag in cliche, france.
at times it seemed the author was likely cramming for a midterm in rockpsych 101, not actually at the shows. second: trey is THE hot topic and,obviously, people respond to/adore negative reviews. yes, there should be less sycophantic crap (see all the 'dennis is awesome' posts), but not just for the sake of being negative. this is often hollow, off-base hating and really seems juvenile. please, to those disillusioned and disgusted, leave trey behind: he is washed up and tapped out. yeah, the parade hasn't been quite that from the start, but i genuinely feel bad for those that couldn't enjoy these shows. jbc's all round.

Cirrities starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 02:56PM
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What irks me about so many of these comments is that everybody is speaking in such definitive terms. Music and art are not static, they are constantly evolving. New bands are rarely (of ever) going to be good out of the gates. Trey's got a new band, he's feeling his way with them and its an evolving process. I think this is an important perspective to keep in mind.

Arod starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 02:59PM
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I agree with Dennis. Well written, people are following around this band waiting for their fix. I believe that the acoustic set says. This is what we had and here is a taste of greatness. I LOVE Phish and have been to over 70 shows but people are following Trey and as stated in their movie he could urinate in the phans ears and the still would come back. This is what 70 Volt Mascarade is about.

Kayceman starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 03:02PM
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Well this sure is fun.. and i mean that quite literally. It's amazing to see how defensive folks are, but on the other hand it's nice to see how passionate folks are. But come-on, let's be realistic here - like his opinion or not, Dennis Cook is a damn fine writer. Sure that's my opinion, and yes, i am the Editor - but that also means i read reviews/articles all day long. So to quantify all this shit talkin; to those saying what a hack Dennis is - or how juvenile, and what poor writing blah blah, to give yourself a leg to stand on, i would love to see a sample of what y'all (y'all being those talking crap about Dennis the Writer) - i'd love to see an example of something you DO find to be of quality? I look forward to reading something that you find to be "on the level." Thanks for playing... kayce

Andrew W. Fri 12/9/2005 03:03PM
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Andrew W.


I must have touched a nerve with you. Honestly, I am not going to get into a pissing match with you, at all. I said that was a close minded way of thinking because your statements are exactly that. Why can't someone dislike a show and write about that negative experience and have that be accepted as one mans opinion. One man whos opinion was asked for.

You called him a "hack". How many articles have you read by this guy? Well, if it was just one then aren't you doing the very thing that makes hima hack in a the first place? He went to this show to provide an outsiders insight. Someone who had no pre-concieved thoughts about what it should be, and I think that is the best way to approach Trey these days. We were all there "back in the day". Its about time for a fresh perspective, and we got it. Sorry you took the review so personally.

Have a nice day.

j.Gibson starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 03:04PM
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dennis's knowledge of music is unparalleled..please read his other reviews and or his cooks corner to prove it. this review comes with much deserved credit of a true music fan.i am glad that jambase had someone review the show that was not biased in any way. putting up with songs to get to the good ones (or walking to the bathroom) and or going to see a show because your friends are there ...aren't the reasons why you love music or go to see it...... .......thank you dennis ..for the darkside and edge

SaltyDog star Fri 12/9/2005 03:07PM
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What irks me among other things is:

My homepage throughout the 90s was Andy's Phish Page.

Trey basically is the reason there is a Jambase. (Read Andy's goodbye as he lifted the page from the net.) Now I am all for an objective review. It's defnitely not about this site being a Trey lovefest. But the immature bashing is SOOOO off the mark.

Is Jambase really this hard up for reviews? Come on guys.

clasbrown Fri 12/9/2005 03:15PM
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Kayce-please. y'all do get some well-written stuff show up on this site; i did enjoy your spread article for one. but i hope you are defending your guy's cred instinctively and that this isn't a sneakpeak into what the editing crew will look for in quality. sure, noone should be too offended here, and sounding off is all good and fun but c'mon...let's call a hackjob a hackjob and move on to the next story.

drewernie starstar Fri 12/9/2005 03:22PM
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Its apparant that many are still going to see Trey for Phish. "...its not the same." kind of statements. I think Dennis's mind set is a good one: go to the show with an open mind. His opinions are his and that's fine. But to have an article published on a major site like jambase and begin the article with comments like "I know so little about the man" is elementary. I guess that's why it was followed with comments about Trey being too proud to be a student. If he knew the most basic thing about the man is that he is a living student. How many hours a day did Phish practice most days? More than some bands in weeks. How about barbershop quartets? That's a pretty neat class to take for a rock'n'roller. But since you don't love his voice he's doing something bad and arrogant? What about Bob Dylan's voice?
Anyone can write opinions but please back them up w/ a little study time and facts instead of insulting all of us who just wasted our time reading this.
TreyBand isn't that good. True. Moments are good, however. And this is a fairly new band and that's promising.
But Dennis, you did go see a band that is named after one man in the band. So maybe you shouldn't be so supprised to see him as an alpha.

reapandsow starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 03:24PM
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so, i don't want to say anything about trey, phish, the shows at the warfield, or anything like that... because enough has been said about that. i want to talk a little bit about this forum that jambase is so wonderfully trusting and generous in providing to all of us. why do some of you feel the need to throw such stones so quickly? calling the writer a hack? calling his narrative very "teenager"? calling him ignorant? why? because he intelligently and saliently delivered his opinion on a show he went to see and was asked to review? you act like he insulted you by offering a critical piece on Trey Anastasio... you really should check yourself before sounding off at people like that... i mean, this is the internet and all, so your muscles here can be as big as however big you wanna open your mouth, and there's really no recourse. go back and read your responses against the ones who politely and succinctly thank dennis for the review despite their continued love for trey , having had fun at the show, and giving the music a decent grade... they didn't call him out or call him a loser (you spelled loser l-o-o-s-e-r by the way). do you really care that much that someone wrote a critical review of trey that you have to facelessly demean that person in a place put here for you to discuss music intelligently and in an open-minded fashion? you folks that are posting dirisive comments are poisoning this forum that jambase wants everyone to enjoy as a means to learn from one another and help the community evolve as fast as music is evolving these days... and on one last note - you who felt the need to use the forum as a verbal shooting gallery, you who were so irrationally critical of another writer's work... how about you write a front-page jambase feature on a show... if you're gonna call another writer a hack, you better damn well be able to pen a better piece than him.

DogSix starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 03:24PM
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Thanks Dennis - not just for this article... but for ALL the knowledge and wisdom that you consistantly give to the Music Community. JamBase is lucky to have you as a contributor.

For those interested, here's a link to lots of Dennis's articles on JamBase

And for all those who want to see your own words on JamBase - then contribute yourself! - that's what a community is ALL ABOUT!

Kayceman Fri 12/9/2005 03:24PM
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In response to clasbrown:

Plenty of our articles get criticized, and i am most certainly not defending Dennis on the basis of him being "my writer." I whole-heartedly believe Dennis is one of the most articulate, well informed, and entertaining writers around. And that's why you can find his work in several outlets... You don't write cover stories (regardless of what magazine) unless you have cred... And you sure a shit don’t write for Signal To Noise if you don’t have control over the English language. That's why i asked for y'all to show me an example of something you find to be of value? As said, i read a ton of reviews - on my site and elsewhere, and while there are a few, i rarely find a writer who out does Cook.. PLEASE, quantify your statements... Dennis writes soooo many reviews and features, well, his cred is good to go... everyone who is talking crap is doing it from the safety of their user name. Dennis works his ass off for little money, puts himself on the block time and time again - and he speaks both from his mind and his heart - again, show me who does it better?


Wulffmansbrother starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 03:34PM
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I completely agree with Dennis's review, I saw Trey at Norhtern Illionois Univeristy a couple of weeks ago and I walked away with the same feelings about the show and Trey's new band. NOSTALGIA FACTOR is very high, the band is not jammy at all, just very professional and manufactured sounding. --Trey needs to start learn some new solos, he's been playing the same solo in every song for the last 5 years it seems.

clasbrown Fri 12/9/2005 03:45PM
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look: the article was called a hackjob, which it is. i don't know d or his stuff- could care less about his cover stories or peers' praises. he might normally write like gore vidal. the article was definitely entertaining, but not due to its
quality. i don't have time to look through issue this article that (don't know why i'm wasting my breath here) to find you an example of a great review, but homie this ain't it. and it's aggravating to some for obvious reasons. print what you like, i can read what i like. i appreciate that. it's rare i would care enough to voice an opinion here. this is one such case--reason being: the tone and content of this particular article.

vida421 Fri 12/9/2005 03:52PM
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I was at the Jones Beach show 8/4, 4 row center stage. Now I am a big Mule fan and thats why I was there, but I do like Phish and did like most off Trtey's stuff, but by the third song I left knowing I was going to miss Warren sitting in. Even that wasn't enough to hold me. Trey is flat and way to controlling. Now I'll be going to X-mas jam, I do hope he'll step it up with Billy and Mike.

Note: I've been going to Trey and Phish shows since 98' so not a big fan, but I know when someone is getting down.

Lord-K. starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 03:58PM
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Great article. Sums all alot of valid points about Trey and his new band. I still love Trey but after seeing 3 70 Volt shows enough was enough to know what he has done and see what he is doing now is kinda like saying that athletes who were good on steroids should still be paid big bucks based on past performances. I guess the rest of Phish were kinda like his steroids...interesting......well hopefully he finds some new roids casue in all honesty this band is not the answer.

Ozox Fri 12/9/2005 04:02PM
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conductor, Much improved *applaud*. However your comprehension is still a bit lacking.

There was no nerve touched and took nothing personal.

conductor quote "Why can't someone dislike a show and write about that negative experience and have that be accepted as one mans opinion. One man whos opinion was asked for"

I never said he couldnt do this, nor did I criticize him for doing this. My criticism was focused on the manner in which this was done. The article was littered with cheap shots that were, at best, unprofessional and childish. Honestly this read like a high school news paper review of the local garage band.

In resonse to the "have you even read any of Dennis's other stuff" quips, the answer is yes. To give you an idea - I remember checking Andys Phish site religously, I remember the post he made closing that site to focus on Jambase. The reason I criticizied was because I have come to hold this site to a very high standard and for good reason - it kicks ass and keeps in the 'know' about whos playing where and when. It's an invaluable resource for myself and many others, hence the high standard.

I will apologize for called Dennis a hack. I should have criticized this particular article not the author and his work in general.

gam starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 04:08PM
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Dennis you did it once again!! Could picture myself talking at length about many of the valid (incredibly well written) aspects you touched upon. Then I saw all the hate. Since everyones entitled to their opinions I'll offer mine, after seeing Trey a couple weeks back myself, I feel your review was on the money. I remember listening to Francis the Mute a handful of times saying to my wife and some friends "this is the album Trey talks about making". I have love for Trey and Dennis ,but, Dennis is at the top of his game now, Trey seems to be in the middle of a midlife crisis.

javis starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 04:11PM
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I have never heard Trey's ego summed up so well in my life. This is the best jambase article I have ever read. Trey is beating a dead horse and he needs to quit. The way you described Kreutzman was so heartfelt. All in all this article was very well written (unlike a lot of other jambase articles.) I cannot express enough gratitude for putting Trey in his place. Dennis Cook keep up the good work

Atlien starstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 04:21PM
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Best post so far:

"I couldn't believe my ears when I ran into people outside of the show and they were telling me that 'this night was going to go down in rock 'n roll history'. Cause Mickey Hart played a fucking cowbell?"

Thanks Tantheman for making me laugh my ass off!

Atlien starstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 04:28PM
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I think the pain and anger from the loss of Phish is still a very sore wound for many of us. No use comparing anything Trey, Page, John or Mike do with others because it will never ever be Phish. The only thing that has rocked my world from the post-Phish camp so far is BRD with Gordon. Sick stuff!

BTW: If you guys like rumors, here's a dandy for "friend's friend" works for MMW and he told me that Phish broke up to get out of their management contract? He said for legal reasons they they have to stay seperated for 5 years before they can get back together. Sounds like TOTAL horseshit to me, but we'll see in 2009...if anyone still cares.


Tennille starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 04:32PM
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"Rock is dead," Meltzer supposedly proclaimed in '68.

Cook, thanks for keeping rock CRITICISM alive in 2005.

AbeFroman starstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 04:34PM
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All this bickering is hilarious. And it seems to me like most (including Dennis) are missing the point. I think ultimately, with they type of show Trey is trying to put on, the only question should be "Did you dance your ass off or not??" What ever happened to enjoying a show based on whether or not the music made you break a sweat or not? (I am not talking jazz/slower mood music here) Are we all too busy "listening & critiquing" to be able to just close your eyes and "feel" the music anymore? Does anyone around here "feel" the music or does everyone just "listen" and take mental notes so that you can rush to your computer and post a review? What happened to music for music's sake? Why is there a need to try and compare the Trey shows to some mythical barometer of what makes a show good or not? It's like that scene in Dead Poets society where Robin Williams is explaining to his class that you don't judge poetry by standards set by an English professor. You judge it by whether it "moved" you or not. Did it make you "feel" something and did that something cause you to move. The fact that I left the Warfield tired from dancing and with a slight layer of dried sweat told me all I needed to know about what we had just witnessed.

And for whatever it's worth, while the author is extremely articulate and his command of the English language impressive, there were some "hackish" comments in this article.

"When he left the script of actual compositions, it was clear he's not sure what to do with all this freedom he's wrestled loose this past year" - So somehow what one percieves to be a meandering jam translates into Trey struggling with some kind of newfound artistic freedom? Artistic freedom is something that is NOT newfound for the guy. And it's a stretch to draw that conclusion from a couple of jams you heard.

"Unfortunately, in a world where My Morning Jacket and the Mars Volta are blowing minds nightly, it's hard to regard Trey as anything but what he is presently - a middle-of-the-road legend coasting on his rep while trying to get into the mainstream." - Trey is trying to get into the mainstream, eh? If he had enlisted a slew of lyricists or other music writers, you could maybe get away with saying that but this is a guy who just writes & plays whatever comes out. To say there's an intent to fall into some type of musical category is a stretch.

"It's not uncommon amongst the strata of popular musicians he's itching to join. Tom Petty, Sarah McLachlan, and their ilk all have a similar sheltered gloss" Again... itching to join the strata of Tom Petty and Sarah McLachlan? Really? Did you really just say that? Where do you get this stuff? After seeing one show it's just such a stretch to make that type of claim.

And the unabashed Billy loving is just as bad as unabashed Trey loving. The fact that this piece is written from the point of view from some who "missed Phish" says a lot. You didn't just accidentally "miss" Phish if you were a Deadhead in the days when both bands were around. It was a conscious effort to, for whatever reason, not give it a chance.. usually b/c of some stupid stereotype associated with the music and it's fans. And that's fine, but the opinions in this article feels like their written with those prejudices tucked away in there somewhere.

I will be no means call the weekend Trey shows "historic" or "for the ages" or any of those too often used cliches. The shows were by no means the greatest thing ever but I did dance my ass off. I did break a sweat. And sometimes... most times...that should be enough.

blower Fri 12/9/2005 04:47PM
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I have felt the way this author did after Phish shows even. So I can see how he left with the impression he did. I think Trey's guitar playing is genius. He is as technically profficient as anyone I have ever heard play the guitar. I really enjoy Phish especially pre 1997. Trey's ego is one of his greatest assests, but also his greatest liability.I can think of numerous shows I have seen where his ego stood in the way of what could have been an amazing show. His new stuff does not do it for me, he can do so much better.

I thought this author was dead on the money when he was discussing the ego and vocals. I could not have described it better. However, the comparisions to other bands that have nothing to do with Trey seemed very out of place. None of bands he compared Trey to even sound anything like his band. What does Tom Petty have to do with anything, except for they are both rich musicians? Why piss people off who may like the other musicians mentioned for no reason? I also agree with the folks about the BMW driving comment. That whole statement should have been edited out. This was an otherwise apt description of how Trey has come off to me in recent years.

Has anyone ever noticed how the flames fly when anyone brings up anything related to Phish that is the least bit critical? I never see people getting so hot over any other band. The constant over idolizing of Phish,the annoying trustifarians, and Treys ego are the primary reasons I gave up on Trey along time ago. I wish this was not the case because I really respect him as a musician. Lighten up ye-all. He is still making cash. He is doing what he wants and his career is not going to be destroyed by this article. You all act like Dennis is writing for Time Magazine or something. Who cares if he does not write the most professional review. It is a jamband website my god!

I most likely won't be seeing Trey in the future but not because of this article nor Trey's ego. Rather because I do not want to spend my time partying with people like Ozox. Get a life. Trey is not an extension of you. Reading Comprehension? Did you even read what you wrote?

"This article was written a jaded dead head - quote -("I have my own nostalgia monkey to mind where the Dead are concerned.")who had no business at the show in the first place."

Seems like if he was paid to write a review of the show he had more "business" being there than you. I believe getting paid to work is the definition of business.
I edited the next sentence for you, how do you like it?

"The only people who were unreasonably pissed by the article are those whose opinion was based on an unhealthy obssession with a certain red haired musician from Vermont."

shoestringstrap starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 04:48PM
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thanks for summing up my feelings on trey's new venture. All I've heard from this band was "shine" on late night tv and I couldn't help but think that it just wasn't happening.

I feel like Trey made a mistake ending the previous band with the horn section and really catchy and jammy tunes. Try getting that song mozambique out of your head!

Very well written, and this line was the best:

"This is the music BMW SUV drivers listen to on the way to Pilates classes and Whole Foods runs. Deep it ain't."

Still laughing.

distresstube Fri 12/9/2005 05:02PM
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kayceman - comeone man, are you serious? i suppose it's good form to back your talent up like this, but let's be real about a few things. as editor, you can't tell me that your idea of effective writing includes a basic argumentation fallacy taught in junior college writing classes (personal attacks, and baseless attacks they were).
i have no qualms with the overall message on trey. hell, i might even agree. but the piece as writing sucks balls.

tomspeed starstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 05:05PM
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Damn dennis. Nice little shit-storm you've stirred up here brother. But kudos on the article. I thought it was well written and insightful (as I've come to expect).

While a lot of us are sitting around scratching our heads just wondering what the hell trey is thinking, here you come, without the history that fuels our optimism so much, and really just nail it.

Some of us want so bad for Trey to rekindle that magic that we grasp on to whatever little shred even resembles it. Without that magic in my back pocket, I wouldn't even know where to start looking for it at one of Trey's shows these days. No wonder you couldn't find it.

And to the folks criticizing this article, everybody's entitled to their opinions and tastes, but there's one thing you can say about Dennis: He is one of the few writers anywhere these days who has the balls to call it likes he sees it, even if that includes slamming Trey on Jambase. And he's got quite a command of the language to boot. I wish we had more of him.

nedtron Fri 12/9/2005 05:15PM
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I lost a whole lot of respect for Trey at Vegoose after he played the exact same set for both his day and night shows. Dennis is right about every single thing he said and I'm glad it's that evident

shainhouse starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 05:53PM
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Very well written, and I chuckled a few times. I also agree, but that's irrelevent. The breadth, prose and content of the article is what matters, and once again, Dennis is hit bang on. Mazel Tov.

PapaBear13 starstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 06:06PM
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To all the folks saying that Trey should pay attention to what his fans are saying, that is exactly what he should NOT do. While I will say that 70vp does not push the same buttons for me as Phish, I will also say that I think it's great that he is doing whatever it is he wants to do. If you think there is something else you would rather go see, go see it. If this is really what you dig, then dig it. And as far as his ego goes, everyone who is a rabid fan contributes to that. If no one paid attention, then his ego would not be so large. But everyone feeds it by paying attention to every piece of minutia that is his life. Just let him do what he wants, and you do what you want, and everyone wins.

jerryil Fri 12/9/2005 06:15PM
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I don't need to comment on your opinion or offer mine, but research before you write. Trey has had a vocal coach for almost 10 years. MMJ and Mars Volta? Apples and Oranges.

Jason Woodside starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 06:42PM
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Jason Woodside

this article is amazing. i am so happy that someone who didnt like phish can still find this music horrible. i ahve a friend who goes to trey shows and he tells me the only reason i dont like it is because its not phish. well its not good either, and dennis here summed up exactly why trey and his new band is awful

bigfro starstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 07:01PM
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show.time starstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 07:35PM
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Why I don't care the author's writing style or his intro - he completly captured my conclusion after seeing Trey at the Roseland in Portland. There was no soul or feeling to the songs. It was Trey jerking off over and over again to a non mobile groove (unless he signaled to change it). I know Phish is over but his talent is plain wasted in this format. I want to give Trey the benefit of the doubt and (my 50 bucks) but I'll think twice next time unless it is going to be a different beast. This is the classic example of Trey pissing in the audiences ear and getting away with it.

LTJFreak starstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 07:57PM
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it's been a while since i have found Trey to actual blow my mind, summer of 1998 actually. It's rather funny how the author claims "he doesn' know" about trey, when he some how captures the vibe fans have felt since the dis-bandment.

Also, you have to be kidding me that you put Mars Volta and My Morning Jacket in the same sentence. Instant Legends vs. Will fade Away pop jams. Mars Volta is actually PRODUCING something that has never been delved into. MMJ, although amazing and fun as hell, is simply dwarfed by Volta's sound. MMJ gets mad respect and props, but please don't compare them to, i know some people will get mad from this, one of the few cutting edge acts right now.

dancgray star Fri 12/9/2005 08:11PM
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The show was sick. If you read through back articles, most are negative. Perhaps Trey doesn't advertise enough on the site. Jambase is the National Geographic of music sites -- good pictures and horrible articles. Except a lot worse. Trey vs MMJ. Are you kidding? I know you're trying to sell the MMJ album, but please.

cofor20 Fri 12/9/2005 08:13PM
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Ok. I sided with most of y'all earlier when I said, in not so many words, his new band ain't for me. but then I just read the Relix interview & am thinking maybe I just don't get it. I may not like his new musical direction, but I do like the way his life is going. He seems to be happier. I will continue to check out his new projectes hoping he will, again, shock my brain.

RMR Fri 12/9/2005 08:14PM
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This is more of a comment upon the editor and writers who said that if you have the balls to write like Dennis or think you write as well as he does, then bring it on.

Well...I do bring it on every goddamn month and I choose to submit to professionals that (a) pay their writers and (b) know who the fuck I am.

As far as Kayceman is concerned, he's earned my respect to call them like he sees them. Like Jesse Jarnow and Benjy Eisen, if I disagree with Aaron's opinion, I choose to give him the benefit of the doubt because he's a great writer. I will not honor Cook with that same status until he learns the difference between knowing a subject and knowing the limitations of his musical tastes.

- Randy Ray

PhishyManDan starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 08:16PM
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You people should really stop ripping the author of this article. He brings what a lot of you who insult him never could - an unbiased point of view! Everyone here is so caught up in exactly what this author critiqued - Trey-worshipping nostalgia - that you can't even see that you're proving his point!

Yes, Trey may be one of, if not the, best touring rock guitarist of the current day (and certainly who I've ever seen), but that doesn't mean that all of his MUSIC is GOOD MUSIC.

I could listen to almost ANYTHING Phish ever played and worship it, and prostrate myself before it. Phish is one of the most important parts of my life. And, also, Trey, as the lead guitarist of that band, is another, almost equally important part of my life. And it's sad to me where he's going.

It takes a LOT of guts to write an article like this, and not only was it daring, it was well written, fully informed, and utterly unbiased.

Jazzzzz starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 08:25PM
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ahh, haaa, ahhh, haaaaaaa look what an amazing writer, he's got everyone to write!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So waht if Trey has gone mainstream, so what if he apeals to the Marin/Yuppie types??? Good for him and I guess bad for 'our' expectations that 'we' had of him. I guess he is the last one to be laughing at the bank. And if that makes 'him' happy then great! Saw him at 10,000 lakes and Vegoose both times had a great time. Would I run out and buy his CD's no, but was nice to dance and be up lifted. As for Phish fans; get over it!


cofor20 Fri 12/9/2005 08:26PM
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and another thing; I didn't like his style of writing either. Comparing everything to drug experiences dosen't do it for me. We're talking about music, right?

padan starstar Fri 12/9/2005 09:09PM
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While I do respect your opinion, I definately do not agree. Pish appeals to certain people, the same with Trey now. Some hate Trey for what he did to Phish, some (like the author of this article) hate him for what he is doing now. First of all, the author didn't really give any good insight, he just repeated what us Phish phans have known all along. Trey does have a huge ego. He always has. Hes not really trying to fit in with anything...hes just being himself. Also, Trey does not have that good of a voice. I could have told you that before you ever saw him. Finally, you say Trey's new stuff isn't deep? Have you ever listened to Phish. I don't exactly call Sleeping Monkey deep. Phish and Trey have never been about that. Personal demons, hardships and all that mess have never been addressed in any of Trey's career. That what EMO is for. I don't want to hear about how Trey got dumped by his girlfriend last December on a Tuesday, or how Wednesday stole his chicken sandwitch.

I have the utmost respect for Trey. I don't idly worship him. People might not like what he is doing now, but the 5 times I have seen him since the breakup have blown my mind. This is extremely different than anything Trey has done, but its still awesome. Who knows what Trey will do next. Whatever it is though I will still support him.

BrewBlues starstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 09:30PM
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True in one aspect, the article does offer a point of view that any Phish/Trey fans would refuse to accept, and it does take a lot of guts to write it. What isnt being mentioned at all is the fact that it took a lot of guts for Trey to do what he did. He could have spent the rest of his life touring with Phish and selling at shows and all the fans would have been happy, but only the fans would have been happy. Phish changed my life and I think they are the greatest band to ever play, but we as fans got to expect too much. Trey did what felt right to him and that part of his personality is what made so many people love him to beging with. Phish and Trey didnt and still dont owe us anything. Ignore the pop, and the struggles of a band as they are trying to find their voice...which is exactly what they are doing. THey are a new band still working out the kinks. If everyone would forget about Phish for a second and just listen then the true beauty of Trey's music shines through. It is simple, honest, and not at all lacking in darkness. Trey I love it and I do miss Phish, but you keep doing what feels right and bouncing up and down on stage as you rip up and down the fret the way I have grown to love.

Jsims star Fri 12/9/2005 10:27PM
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K, first of all, Trey gave us 21 years of amazing compositions and he blew us all away. He has gone for a more simplistic style but I LOVE IT! I have seen this band 5 times! His new band is so solid. Look at U2, The Rolling Stones, THE BEATLES! Nothing too crazy(for the most part), however still known as the best bands to ever play. Simplistic but DAMN GOOD AT IT. And as for Les Hall, he actually took guitar lessons from my father, who is a Berklee College of Music Graduate. I know Les personally and know for a fact that he is insane, and if asked to play out, he would pretty much be right there with Trey, just a different style. If you can't tell that Les is the reason for the incredible full sound that 70 Volt Parade is giving us, then you are an idiot. Trey has hand selected some of the top studio musicians in the country and put together one of the most solid bands out there today. I am a Phish PHANATIC, but I still love Trey's new stuff so much! And not because I am 'mesmorized' by the ALMIGHTY TREY! But because I have an understanding for what is good music. Coming from a musician myself, I am so BLOWN AWAY with the talent of this band. I hope Trey gives us 21 years of his new stuff! As for the guy that wrote the article...jokes on you when Trey goes down as one of the greatest ever! Peace

stoney21 starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 10:48PM
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Ever since I saw 70 volt parade for the first time, I was very unimpressed. The entire show was basically a 2 and a half hours of trey solos. I am not a 70 volt fan, albeit I do love Phish. This article about the band was probably the most accurate and well stated article that I have read yet. I am so confused by all the reviews of "shine" that say it is incredible, when in reality it is not.

penguininbondage starstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 11:08PM
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that article sums it all up. nicely done. i am not a trey hater, actually loved him for years. i think that ultimately trey is happy with a quality of life once again. i truely believe the touring got pretty heavy on him and now he feels he can breathe once again, hence his happy go lucky tunes. everyone knows that dark music comes from darkness in life whether demons or emotions these darknesses contribute. trey exorcised his demons and is happy with just playing music once again. i am not particularly into this new scene, but i still keep my ears open to trey awaiting his next....umm pa pa..umm pa pa...umm pa pa

mife Fri 12/9/2005 11:23PM
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I've spent about 100 nights of my life with Trey in some live musical form, and about 80% of that was at Phish shows. I was at the last Asheville show a couple of months ago, and I'll be at the next one. That Asheville show was rockin. 70 Volt sounded tight, and everyone I saw was gettin loose. But it's all relative. This is a band that he's been playing with for a very little amount of time. That being said, they are very advanced and cohesive, given the circumstances - much more so then when the original lineup for this project started playing.

It makes it easier for me to swallow this writer's opinion since he isn't from the Phish tribe (that's what I really find to be unreadable - people who had dedicated their lives to Phish, yet were totally not on the same page with why Phish is no longer playing shows), but maybe because he doesn't have the history he can't appreciate how heartfelt and true to himself and the situations we all seem to go through together are totally captured in his songwriting. To me, the new stuff does deal with the feelings had about the end of Phish, and Trey has said this in a few interviews, but that is only the surface meaning for these songs. The great thing about Trey's writing is that nearly all of his songs have intense personal meaning to me, and always seem to be written and played at the most appropriate times that line up with my own life ongoings and emotions. This writer doesn't know what it's like to be on the same page with thousands of other people, some how, some way, locked into thought patterns that we all seem to share simultaneously during Phish shows. That's why people get in an uproar when anything negative about Phish or Trey is written or said - because those experiences were so deep that they literally changed the way thousands of people live now and view life.

In my opinion, these songs are still true to that feeling. No, it is not the pinnacle experience of a Phish concert. The wave of electricity in the air that Phish would seem to purposely wait for before coming onstage late nearly every night, then riding it through the fastest hour and a half of your life isn't part of this experience. In the end, Phish concerts were beating a dead horse - you either got the message or you didn't. Frankly, it would've been a little rude to keep knockin on that door. We've been blessed with the knowledge that we've received through those great times. Now it's time to see if we can do what we know we need to do. And the music that Trey is playing right now brilliantly captures that struggle.

Something I find ironic about a lot of people that frequent the "jamband" shows or internet sites like these is this continuous criticism of Trey's ego. Anyone who's ever been locked in a groove knows that the fastest way to get kicked out of that groove is to stop suppressing your worldly ego. Ladies and gentlemen, I hope I don't shock you when I say this, but I'm going to go out on a limb and make a guess that Trey might be aware of the way it works to. Call me crazy, but after 20 years worth of nights of playing basically naked in an improv setting the world may never ever see the likes of ever again, I'd say Trey knows at this point that his incredible talents and gifts didn't originate within himself. If anything, ending Phish was the antithesis of ego. It's probably not easy to walk away from a lifestyle that allows you to indulge so much in so many things that a lot of people seem to think the world is all about. Tons of money, thousands of people following your every move, hot women in the front rows dazzled by your abilities, etc. Some may say he still has those things - which he may on a smaller scale, but if that was the reason why he was in it, why would he downsize?

Then there's the other moronic statements like, "Mike was playing so much better than Trey that he couldn't take it anymore."

First of all, that whole "Mike is the MVP" thing is so 1998. But seriously though, don't you think Trey wanted everyone to play the best that they could always??

The bottom line is this - we're all in this together, and as we overcome the obstacles in our lives, Trey will find a way to write and perform about it, because music and this whole thing that we are a part of is much bigger than some florescent-pale dude from Vermont who sounds like he swallowed a handful of rusty nails before each Jay Leno appearance. So enjoy the melancholy vibe while it lasts, because something tells me that it will get upbeat again.

See you in Asheville.

umphrees starstarstarstar Fri 12/9/2005 11:37PM
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I guess its time just to relize that trey is out doing his own thing and if this is how he wants to do it then go for it. Its not how i would of gone about it but this is how he feels things should be done. Im sure me and alot of other phish fans feel that he steels the stage from the other menbers in alot of his bands but it seems hes one of thows people that want it done his own way so he has to do it. I dont no all im trying to say is i respect what the man wants to acomplish in his music carrier but its not they way he should of went about it

Tribal4Zine starstarstarstarstar Sat 12/10/2005 07:26AM
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Most interesting and well written article I've ever read on Jambase - It takes a bold person to enlighten the new truth about someone like Trey on a site where people worship him as such...sad to say arguably the best present-day lead guitarist plays in a band illustrating mediocre music. Although I do not believe ego is the reason for evident setback in that of Trey, the problem exists plain and simple, he's looking for something in the wrong place. Either way right now Umphreys is where the jams at.

Greenjah starstarstarstar Sat 12/10/2005 07:36AM
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I can say one thing for sure: I write and play music for myself, and if someone else likes it, great.

Has anyone stopped to consider that Trey does the same?

With nothing left to prove, and I mean nothing, he should be doing just that.

KennethNoisewater star Sat 12/10/2005 09:03AM
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This article is very unprofessional. Its one thing to give a review of a show, but its another to rip on a musician. This author took unnecessary personal jabs at trey. The article talked more about trey than the actual music. And what "jamband journalist" has never been to a phish show. This guy had his mind made up about this article before he went to the show.....what a crappy article.

assafjaffe starstarstarstarstar Sat 12/10/2005 09:35AM
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Leave it to Dennis to incite a lierary riot, how dare he. If you agree with his points, or think he's the bomb, fantastic. If you're pissed off, or think he's a hack, read something else. I personally think freedom of speech and journalistic integerity are precious and that D.C. is the best writer on the scene. Small aside to BIGFRO. Turn off your cap lock, drop the rag and put the lid back on the can of paint you are huffing. Your spitefull and mostly incoherent ramble only serves divide and iritate peeple. Blamming the Dead, deadheads and Jambase for a musicians drug problem is past silly to me honestly it's sad. Keep on keeping it real Dennis, few out there have the guts to do it.

Marcsmall Sat 12/10/2005 09:47AM
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The fact of the matter is that Trey is, and has always been ridiculously overated. I wouldn't put him in my top 25 guitar players of our time.

baptose starstarstarstar Sat 12/10/2005 10:20AM
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"I want to like him so Badly" the best description of how I have came to also feel about Trey I was given a ticket to his late night show in vegas and decided to give him one more try but the nastalgia has worn off I wish it were phish but lets face it its not yes the Vegas show had its moments (the late night one not so much the festie show) But I find myself just loving those few high points in a tey show were I say to myself "see I love trey" because I love phish so yes I will someday (sooner than late most likely) give him one more shot ans most likely leave not saying "wow I love trey" but "Oh I miss phish".

lexky starstarstarstar Sat 12/10/2005 11:16AM
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good article. mmj agree. volta agree. forgot umph. hurt bird bath, pay the snuka, 40's theme, bridgeless. i'll be ridin' that wagon till i'm 95.

yankee Sat 12/10/2005 11:49AM
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The writer may be the wrong person to have wrote this article considering he'd never been to a Phish show, but his points are not without merit. He has become a soft "poppy" friend of Dave Mathews(yikes) to garner attention outside the circle of pharmie weilding wookies. Trey has gone down a road that has made him unappealing to many of his fans. The best parts of Trey shows are when Mike, Page, or Jon show up. On the bright side, he will realize people are mainly there for a Phish tune or a cameo. Hopefully this may lead to us getting the real band back together.

treybienfait starstarstar Sat 12/10/2005 12:08PM
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I appreciate the perspective of the non-fan and I definitely feel the majority of your comment are on point (as far as the lack of musical depth and Les Hall's complete uselessness, etc--granted it doesn't take a keen observer to see that). You're also right about the nostalgia aspect of Trey's current project.

However, I found your drug metaphor trite and cheap: bunk like the molly you probably dose.

"For sure, they want to believe it's the same high, and they might be pretty defensive if you try to tell them it's a sugar pill. But listening with honest ears, what I heard was a professional, slightly self-indulgent band working through material of highly varied quality. Given the abundance of "dealers" with more potent stuff out there today, it's hard to imagine returning to Trey and his merry band again." could you actually write that.

Also, your rant against BMW SUV drivers was kind of pointless and irrelevant:

"It's pretty, like chrome, but lacks any real depth. This is the music BMW SUV drivers listen to on the way to Pilates classes and Whole Foods runs. Deep it ain't."

You really stuck it to the man there.

SuperDee Sat 12/10/2005 01:37PM
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and oh yeah... great photos, sue :)

Jason Woodside starstarstarstarstar Sat 12/10/2005 02:16PM
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Jason Woodside

what all of you fail to realize is that trey is not the only reason phish is not around anymore. in fact i believe phish would be back together now if page wanted to play. the fact is that page is enjoying his retirement and does not want to leave his family for the road again just yet. that being said lets look at mr gordon. gordo is continuing to push the envelope nightly with whoever he plays with. he is doing groundbreaking stuff that could not have been accomplished with phish. sure trey is doing sub par stuff that he could accomplish in a much more proficient way with phish, but phish is gone. if you dont like trey anymore dont see him, i sure as hell dont. just go see gordon becasue he is the man

tomthumb86 starstarstar Sat 12/10/2005 02:33PM
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I appreciate that this writer is comming from a different perspective, but at the same time there are a variety of comments made about trey, his music, his personality that are nothing more than the own writers assumptions. I find that many of the things said would be particularly hurtful and someone as openly unfamiliar with an artist as the writer claims to be maybe isnt the right person to be publishing such comments. It makes the article less subjective, which is what made most of the article great, and the rest of it filled with as much "ego" as this writer places on trey. Why does one have to make assumptions about an artists money, or their reasons for making an album the way they did? For someone so unfamiliar with Trey this writer makes several referances to some seriously personal factors in what COULD have motivated Trey or not.

>>>We need to wrestle our demons from time to time so we can heal into a stronger, wiser person. If you keep them outside the mansion gate, you never engage them in a way that lets you grow. It's not uncommon amongst the strata of popular musicians he's itching to join.

I found this particularly alarming, for several reasons. This record for Trey, whether you see it for it cliche's, which it has plenty, or not, is heavy in content dealing with personal demons. If the writer had read even one review from the past two months he would understand this. This is a problem for me because not only are you making assumptions about something you don't understand, you are doing so in spite of information that is out there telling otherwise.

Secondly, I do not think trey is itching to join any other strata of musicians. As Trey said in a recent interiview, he is making a lot less money now, playing for a lot less people. If he wanted to be the next tom petty, I think he knows better than anyone else that 70volt parade is not the outlet for it, despite a very poppy record.

So in the end, I appreciate a subjective article, but i dont see why it is neccessary for one to make so many assumptions that are not only impossible for the writer to know and discredited by recent interviews, but at times seriosuly hurtful.

SCIcane starstarstarstar Sat 12/10/2005 02:36PM
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Whether Dennis stated his argument as eloquently as possible or not, the point he was trying to get across is on the mark. Sure, you can go see trey, "feel" the music, and dance around (as you can at most of the shows posted on jambase). But if you take a step back & listen, the music is pretty average. I can relate to the desire for nostalgia every once in a while, but putting trey's name (or that of any other great musician) at the front of a band's name doesn't make the music good, necessarily.

And this whole use of name-calling to defend someone who helped define who you are. Trey's still just a musician (sorry folks). People who didn't get the dead have mocked/criticized them & the scene over the years, but i don't hear most deadheads berating them for their opinions. To each his own.

"The very fact that people are quick to label his songs "poppy" is actually an indication that his songs are good."-are you kidding. what kind of logic is that?

and a couple months back, santana said...
"There's a world that Trey Anastasio and all the other musicians, Ben Harper, you know, Warren Haynes, need to discover outside of music. Put the damn guitar down for a while, man. It's like a tape, scratched record, playing the same thing. How you gonna play something if you don't put it down and discover new flowers and new children and new colors?.....It's like, take a deep breath....when you come back and you pick up the guitar, it'll have innocence and purity."

Accurate or not, thanks for posting an article willing to criticize kayceman.

alabamaslamma starstarstarstarstar Sat 12/10/2005 03:49PM
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Gadiel and Kayce,

I think it may be time to throw in the towel fellas. It's pretty clear, now, that any attempt on your part to elevate the discourse around here is a wasted effort.

Chicken and hog farmers figured out a long time ago that those beasts would consume their own droppings for nutrition just as readily as they would millet or other grain, and feedin' 'em their own poo is a hell of a lot more economical.

Tell you what, for a case of Ramen Noodles and as much spot remover as I can huff, I'll write every review you need from now on. You don't even need to provide tickets, because it is completely unnecessary for me to attend the performances.

I'll just sit here in my kitchen, become suitably inebriated, and crank 'em out until I become unconscious. The best part is, your average reader is guaranteed to love my stuff. Check it out:

"Trey Anastasio & the 70- Volt Parade at the Warfield

Dude, it was a hosefest from beginning to end. Trey was just shredding, and those other people on stage were too! Best show I've ever seen on Dec. 2nd in 2005. Dude. Whoa."

Guaranteed controversy-free content! None of that messy, painful thinking required! Gotta love it.

Whaddaya say? Let Cook, Tennille and Ray peddle their pesky opinions elsewhere. Leave the insightful commentary to us serious Wookies who know what we're doing:

Duuude, it was a killer shredfest. It left a smoking crater in my mind. I didn't know where I was until I smelled the veggie burritos and took my first sip of a frostie import. It was the best sho ever, Bro!

funkfiend starstarstarstarstar Sat 12/10/2005 04:42PM
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Whie the drug metaphor is kind of hokey.. the clarity and impartiality of the observations are razor sharp. This is
an extremely well written article! Keep writers like this
coming - they're not blinded by idiotic fanatacism.

froginapuddle Sat 12/10/2005 04:54PM
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I all of you are sheep......I saw trey band during hiatus at the higher ground and it was alright....and i've seen some live perfomances or 70VP and it's alright, but thats just it.....its ALRIGHT.

adamstobiasz starstar Sat 12/10/2005 07:17PM
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What jambase writer has never been to a Phish show?

wakapaco starstar Sat 12/10/2005 07:55PM
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This article was a major diss to Trey, and much of the stuff that was said in this article simply wasn't true. Do a little bit more research next time or maybe just go listen to the mars volta and shut the hell up.

jerryil star Sat 12/10/2005 08:30PM
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You know what my very favorite thing about a Widespread show is? Most of you people aren't there!

Wilson75 starstarstar Sat 12/10/2005 08:35PM
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The article wasn't the best as far as the writing but the author makes some points. Personally I really enjoyed myself at the warfield and thought the show was full of energy and ventured more into the deeper jamming. It's different let the guy explore. I wouldn't mind seeing Trey play small clubs near me. And oddly enough I like the new album. To each his own I guess

dannymo starstarstarstarstar Sat 12/10/2005 08:58PM
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perfect man! fanfuckintastic,wow what a read.hit the nail right on ol' chuck norris' head.

steady starstarstarstar Sun 12/11/2005 09:18AM
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I thought this was a fairly accurate portrayal of trey's new project and the commonly held opinions of former Phish-heads taboot. The comparisons to MMJ, Mars Volta, Tom Petty, and Sarah MacLaughlin (sp?) aren't that insightful, though. I have seen both versions of the Trey Band/70 Volt Parade a couple times. I thought the Trey Band show at Bonnaroo 3 was pretty fun, but I definately felt the horns were the strongest aspect of the new directions Trey has been headed. Not as conductor (like the first Bonnaroo), but as a participating voice in a new and beautiful orchestra. The overall vibe/fireworks/festy spirit was obviously helping out on this one. Seeing Trey again earlier this year with the original 70 Volt Parade lineup, though definately not terrible, left me wanting a little more...I am an absolute dancing freak when the music is on, often leaving shows looking like I've peed my pants from the sweat dripping off my fully saturated shirt(s). (I always bring one shirt for changing at set break and one to change into after the show.) I've seen about 80 or 90 shows this year from various bands - Smokestack (check these guys from Ann Arbor, MI out if you want high energy jazz/rock fusion - probably the best band you may have never heard of), Yonder, MMW, Soulive, Phil n Friends, Brothers Past, Duo, Mike and Leo, Karl Denson, Galactic, Umphreys, Moe., New Deal, Scofield, The Wailers, JFJO, Les Claypool, Panic, Cheese, and more I can't recall right now. Honestly, although I did enjoy my first 70 Volt Parade show for the most part, I left in the same shirt I came in...None of these other bands has moved me (literally-physically moved me) less than this incarnation of the Parade. I'm not saying this to bash Trey - I think Trey is one of the best guitar players I've ever seen...I'm just saying the energy from my point of view was not nearly as high as what I'm lookin for (especially for $50). I didn't go expecting to see Phish (though I did and still do love Phish), but I did go expecting the physical/mental/emotional releases that make me keep coming back for more. I don't think they totally failed, but my release seemed incomplete. I'm also not saying I'll never go see Trey again, but my expectations will definately be a little bit different if I do.

Come See Smokestack!!!

jacobandbeth starstarstar Sun 12/11/2005 09:25AM
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Just like trey's playing lately this article is right on sometimes and waaay off base others. Trey's new band has had a few fleeting moments of talent, but is not as good as the last band with horns. He has hit a low point creatively and is resorting to pop trash. I love Trey and will wait patiently for him to produce enjoyable music again. Until he starts a new band I am no longer paying that much to be disapointed. I do not come to the Trey show to get the old phish feeling....I just wanna hear good tunes and these new songs are not good.

shawnp88 starstarstarstarstar Sun 12/11/2005 10:23AM
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I have read Jambase since the beginning but have never posted a single comment...mainly because of the sheer idiocy of uber cool "heady" comments by many readers that wouldn't know how to spell the word music if you asked them to. I have also carried a wide range of ambivalent feelings for Trey for many years and have always searched for an answer somewhere between awe and disgust....this article is the most well written, unbiased, and clarifying explanation of this brilliant person apparently still missing some small piece of the hologram.

petemags5 star Sun 12/11/2005 12:00PM
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Dude, if you can't pick Les up out of the mix than maybe you shouldn't be writing these articles.
I also question the decision to send a Deadhead to review a Trey show. If your looking for an unbiased opinion, a deadhead isn't really the way to go.

mvp8779 starstarstarstarstar Sun 12/11/2005 12:42PM
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This article hits the main point: "if trey had never been in phish, would anyone care about this music? would anyone pay and go to these shows?"

I don't think so. You can only run off your rep. for so long. This music just isnt that good. This article is right on the money.

phistory starstarstarstarstar Sun 12/11/2005 01:00PM
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This story gets an average rating greater then Fantastic...
This story and Trey are...

CeilingFan247 starstarstarstarstar Sun 12/11/2005 01:45PM
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It's sad, but true. I have agree with this article. This new Trey isn't that great. I personally, was trying to support Trey for awhile, seeing many of his shows this summer, but it's just starting to go downhill. I love Phish, and have agreat deal of respect for Trey, but he is hardly keeping the jam spirit alive. His setlists have little diversity them now, the last couple Trey shows I saw I felt that I new what was going to happen next, and alot of the times I did. How many shows has he ended w/ Come as Melody, and encore w/ First Tube in the last few tours? That's something to think about.

torn&treyed Sun 12/11/2005 01:49PM
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In response to the kayceman's comment. I live in boulder and soon after will live in New York, I'll write reveiwes for free and still pay for my ticket. You have my email, if you are interested email me

kulshan Sun 12/11/2005 01:51PM
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good review...if not a bit harsh...not that "unbiased" in my opinion...but no mention of the cup incident or the loving cup?....this review fits the second night a lot better than the first night....

beth starstarstarstarstar Sun 12/11/2005 04:53PM
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Wow. I am so glad someone else said it. Thank you. Trey's new band, album, and songs are BAD. I wanted to like it and that just sucks. I agree with Dennis'comments about Trey's egofest at shows. I have seen him a few times since the end of Phish :( and was very disappointed. I stood there wanting to dance, but just didn't feel it. Trey seemed so high on himself and the music, but I felt like the audience was not a part of it. I love going to shows to feel the music. Geting into the music and being a part of a collective smiling, happy, dance your ass off, groove fest is the best. BUT it doesn't happen for me with Trey's new stuff. I am all for him experimenting and doing what he wants to do musically. We all have our owm path to make, but as a fan of Phish, it is sad when you no longer personally like Trey's music. Like I said, I want to, but I just don't feel it.

I really like that Dennis had the balls to put it out there. So many reviews I read are just all positive, but to be honest, there are some bands that just aren't good (and people still like them, buy their CDs, and go to their shows). While music is subjective and personal taste is what it is....I am so glad to read a review that isn't all smiles and pats on the back. Tell it like it is more often. Let personal opinions come through in reviews like this, but other people should remember that it is just that...opinion. Although....I totally agree in this case.

cujo starstarstarstarstar Sun 12/11/2005 07:04PM
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Thanks that was fun. You did GREAT!
Chris Joseph

panicing420 starstarstarstarstar Sun 12/11/2005 08:22PM
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who ever wrote this article is a very smart man. it just seem like ever since trey left phish his name and music skills have become more related to the word shit. trey is a sell out and i dont even no why people post articles of him on this web site because obviously trey has floated to mainstream a long time ago. any ways this was a great article and i agree with it fully. trey and dave matthews should get married

bgcompt starstarstar Mon 12/12/2005 06:18AM
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Point #1
Art, book, & music reviews portray what an individual determines to be relevant about any given piece. It says nothing about where the artist's motives and inspirations lie. As long as the artist answers to himself, he has done his job. At that point the ball is passed to others (fellow artists, critics, historians, fans etc...)to ponder and/or comment as inspiration or not.

Point #2
The people at Jambase have always satisfied my informative needs through show dates, interviews, and the like, but I have never relied on them for insightful narrative or precise reviews. This is why I subscribe to the New Yorker.

Point #3
Take this site for what it is and please remember when we all used to go to Andy's old page to see what Phish played last night in Bloomington. I have never read or posted comments, and now I have. Perhaps this is the greater point. Jambase is a community of people who are interested in music and its evolution has given us a professionally styled magazine site in which we can all participate. For this we should all be thankful. Whether or not anyone (editor included)thinks the author of this particular article is great, good, or lousy is almost as non-important as what the author thinks about Trey Anastasio's band. As long as the author is pleased with his work, thinks that he has done his best, then he has done his job.

Point #4
Les Hall is a musical genius. I have seen him play jazz fusion with Robert Newton, southern rock with Sourwood Honey, eclectic pop with Jump Little Children, straight ahead pop with Howie Day, and everything in between. You don't get accepted to Berkelee without talent and this guy has always pushed the envelope and lived near the edge of being listener friendly. Perhaps Trey has hired him to be in the background to provide subtle washes of sound and texture...if so then he is doing his job well.

treetops78 starstarstarstarstar Mon 12/12/2005 07:50AM
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Lester Bangs would be proud...looking forward to meeting you one day, Dennis. Until then...

jmakunas starstar Mon 12/12/2005 08:07AM
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I really have a fundamental problem with this article, despite whether or not I agree with Cook's opinion.

As a (admittedly sparsely) published music writer myself (here and in Relix), I applaud a non-Phishhead for taking on the powder keg that is Trey these days. And props to JamBase too, for asking for a review outside of the blindly devoted. Cook wrote a beautiful review of the new TLG album a few weeks ago. I should have been predisposed to read his take on Trey with an open mind....

However, Cook's review reminds me of reading reviews by Jon Pareles in the New York Times. I can't stand Pareles...he clearly has an agenda and if the band isn't on his radar, he comes into the gig with assumptions, doesn't do his research, and is a good enough writer to put out a convincing article based on nothing (often getting facts wrong).

Despite his claims to the contrary, I'm NOT convinced Cook came into the Warfield show with an open mind, the whole "BMW driving, Whole Foods eating, Pilates" crap really turned me off (you can wear your social politics on your sleeve, as he says he does, but it will make me distrust your true critical agenda), and then he makes a throwaway statement about how Trey's never worked with a vocal coach (which patently isn't true...maybe he hasn't in the past few years, but he DEFINITELY has...they used a vocal coach for the anthem, worked with the barbershop quartet all those years ago, etc.). Small fact, sure, but if you're going to dis the man for his voice, at least have some factual knowledge to fall back on.

There are some good points in the review, but after you realize Cook doesn't really know (or acknowledge) the history and hasn't done his research, you don't really want to read more.

Which is too bad, because I thought that first night at the Warfield was simultaneously awesome and awful and definitely deserves some critical (in the true sense of the word) attention.

Lanny starstarstarstarstar Mon 12/12/2005 10:12AM
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dennis cook is one of my favorite music writers but i didn't notice that he wrote this article until i had finished reading it. i expected the writer of this article to give the show a good review, because it's so rare to see criticism on,, in relix and other websites & magazines of that ilk. but this article was right on the money! (i probably wouldn't have finished reading it if it had been a good review). then i saw all the comments below and noticed that dennis cook wrote it (he's written a lot of stuff on here before you guys). for all you gripers and peeps who got your feelings hurt by this article, guess what - it's telling it like it is. the new trey stuff is incredibly awful and people should stop going to his shows and stop reading stupid articles about him. thankfully cook didn't interview trey and ask him why he broke up phish. my only real complaint is that this article appeared here. if there is a website for eric clapton, coldplay, dave matthews, REM, phil collins, air supply, hall & oates, huey lewis, al jarreau, lionel ritchie, etc. then that is where this article should have been posted. that's the fan base trey is trying to appeal to now. i have no idea why any phish fan would want to listen to any of the stuff that trey is currently doing.

Shannanigans83 Mon 12/12/2005 10:44AM
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This story was one of the most objective articles I have read about music in the jamband community for a long time. It is all true. There is none of spontaneity that personified Trey's playin in Phish, and even in Oysterhead. Something happened, and I don't blame him for the breakup of Phish. Anyone who is informed knows that there are a plethora of reasons for that breakup. Something that large cannot last forever. However, it seems that Trey has been hanging out too much with Dave Matthews and has divorced himself from the musical orgasm for the multi-platinum album.

manderson starstarstarstar Mon 12/12/2005 11:21AM
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Trey's vocal lessons comment is right on. What's interesting is that Trey has mentioned that Phish got too big for the bands liking. That was a major contributor to them breaking up. Trey mentioned the beginning of Phish when nobody paid any attention to the band and thought they were crap. Maybe just maybe this new thing (Volt Parade) isn't about nostalgia, but more about a new experiment. If you like it good, if not move on and out of the way for those who do. My 2 cents.

craikes13 starstarstarstarstar Mon 12/12/2005 11:31AM
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I want to see Trey where I believe he will be happiest. Where is that place? That place is in front of an orchestra where he can create the LARGE, voluminous movements of music that he so fantastically created when PHISH was born.

Trey knows how to create music, and if he were hired as the next John Williams, he would SHINE. Not only would he be able to create the music he wants to create, and create it big, with tremendous power and uplifting soul, he would also be able to control it all, right from the tip of his wand. If he wants to play the same songs over and over again, make them GIGANTIC and FULL.........not just a little big band.

When was the last time any of us rocked out to symphonic music. I want to see Trey's Opus. It would be phenominal.

To boot, he could also incorporate his stellar guitar chops into a musical medium that is essentially untouched............take us back to Tchaikovsky, or Mozart. (not that those guys played guitar but because this was great music that was HUGE and CONSTRUCTED).

I want to hear Also Sprach Zarathrustra like they played it back in the day, but I suspect a Trey lead Symphony playing it like he would arrange it would blow the doors off the PHISH version.

I hope everyone understands what I am saying........this man is a COMPOSER and should compose and lead a band. You can't coach a team and play too.

Just my $.02, even if it is only worth a penny.

Phish Kid star Mon 12/12/2005 11:46AM
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This article is terrible and completely closed minded. The writer clearly has an agenda although he says he doesn't. Why do morons like this keep seeing Trey if tbey don't like him. I just don't get it. He says that Ringo Starr is underrated, are you crazy? This sounds like it was written by a right wing maniac. It puts down a lot of people and isn't about the show. I know several real phans, that really enjoyed this particular show. Trey is a genius who doesn't care what you think. He is not seeking fame. He has plenty of it. The writer of this article needs to understand that writing nasty reviews isn't what always makes people famous. Do me and everyone else a favor and don't see Trey or any member of Phish if you don't like them or their music. This is what this scene needs to rid of.

seakamp starstarstarstarstar Mon 12/12/2005 12:22PM
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Ringo is looked at as the black cow of the Beatles. Many people say that what he did was simple and could have been better. Others think that it was absolutely perfect for the song. I'm in the 2nd camp but his drumming is SIMPLE at best(great fit for the music).

Why you'd bring politics into this is just absurd... lets keep it on topic, on the article. There was NO AGENDA in this article. The author stated what he knew of Trey and went into the show with an open mind. He left the venue unmoved and that was how he felt. If you don't feel the same way then good for you. He isn't telling you how you should feel... he is giving an OPINION. Not everyone feels the same way about everything on this planet.

I wouldn't call this article nasty either. Blunt would probably be a better word. Trey IS a genius but that doesn't me he is constantly on his A game and that doesn't mean that EVERYTHING he plays is the best sound you've ever heard. I've heard him be amazing and I've heard him be completely off. If you are trying to say that Trey is always amazing and never has an off night then I think you'd be the biased one here. Open your mind and don't think that everything your jam god does is the best thing ever created.

This article is exactly what the scene needs. Artists need to know where people don't like them. They also need to know what they do like about them. Sorry but everything can't be positive 100% of the time.

rburreson starstarstarstarstar Mon 12/12/2005 12:53PM
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Right on. This article hits the nail on the head. Trey has played some great guitar over the years but this new group sucks.

rebamama starstarstar Mon 12/12/2005 12:53PM
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Although I do agree that Trey has the most humongous ego ever and new music is crap, I was not really impressed with the writing in this article. Seems like some high schooler wrote it, with the drug reference and the making fun of people who shop at whole foods. whatevs. I give it three stars cause he had the nuts to post what most fans rant and rave about all the time=trey has been an egomaniac and needs to get over himself. love ya trey but i look back on the good old days and know those days are done. thanks for the good times. this has all be wonderful, but now i'm on my way......

kyndredthreads star Mon 12/12/2005 12:54PM
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the cure? the CURE? what the f*ck is that? Anyone who mentions trey and the cure in the same article should be shot.

rhumbatumba starstarstarstar Mon 12/12/2005 01:11PM
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I have followed Trey since the early 90s. He was my hero for so long and I've seen him play so many times... but... Trey just doesnt seem to be in it for the music anymore. He has some different agendalike he's trying to win a grammy or some crap.

I wish he'd stop trying to be Eric friggin Clapton or Santana the supernatural sellout and go back to being the guy who doesnt give a crap but can still burn a hole in your chest with his guitar if he feels like it.

ryankerrigan star Mon 12/12/2005 01:18PM
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the author makes some valid points but he destroys his own credibility with unwarranted slams against people and repeated unnecessary drug references....honestly, i have come to expect greater things from jambase and its writers...i will more than likely skip over anything written by this author in the future

jambase, you are a leader in this scene....keep your standards high and the quality even higher!

peace and light
~~ryan kerrigan~~

goodpeople75 Mon 12/12/2005 01:32PM
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I could not believe I was actually reading this on Jambase! You have two members from the Dead come out with one of the best guitarists around, and you cut it in to shreds. I was present at both nights and it was a great time, and the music sounded great. He also said this was music for people in their "BMW's"! I can't believe Jambase actually hired this guy! It makes your organization look weak.

nickybo star Mon 12/12/2005 01:33PM
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This website is a joke. Your shtick is not subtle in the least. Your motives are clear. Promote the "jam" community, and in return get kickbacks and advertising dollars. The best way to do this is to keep putting down the fattest phish in the pond that consumes all of the attention and the kidzzzz cash. That way the kidzzz can spend their money and time seeing smaller and lamer more generic "jambands". I don't think it is a coincidence that the only negative articles you have on this website have been about Phish, Phish related side projects, or Beck. Then you will fluff some pathetic band like Tea Leaf Green or Groovatron that contribute absolutely nothing original. You people that run this site are pathetic.

burlapsacks Mon 12/12/2005 01:57PM
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Breathe in. Breathe out. doesn't that feel better?

Stop_Go starstarstarstarstar Mon 12/12/2005 03:44PM
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Im happy someone took the time to speak the truth. Everytime I read through a BBS and see all the fluffers (no matter what band they are talking about) it makes me sick. Im a huge phish fan and always will be, I love treys style and appreciate how good he can be. The only time Ive seen him since phish was at bonnaroo. It was absolutely terrible I didnt even stay for half the show. Oysterhead and TAB were both pretty sweet but this 70 volt parade is garbage. I love to see reviews like this in hopes that he will actually read it. I think it would be great for the jam band media to stop reconizing him completely. Hoping that he will end up in some pop or indy rock genre where there is no publicity for him to boost his ego. Maybe then he will surround him self with some real talent.

barrett starstarstarstarstar Mon 12/12/2005 07:33PM
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Wow great article cook.
your saying what needs to said, and trey if u want to rock out again, call the Colonel and trip-hop my brain with some Oysterhead. \\ coming soon....

DaveT starstarstarstarstar Mon 12/12/2005 08:02PM
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I loved phish. I dug Trey's 3 piece in 99' and even when he added the 3 horns, and than more horns, and SIDE project, good vibes, original. Phish suffers even practicing, bad shows, his heart is in the SIDE project. Exit phish, soul search, observation, EGO inflation, desire to be known outside the 'jam' community, believing the hype, attempting to be something he's not... miscalculation, poor execution, blinded by desire. Not living in the 'real' world. Crap band, crap songs...a true revealing of how thin the sound has always been. Without the smoke and mirrors (no pun intended) it's like a fish outta water. I love the fact that he pulled the plug with good intentions of not wanting to take the phish name through the mud; however, in doing so, he got what he wanted...the DEATH of phish. He let people out of the bubble to examine what was being put out there....and let's face it, it aint much, never really was. I feel a bit duped, and relieved at the same time. I loved phish, they will NEVER come back, and that is good. Trey needs some humbling. He should do a bar tour, that has empty seats, and write some music with some meaning. Love and kisses Trey, it was fun, I'll give you that. Peace.

kingbetts1 Mon 12/12/2005 08:43PM
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Having my doubts about Trey's new band after seeing them in ny i can agree with alot of the posts that he has fell off. After the new album has come out i really beleive the new band and trey has come into its own. After idolizing phish on a daily basis in my life i felt lost after they broke up; living off the downloads of The new album(AND LIVE PERFORMANCES) has injected that same wreckless fun attitude about music and life that i have experienced from Phish in the past. I find myself listening to the same Trey songs over and over again as i did when i first started listening to phish. Just puting me in an overall great mood day-in day out as long as i had the music to listen to. In the end thats what it comes down to for me is that the vibe is still there and it fills my life everyday. Go to find treys live stuff and listen to SHINE..he shreds the song and if that isnt good enough listen to money love and change. It's all good day PHISH will be back but in the meantime enjoy what else is out there.

fojo420 Mon 12/12/2005 09:27PM
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Ok, ok people. I think everyone needs to stop and take a shot, a Midol, a bong hit, or whatever it is you need to calm down. Remember this is just one man's opinion of one night of music. In all the years I've been reading jambase I have never seen such reaction to one show review. Would the commentary of this article be so inflamed if it was about any other band? Would some of you feel so strongly if he wrote a negative review about a Mike and Leo show? My guess is probably no.

For all those who feel they can write a better review, go ahead and try. At least Dennis found a way to articulate his thoughts far beyond the Nobel Lauriate winning statements of "That was fucking awesome!!" or "I can't believed how much that show really sucked!!" that I usually hear coming out of shows.

One final comment to all those who are bashing jambase for carrying such "drivel" on their site, have fun trying to find another web site out there that is as comprehensive as this one is for any information about the jam community.

Jibooer Mon 12/12/2005 10:15PM
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through a link from his homepage i read another review dennis cook wrote of a trey show at the warfield. he even mentions before the link that he had some nice things to say about trey. not really. but he did get in how he never got 'it' about phish. and he did mention that show's 'cincinnati' and that it was on the '31st of may' which had me wondering why he didn't mention the 'black dog' or the four song second set with carlos santana sitting in? probably because he left after cincinnati.
you would think that a review of that show should have at least a mention of something as momentous as a set long santana sit in. i guess he didn't check the setlist the next day like many of us did.

clarkeart Tue 12/13/2005 04:04AM
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Is this some kind of record for comments?

crazyleggedelbow starstarstarstarstar Tue 12/13/2005 06:05AM
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jammmy Tue 12/13/2005 07:01AM
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Phish is coming back.

ficcus starstarstar Tue 12/13/2005 07:01AM
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I am rating this article as mediocre because it takes someone with a mediocre excistance to write and article such as this. I followed Phish all over this country and into Europe seeing show after show and subsequently following Trey with his other endeavors. Being a fan of Phish and its members, it ashames me now how people lash out against Trey or how easy it is not to stand behind someone that you loved at some point.

I usually do not post stuff online because I try not to let someone;s thoughts or opinions in writing drive me to the point of defense, but in this case I have too. I call the article MEDIOCRE because I think it is easy for a mediocre person to sit down and write and article trashing an artist point of view without possibly having the drive to create something of validity themselves. Yes Trey has a lot of money now and so automatically he does not relate to normal society anymore and is writing songs for people to listen to in the Range Rovers????? Let the man do what he wants to do and let the people who enjoy seeing him continue to do that without the ONLINE sewage talk that occurs in articles like this and in places such as Phish chat rooms.

Some people have a connection with Trey, Mike, Page, & Fishman and love to see those guys no matter the circumstances. There are ways that people have connected with them all over this world in ways that someone such as this writter could and never will understand because they did not experience it. I have seen all of those guys in side projects, some good some not so good, but I had a blast each and everytime. In the same respect, I had a ball at every single Phish show I went to also, but as the day was born again there was always someone there with something negative to say about the show they had just experienced which is one reason I feel Phish is no longer with us. People who trash artist bring them DOWN! They reduce their vision to the point where it sinks them. Leave the guy alone, if you don't his music, don't go see him, but allow the people who are having a good time to have that experience because that is all we are here for!

The Glick star Tue 12/13/2005 08:00AM
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The Glick

great show(s). i'm looking forward to the next round of Trey's concert(s).

Bring It!

jcskolman starstar Tue 12/13/2005 08:01AM
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I find this article pretty interesting. First of all he doesn't even know the music he is writting about. If you are writting about Trey know all of his music. Gamehendge is nothing but substance. His new stuff maybe a little light on substance but that doesn't make it bad. He is exploring some things he has not been able to do for 20 years. Cut Trey a break. If you love a musician you may not love all of his music but you at least respect it since he has the balls to release it.
I am dissapointed in the writting of the story that someone with so little knowledge of Trey can be so criticle without knowing his history of songwriting.

pgeano starstarstarstarstar Tue 12/13/2005 08:08AM
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Before I begin, I just have to say that I love, love, love Phish. Love 'em! Moving on...
Although I don't agree with everything Dennis has to say, I applaud his courage and honesty. Trey's "parade" of stage guests are a mask of his dwindling musical success. Jennifer (and her band) is absolutely amazing. Ray is an excellent musician, but backing Trey, both are forced to stoop to his level.
Also, I would like to say that I'm so sick of Relix kissing Trey's butt. The story in this month's issue is well-written, but the credit belongs to Tim Donnelly and not to Trey. He helped me see "Shine" in a whole new light. I would have rather seen the North Mississipi All-Stars on the cover; Wes' story is much better anyway.
So, all I'm trying to say is that I encourage everyone to approach every show, as Dennis did, with an open mind. Do not allow your love of Phish to cloud your judgement. I'm sad when I hear people say, "Phish is OK, but they're not as good as the Dead," or, "All these other bands are just biting off of Phish," but it's equally sad to hear people sing Trey's praises while remaining blind to his poor voice and recent musical decline. There's a certain level of quality we've always expected in our music, and there's no reason to stop expecting it now. Thanks for reading!

DJ Saturday Baxter star Tue 12/13/2005 08:09AM
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DJ Saturday Baxter

this article was WEAK. you could tell that the writer wanted to hate TREY. if he never got phish...he has no idea what was and is going on. some of his comments just didnt make sense. Trey doesnt seem to have an ego problem. have u read any articles of Trey talking?? he seems really cool and hes trying to figure out his life the best he can. he cant please everyone. I mean...look at Herbie Hancock. He is a legend and he is the shit. ... well, he has a lot of shitty cds and has played some crappy shows...who hasnt. the point is: u dont rip him apart just for the sake of it. dennis you are a joke.

gunnbeast star Tue 12/13/2005 09:08AM
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I thought Trey's performance was mind altering and I'm not a fluffer. Its too bad you went in there with expectations of not being blasted off. You want the man to defecate gold and make jewerlry out of it. He's currently at the bronzing stage and you'll get your gold eventually. I feel horribly sorry for those who miss out. I can't fathom it.

moe2 star Tue 12/13/2005 09:42AM
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I had never seen trey or phish before seein him at utica and I was incredibly dissappointed. His music sucks, his voice is worse, and after hearing by my friends who saw him at sheas in Buffalo, that he was mocking out a homeless person. Don't waste your time. Go see a good worthwhile band. finally the trey era is over. Its time for umphreys to reign.

Mike4 star Tue 12/13/2005 10:56AM
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I am not going to go on a rant about someone's point of view, but To say Less Hall is the "weekest link", is just insane. Les keep doing what you do and forget about the rest. Columbia is proud of you!!!

eask starstarstarstar Tue 12/13/2005 11:55AM
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"4 stars"

goodpeople75 star Tue 12/13/2005 12:15PM
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I am laughing at these postings so hard that I am crying...HAHAHEHE..I can't even begin to understand how someone can put "Humphrey's" in the same classification of Trey, or ABOVE Trey. STOP!! STOP!!! It's making my side hurt I'm laughing so hard!!

nomemory starstarstarstarstar Tue 12/13/2005 03:27PM
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Dennis, I admire your courage. To say what you said, the way that it needed to be said, especially on a website like Jambase takes balls, something that Trey's music has lacked for a long long time.

First let me say, that I have been to and enjoyed many Phish concerts, seen Trey solo, and with Dave Matthews. The man is very talented musically, there is no way anyone can argue that. Unfortunately he lets his ego and lazy upper-middle class attitude stand in the way of what could be great song writing. And the endless pointless noodling on a clean guitar channel is just lame. When phish broke up, I was glad to see Trey out of the public lime light for a while, but of course, he thrusts himself back into it, showing that it more than likely wasn't his decision to break-up phish in the first place. I remember watching a phish documentary, as they are walking off stage, Mike Gordon makes an annoyed comment to Trey cause he "plays too many notes" I couldn't agree more. The message is lost in that blizzard of fake complexity.

We all know that the uprising of Phish was largely based on the absence of the Dead. But Trey and any of his incarnations have never been what a band like the dead were. No heart, no soul, no real message...

on a sidenote: The whole Kruetzmann as being one of the most underrated drummers ever, I've got to agree, but I'd like to add to that list Nick Mason from Pink Floyd.

In closing, I say, why waste 35-45$ to see phish when you could see bands like Galactic, Ween, Jack Johnson, Buckethead, Bela Fleck or Ratdog for much much less? I have to totally agree with you about the Placebo effect too! Although, I've noticed a lot of candy ravers in Trey's audiences, I guess when you compare him to techno, he's pretty good.

tjames starstarstarstar Tue 12/13/2005 04:19PM
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I think sometimes we miss the overall message in music. No this is not a hugely strong effort from Trey and his new unit. No this is not the Dead or Phish. Its one guy doing what he loves, for better or for worse. I think things are so over anal-ized in our instant ESPN/Fantasy/Cyber shit world we forget how our favorite bands flowered, quitely, passionatly, and with hard work and few people watching. I was at the shows and yeah they were ok but give the guy a break. It takes balls to walk away from something huge and secure. He will find the music and hapiness that he started playing with whether or not you, I, or the critics do.

Ned8 starstarstarstarstar Tue 12/13/2005 04:43PM
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First of all; I don't know the music at all. I'm reading this from the stand point of someone who loves all music and never was blessed or cursed with Phish experiences. I was into the Dead and into Jazz,, world music and parts beyond. I dig the fact that people are so passionate about the subject of one artist because the unity of all the friends that had one place that they all would go to and be together and then profess that it was the music. It was the same reason I loved and then grew up to realize that there was so much more out there to experience and I could go out into the cold world and experience it and did not need to be with familiar surroundings. Again, I don't know Phish but think it pretty trite that of course the Hackensaw boys, a trivial attempt at old time Bluegrass opened the show and that this is all very funny to me on the whole. i really respected the African trip that Trey and Dave took. That could have built so much more to a crowd that refuses to look outside of itself. Bands that are mentioned here Umphries Mcgee, Galactic, and others are all good but they get ideas from fore-fathers and dress it in a little different suit and many think they are in love with the hierarchy they create.
When, for the good love of art are these so called luminous going to really do their part to connect Music Art History with this community and serve it right?
I tell you this; there is really one band that excels with a few others to me and it is the Slip; they are un-assuming and creatively connected to all forms of music and there seems no pretentiousness about it. I hope they never get so big that there is a question but then I just don’t think it would happen to this type of group because they just love to be the cut. Maybe some of these artists could just give up their wealth and that would get them back on the street again to feel life’s pulse. It would be a start
The article is very good and I have just ranted off the subject
So be it!

JohnVoss starstarstarstar Tue 12/13/2005 05:23PM
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I dont understand how commenting on the "article" leads itself into a discussion on which bands are allowed to be commented on. To all the people who have started taking the new drug via Umphreys, MMJ, The Slip, or Groovatron; keep it up. There is no right band for anyone to compare to anything. The only reason we compare the Dead to Phish is because they do the same things in different ways, but cant that be said about all bands. Isnt everyone just playing music.

For me, i have seen plenty of Phish, Umphreys, MMW, MMJ, the slip, or whoever else to know that Trey isnt comparing to what any of the formentioned bands are. In the 4 or 5 times ive seen Trey since Coventry, i havent even stayed the whole show. It is getting that bad. But i do know you cant throw me out of an Umphreys show. And i think alot of people feel the same way, maybe about a different band, but they same way.

420stumpy420 star Tue 12/13/2005 05:28PM
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First of all, I love(ed) Phish. But, they have broken up and are gone. I have a lot of respect for Trey moving on and trying something new. Miles Davis did the same thing. He could've just made Kind of Blue over and over, but he decided to try and grow as an artist. Trey is trying to do the same thing. Let him grow. Let him create new music. The people who are bent about what Trey is doing now are just proving that they never got Phish in the first place. Phish was about trying new things and growing on a nightly basis. Phish was not about doing the same thing over and over.
I really like the new stuff Trey is doing. It's not Phish, but it's still good. And it's just going to get better and better. As for the substance of Trey's new music, it is a very personal statement, in words and music, of a man in a state of change. It's really the most meaningful work Trey has done to date.
I had the chance to see Trey in Buffalo and Utica. I was struck but how happy Trey appeared and how much fun he was having. That has been missing for a long time. I'm glad to see it back. But, most of all, I had a great time. That's really what music is all about.
Again, Phish is gone. Let's all move on. And let Trey move. It's still great music. Different from before. But that's okay.

jordanworley starstarstarstarstar Tue 12/13/2005 05:50PM
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Could someone please forward this article to the folks at Jam On on Sirius. They play something from his new album every five songs..AHHHHHH! Seems like Jam On is turning into what I hated radio for. Payola anyone??? Let those folks know we wont be fooled again!

marcmonbo starstarstarstarstar Tue 12/13/2005 06:00PM
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This article is dead on, and I applaud the author for audaciously speaking for so many. A lot of comments already posted talk about the need for the author to have known Phish in order to call Trey's material lacking. I am a huge Phish fan, and I saw Trey with 70 volt parade in Minneapolis on this tour, and I can easily say that nobody has to compare Trey's music to anything to know that it's largely insubstantial and weak. Some of the songs had decent or catchy melodies, but the reality of it all is that every song had cliche lyrics, and, most importantly, they all did not allow Trey to demonstrate his amazingly unique and definitive guitar playing, the lack of which was greatly exemplified by Trey trading off solos in jams with Les Hall, who was only a marginal guitar player to say the least. As outlined in the article, each song ended in the exact same repetitive, uninteresting rock jam, the only difference being that each was in the key of the respective song. All in all, the show was boring and definitely not worth 45 dollars.

I found it hilarious that the "high point" in the evening was when Trey sat down during set break and played AC/DC bag and Wilson on his acoustic--people went nuts. After playing his first song, he said to the crowd, "This is all for those people who get on the internet and talk about how bad it is that I come out and [play acoustic Phish at set break]. Fuck all you, I love these songs!" So do I, Trey. And so do each one of the other audience members, who sold out this huge theater only because they're Phish fans. One of the reasons Trey cited as to justify ending Phish was so that he would not become a "caricature of himself, being 40 years old and still touring around playing songs like 'You Enjoy Myself.'" I hate to break it to you Trey, but that's exactly what you are with the 70 volt parade: you sell your name and play half-assed, forcedly written songs, the occasional Beatles cover, acoustic Phish songs at set break, and charge 45 dollars for it all. Things like YEM are what made you who you are, and that's why people go to your solo act. You'll never become a caricature of yourself by doing what you're known for doing, and this is not what you deliver in the 70 volt parade. Yes, this just became a plea for the return of Phish/criticism for the ending of it, but hey, these are the exact thoughts I had immediately after the 11/2/05 Trey show.

I guess the most important thing that one should take from this is that a Trey show is not worth 45 dollars. Once more people realize this, maybe Trey will either a) realize what makes him an amazing musician and subsequently write better music and put on a better live show or b) stop this solo business and restart Phish! Until that point, I advise everybody to go see an amazing show worth every cent, like Ween.

soxphan Wed 12/14/2005 04:47AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up! has a great interview/acoustic performance with Trey(in the music,live at npr section). He performs some songs off of shine that I liked better acoustic. He also talks about how drugs were becoming a major problem towards the end of phish(something as a big phish fan, I believed was a problem). Hey I'm a Trey apologist, I've had too many great times at phish, AND trey shows to just start hating on the guy. It's one thing to not like the music he's puting out, but the venom,and sense of betrayal some people have towards trey, and phish is over the top.

KEVTRIHY starstarstarstar Wed 12/14/2005 09:32AM
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I'm a 35 yr old head who lives in Co, but spent the late 80's and early 90's, going to college in Burlington. Had some amazing times, and have numerous stories. In late 92', early 93' it was very apparent that the boyz' were going to go big. Their draw was the guy next door appeal, and their ordinary stature.. Incredible musicians, who had the ability to keep the message light, while playing incredibly hard. In a short 5 yrs. things changed drastically. I know phish has a great D&D factor to them, that is what made tour; tour. When push comes to shove, it's phantasy, entertainment, escape. If Trey, Mike, Page, Fish, brought meaning and incredible times to your life, than let it go. I have always explained Trey to people, as being my lennon in life. With the 25 anniv. of the passing of John, I view the video of Dec' 80, and see the anguish and frustration, of all the heads, and it still drives me nuts.. Trey is alive, and he is healthy, and he is happy, and he still likes to play his guitar.. It's a long and winding road, give the guy some line, and appreciate the beauty and goodness.. I thought Dennis article was tight and on the point.. I have been to Red Rocks alot over the past decade. 95',96' phish runs. 01', 02' Tab runs, 05' parade gig. I was stage left 19 rows up in the corner,this past August, and the music was a good loud, and very entertaining, a great night out. Be good pholks!! COME FROM TOP OF MTN BAAABY, WHERE THE PEOPLE COME TO PRAY!!!!!!!

satisphied75 star Wed 12/14/2005 11:36AM
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I think that the postings are much more interesting than the story itself. Personally I will not read anything else from this author. I am in my early thirties and have seen a tremendous amount of live music(Dead,Phish,Kimock,Panic, etc..) I went to the show in the article. I had a great time, and everyone I was with did. The main point in this article is Trey's ego. WOW! Trey has an ego? I didn't know that. This guy needs to write about something that we don't know about. I have been talking about Trey's ego since 96. If you have ever heard him in an interview he is a well spoken, nice guy. He is a perfectionist, and 95% of musicians like him have egos( Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, Jim Morrison, to name a view). If you want your music to be perfect you can't just lounge around on stage and not take control of your band. Of course it is not as good as Phish, none of his bands ever will be. But I love to see the guy play guitar, and there is no reason for him to stop since Phish is done. And for all of these people who keep saying umphreys is the band now, I don't know where you all came from. Have any of you umphrey kids ever seen a Long Form into a thirty minute Ice Cream from Kimock. If you haven't, check it out, it's some of the best music around. I also would like to know what umphrey tune is more smoking than Night Speaks, Sneaking Sally through the alley, Sand, First Tube? Please people, stop talking this band up so much. I saw them at the Fox in Boulder for free, and left the show because it went nowhere.

jmintz Wed 12/14/2005 12:07PM
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A reviewer's job is to call it like he or she sees it. Case closed. Dennis did just that, and that's all that matters. You either agree with his opinion or disagree, but respect it.

All these comments and only one or two about Susan's great photos? Nice work, Ms. Weiand :)

lziffer starstarstarstar Wed 12/14/2005 12:48PM
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Look. Most of us have been there. We were at Madison Square in 95 or at Big Cypress or Coventry or whatever. The point remains that Phish is gone, and it doesn't look like they are ever coming back. That having been said, I think we can all agree that solo Trey isn't Phish, just like Vida Blue, Leo & Mike, and the Friendship Treehugging Orchestra featuring Fishman (or whatever) isnt Phish. It seems like there are still oodles of Phish-heads needing a Phish fix that just isnt going to come from Trey's new act. Sure, he'll play a few accoustic tunes and maybe drop a Farmhouse every once in a while, but anyone who has been to a Phish show knows that the magic was more than just a setlist. If Trey's new direction pisses people off, then perhaps they should stop listening to it, just like they stopped listening to the Dave Matthews Band when they decided to go in a differant direction. Bands change and people change, and the not so recent overflow of Trey-bashing is probably due to a mixture of both.
I left Coventry as big of a fan as I had been in the begining, but I left my illusions in the muddy fields and Interstates-turned-parking-lots of Vermont. People who want Phish in 1994 or the Dead in 1979 will never get that again, so just tune your ipods to a pre-hiatus show and rock out. There are better things to worry about than if Trey still "brings it", which he does. Just because things arent the way they were before is a crappy excuse to write off a tremendous musical talent.
That having been said, you wont EVER see me at a 70 volt parade show. Not my thing, not anymore.

wjeremy26 starstarstar Wed 12/14/2005 12:50PM
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I thought it was a pretty decent article. As a big Phish fan i was wondering how he was solo, and I am still interested in checking them out. I usually dont put much emphasis in someone elses opinion though. I am stoked to see trey and mike with billy this weekend at the xmas jam. Wondering what type of stuff they will end up playing. His article made me want to see Trey by himself even more, so I could form my own opinion. One thing about his article, am I the only person in this world who thinks Mars Volta and My Morning Jacket are overated. I tried to listen to some of MMJ stuff on archive, and it didnt sound all that great. But as I stated earlier, thats my opinion, so dont put too much emphasis into it. I'll take Umphreys Mcgee or Tea Leaf Green over those two anyday.

micarc starstarstar Wed 12/14/2005 12:56PM
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I look at it like this...Everyone is different and they are entitled to their own opinions. But to say that Trey's new stuff is God-Awful! C'mon! My wife hates the fact that I own Phish tapes and shows and hates it when I listen to it but that is her opinion. But When I was playing Shine when I got it she actually liked it which shocked the hell out of me. I live in Utica but never made it to the show but I did make Albany the next week and 70 Volt gave me the same experience that Phish gave me. Don't me wrong, I'm not a head that goes to shows for the acid and the scene. I go totally for the music and hearing phish or 70 volt got me grooving just the same and just like abefroman said the question should be did you spend the whole time dancing your ass off? then you had a good show. I hope that Trey keeps doing what he's doing and the rest of Phish keeps doing what ever makes them happy. The article was not bad but you gotta open up a little and see the show from the phans viewpoint.

mscalzi starstarstarstar Wed 12/14/2005 02:02PM
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I saw trey in buffalo this tour and thought it was one of the worst shows i have ever been to. It was honsetly one of the most disheartening experiences of my see my idol, the one man i looked up to more then anyone else, to die infront of my eyes. No i wasn't at this show nor have i listened to it, but i also saw him at Bonnaroo and in Cleveland over the summer and every show has the same shallow, poppy bullshit feel. I used to be one of those phans that defended Trey no matter what. But now i see what so many others saw before.....Trey's playing and new album is crap, mindless. He needs to take a break or something and find himself because right now he's lost.

jimmy123 star Wed 12/14/2005 04:20PM
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Next time please have somone who knows about the band write the review. If you are going to let some one who doesn't know the music give a review please shorten their length. A certain song comes to mind while reading this article.....Ramble on.

mjvansmack star Wed 12/14/2005 04:39PM
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If you can try to understand what Trey's been through, you can understand where he is now. Phish broke up cuz they started to suck and they couldn't go on botching songs. Trey didn't want to be remembered as the leader of a stung-out on drugs hippy jam band, that's why he is doing this kind of stuff now. Of crouse his band now isn't Phish and you can't expect it to be even close. Phish will be back sooner or later, once they all get clean and practice, something that hasn't really happened since the 90s. And also Trey was writing songs like David Bowie when he was 20 years old, what the hell else can he do? And what the hell is wrong with Coldplay and the Counting Crows? The jamband scene is crowded with wanna-be phish groups, it takes a little something extra to be original

nobodysjam starstarstar Wed 12/14/2005 06:08PM
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Can't get a big enough dose of good old BMW SUV, Whole Foods, and mainstream pop artist bashing-that's what all the readers here are yearing for, of this I'm quite sure. Aren't we ever the more eager for ways to shamlessly shill My Morning Jacket and Mars Volta upon the soapium-washed masses, how about pipe them both into every Starbucks, which will surely blend in with all that other unlistenable bleeding ear-drum sludge metal they dish out, we'll call it "alternative pop". But alas, the author does get one minor notion right, sure 70 Volt has room for improvement, as most any 7-8 month old bands do. And hey, at least he's impartial-totally 100% clueless about all things Phish. So in the end, Trey can and probably should go back to his castle/catered fantasy land and dream up another Dungeons and Dragons kiddie story, while Dennis and I smoke up our own dragon after bumming some change for a brand new tatoo from those easy-listening yuppie scum we so disdain tainting OUR sceen. rant off

data starstarstarstarstar Wed 12/14/2005 06:31PM
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Thank you. I never hear anything bad about any bands these days. Not everything is "awsome" and when jambase, relix, ect. talk like everything is it reminds me of marketing in america. If somethings good we'll know, friends will talk, isen't that part of what we love about these bands. It's real in a world where not much is.
Sad to say, Trey's board me the last few times I've seen him

jdennig starstarstar Wed 12/14/2005 06:50PM
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Kiss my grits. I'm lovin' how emotionally charged things are right now with those nasty reunion rumors out there! BUT...

Mr. Cook. Suck it up. Stop your dancing between apologetic on your homepage (") and apocalyptic in your JamBase piece.
JamBase asked you to do a story and be impartial, which you should be able to do as a writer in the first place regardless. And you took them up on the offer, right? Why? You couldn't last being removed from the Trey-bashing, or calling him out for being pampered and in doing so actually faulted a fellow man for being successful. (BMWs? Come on.)
But, I don't hate you for that. A lot of what you said holds water, and a lot is pure rabble, rabble. Whatever your writing says, it's YOUR writing. If you can't stand at a distance and observe, don't take the assignment. But don't take the assignment and play the, "Oh, I was in a weird place then, Mary" card.

I could take an assignment to cover a Tishamingo show, and rip them up. But I wouldn't. My BIAS would play into it. But, I could write it, you see. And their entire fanbase would come knocking down my door. And I'd be standing there waiting to tell each one, face-to-face, "I did write that piece. What's it to you? It's mine. For me. By me. Bye now." Man, I hope you put part of yourself into that piece, and if you did, who the hell cares what other people think? Stand up and bring on all takers, I say.

But, I'm not you. And neither is your editor, Mr. Kayceman. I don't come bearing arms, Kayceman. I think you're right in standing up for your writer, no matter what your intentions. I read your Coventry group-recap, and your's stood high above the rest.

Put all this bashing in context though, y'all. re: "Trey sucks". Trey doesn't suck. Deal with it. If you're saying that, say, "Trey sucks... because I'm a Spread Head, and Mikey was my man." But, don't come down on The Man for following his heart and trying to find something new to smile about when he wakes up in the morning. I wish Trey could be the luckiest man on the face of the earth and instantly find a band that he clicked with like he did with Phish, but I don't hate him because he hasn't yet. I'm not overly impressed with 70 Volt, but they make some good sound at times. But, I have heard Trey stand out, stand TALL with out the surrounding members of Phish. I loved that '99 Acoustic/Electric Tour. And as far as spending $35 somewhere else, I guess you could. I guess you could spend it on UM if you wanted. You could spend it on MMJ, Particle, MMW, Galactic, Dirty Dozen, The Gov, WSP, pgroove, The Dead, Phil, Ratdog, Kimmock, Keller, Black Crowes, Wilco, DJ Logic, J5, Crystal Method, WTF-ever. To be honest, I don't really care. If you're going to the show I'm going to, bring your smile and your dancing shoes. Have some fun and lighten up. Leave all this negativity at home when you come.

And if you can't, surely don't go gettin' revenge on those who had fun and write a piece for "national" publication once you get home.

JKernan starstarstarstarstar Wed 12/14/2005 08:11PM
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Love the article. Props to Trey for taking a risk. Big props to Dennis for calling Trey on the fact that the risk did not work out for him.

One note on MMJ. I have seen over 200 Dead shows and over 50 Phish shows. Saw MMJ at the Fillmore in November and got that same tingle I used to get back in the old days. Check that band out live before they start playing sheds and stadiums - you won't be disappointed.

kjmcgrupp Wed 12/14/2005 11:58PM
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Hit the nail on the head, that Jeff Tweedy look-alike Les Hall is awful, what is Trey's attraction to this guy?

FormulaOBX Thu 12/15/2005 05:41AM
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I like Tre's new haircut it so hip.Mike & Tre are so lucky to be playing with Bill this weekend.THAT is an accomplishment.

gnillem starstarstarstarstar Thu 12/15/2005 09:09AM
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This dialogue reminds me of the era in which Miles Davis, the ever-changing musical genius, started doing fusion. The jazz critics said he sold-out to gain popularity. Friends, we are witnessing the career of one of the most creative and prolific musicians of all-time. It's unfolding right before us. Trey's music is always so fresh and interesting, and always changing. If you don't like it, wait five minutes. Trey will continue to break new ground and try different things. I for one, think "Shine" is brilliant. This is the most cohesive work from him since Billy Breathes.

djdaddyp starstarstarstarstar Thu 12/15/2005 09:14AM
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This story is great-coming from a man who wasn't phish smitten and still thinks this new Trey thing kinda sucks. I love the guy (besides hating him) and I still was a little disappointed with the show in Nashville, and then they just plain pooped down my throat at Bonnaroo. Thanks for the lame cover band Trey. If you're gonna quit Phish bring back Oysterhead! If Les still thinks your cool.

ambrosiajam star Thu 12/15/2005 09:29AM
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Well I saw trey with his 70 volt parade. I wasnt very impressed, I know he could make cooler music. I heard the album 'Shine', and whatever, you know? But i dont like it when people start dissing umphreys. cuz guess what, i've seen them like 12 times and i watched them evolve over the past year. Umphreys is more talented than the 70 volt parade, and i would know. i would prefer to leave umphreys in a different discussion than trey. i think you would tooo. umpheys is a lot more powerful, versatile, etc etc etc etc etc

quitcherbitchen starstar Thu 12/15/2005 12:35PM
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First of all, screw you Dennis. If you don't like the music, fine; but to start puking up statements suggesting that Trey can't write solid music any longer because he has money is know what, just screw you. Now for you whining little bastards who have nothing but negativity for Trey. 1) Why are you youngsters even mentioning other bands in your comments concerning this article? The article is about Trey. Yes, there are other bands out there that are tighter (for now), and have a deeper repretoir of songs to pull from, etc. Why do you think that is? Maybe because Trey's new band has only been together for about a year (if that). For God's sake...give it some time. And for jerkoff who wrote "they just plain pooped down my throat at Bonnaroo" and called them a cover band. What, do you expect Trey to just have nothing but original songs ready go less than one year after the Phish breakup? Screw you. Actually, don't give Trey more time. Just stop going to the shows so I don't have run into your punk ass. What in the wide wide world of sports is wrong with you people?

hellyeah Thu 12/15/2005 01:39PM
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hey quiterbitchen, it makes perfect sense to tell someone who doesn't like an artist or musician to just not go if they don't like what that musician is doing, but then you go on generously throwing out the eloquent "screw yous" all around it takes any credibility from your statement. as far as getting "our throats pooped down at bonnaroo" i was lucky enough to sadly walk away from the trey show before the poop that was bo bice joined him for a van halen cover. and then when a hasidic rapper joining in was pointed out as the high point in the trey show the next day, i finally faced up to the fact that trey's music just isn't for me anymore, but i won't spite you for enjoying it.

djcorbin starstarstarstarstar Thu 12/15/2005 03:18PM
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For all you trey lovers, do you really think Trey's solo music, not the phish covers, is really phenomanal??? If that is true, why isn't anybody touring the country with him?? If his music is so great, where are you muthas!!! Stop settling for okay music!! Great music is why we all are in the jamscene. Twenty years ago, did Jerry just settle for okay music. His solo projects had heart. Where's Trey's?

padan star Thu 12/15/2005 03:29PM
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Well I've already commented, but one post about the NPR interview with Trey. If you haven't heard it I highly suggest it. Go to and find the Trey link. He specifically talks about why he broke up Phish, even though it was pretty obvious, just that nobody was saying anything. He also talks aobut the inspiration behind his songs. After listening to this interview, it would be impossible to say Trey has no feeling in his lyrics. He also plays a few acoustic versions of Shine, Invisible, and Tuesday that are rocking. Also check out Mike's interview. Its about his new album with Leo Kottke, which by the way is awesome. I highly reccomend to listen to both of these. The Trey interview will completely nullify this terrible article.

courtmichau star Thu 12/15/2005 04:52PM
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Dennis, Tom Petty would most likely tell you, “don’t come around here no more.”

Reading your article I can’t help but think of a great Onion T-Shirt which reads “Stereotypes a Great Time Saver.” You state that, “Tom Petty, Sarah McLachlan, and their ilk all have a similar sheltered gloss. It's pretty, like chrome, but lacks any real depth. This is the music BMW SUV drivers listen to on the way to Pilates classes and Whole Foods runs. Deep it ain't.” This type of stereotyping leads me to believe that you are narrow-minded and quick to judge people in a negative way. In fact, D, you don’t know the type of music that people who drive BMW SUVs headed towards the Whole Foods listen to. But, you go ahead and imply that these people are shallow and don't know art like you do. Go ahead and stop the stereotyping and I will start giving your articles some consideration.

origen starstarstarstar Thu 12/15/2005 08:27PM
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The only reason anyone is still interested in Trey or Phish is because they heven't seen enough other bands. If these phish-heads actually took the time to see more than one band in their lives, they would realize how much better stuff there is out there. It is insane to pay $45 to see a has-been when you can see a vastly superior band in a nightclub for $10-12. Anyone who has seen The Breakfast, or New Monsoon, or the Secret Machines, will forget that Phish or Trey ever existed. Even old school 90's jambands like Ominous Seapods, Juggling Suns, ekoostik hookah are better. It would be a shorter list if I just named the bands that are worse than Trey/ Phish. The only reason anyone still cares about Trey must be because they are unaware of the huge number of great acts out there; Trey is simply benifitting from the fact that his fans have extremely limited musical knowledge. The more bands you've seen, the less likely it is you are interested in Trey or Phish. Like I said - go see The Breakfast and you will forget Phish ever existed, and you will realize how foolish it is to pay big bucks to see an over-rated band in an oversized venue.

stu199635 starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/16/2005 09:13AM
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What I want to know is where has the FUNK gone. How can trey live with himself playing this cheesy main stream crap after a life with the funkiest band around. It is obvious that the other band members are there just to back up trey. When this happens there is no chance of a progressive intelligent jam. There is only trey shredding and mediocre music in the background. Trey needs to play with musicians that can think for themselves(oysterhead). Until them I will stick with the funk and the creative energy(SCI)

zeveriah starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/16/2005 11:26AM
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I agree with all you said. I saw the Dec. 3rd show. I miss his last band a lot. Cyro and Russ are deeply missed by me. They pushed the jams into great masses of percussion funk. Now it seems that Trey is left all alone. I too wondered what Hall was contributing. I Treyat his last Warfield show with Santana. Mind blowing! This show was several steps back regardless of Santana's presence. It saddens me deeply. Trey was moving in such a positive direction with his last band. I really felt he was going into unchartered territory with them. Listening to Plasma is proof of this. The first tube on that is sick. He needs to get the last band back and fast. His first solo CD was great!I wonder if he see's the mediocrity with Shine? I love Trey, but I feel like I did with Michael Jackson in the 80's when he went crazy and became addicted to plastic surgery. Come on Trey! Get that fire back!!!!!!!

JohnVoss starstarstarstar Fri 12/16/2005 11:53AM
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To the guy below, who is comparing "the funk(SCI)" to Trey or Phish, come on man... Ive have been to more Cheese shows that anything else, and even i will say that is comparing Apples to dried rotten bananas. Phish is in a whole other relm than other bands. That is why we are so emotional and volitile when it come to talking about Phish. One other thing, lets quit bashing Umphreys in these posting, ok some of you old schoolers dont like them, they are progressive, we know. I think that is what alot of people like about the UM, like Phish early in their carrer, they arent afraid to do things different. So they dont play a 30 minutes Ice Cream like Kimock. Good that is why i see Kimock. But if i want to go to an all out, balls to the wall, rock show; Im gonna see Umphreys.

cmottern starstarstarstar Fri 12/16/2005 12:08PM
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Its very confusing to me to wonder what all you people who are complaining about Treys band are looking for. I was at the 12/3 show at the Warfield and thought that the music was awesome and that his band was tight and that they were an exciting and fun show to see.

Furthermore, I like the Shine album and I don't put any stock in criticism about it as I heard the same complaints about every Phish album that came out since I can remember, with the exception of Hoist. I think Shine is far better than Lawnboy, Picture of Nectar, and Farmhouse. But then again I dont really compare these as this is a completley different band with different musical intentions and ideas.

The band is well presented live and provides a good platform for Trey's playing. It's not Phish, and I think thats the point for Trey.

Get over it. It's not Phish. Open your mind and listen to what's happening now or risk listening to classic rock radio for the rest of your life and never getting or understanding all the great music that is coming out all the time.

I do hope that with all the negativity about Trey, that I will have more space to dance and hang out, as most of you complainers would not show up again. Right? I'll be there and looking forward to hearing his next solo album.

Get real people.

mercerdrew starstarstarstar Fri 12/16/2005 12:38PM
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Glad to see Trey is finally being held accountable for short-changing his audience. His solo albums seem to be intentional in what he is intending to be exploratory. And the lyrics are getting worse. The 'ride the train' and 'so down, can't get back up' lyrics are unimaginative although probably cool to early teens who keep a keen ear out for drug references. I've always thought Trey could put out a stellar blues or jazz album. That would mean ditching the 'I'm cool and have a buzz' lyrics and not going after that ever elusive higher climax in his jams. I would love to hear a relaxed Trey cover a Hendrix or John Lee Hooker album from top to bottom. And team back up with Herbie Hancock for a full length jazz deal.

willer starstarstarstar Fri 12/16/2005 01:49PM
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Well there's no shortage of negative feedback from the 70 volt parade. Trey's own naming of the band came from what you get if you only put just over 1/2 enough power into an amp, and that's what we're getting! My personal experience was from an Richmond,VA show a few months back and at Scott Stadium before the Stones. I'm almost sorry I went save the company. But NEVER FEAR. Trey is a master at work. Eric clapton did it time and again, and so will trey. No I don't love the current line up or the ever busy weak link as so described, and yes I love and miss TAB, but hey it's only been a few months. Those who doubt Trey's longevity will be sorry. Regardless of the other complexities of voice, drugs, ego and band... there are few on the planet that can rival Trey's ability to whip a guitar around BE HAPPY YOU SAW IT IN YOUR LIFE!

Absylom Rising starstarstar Fri 12/16/2005 02:57PM
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Absylom Rising

This article makes some valid points but belittles them with unnecessary personal jibes at Phish fans, Trey fans, and Trey himself. In the end, any music review is, of course, a subjective point of view. The author contends that he approached the show (and only one show, which has NEVER been an accurate barometer of any project with which Trey's ever been associated) with an open mind, but his dissappointment in what he got reveals some expectations. I, for one, would look forward to seeing the "Trey, Medeski, Fishman, & Flea" combo he mentioned in the Relix article, and I hope they're not expected to sound like Phish, because they won't.

Deadhead05 starstar Fri 12/16/2005 04:50PM
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Trey isn't Phish, so don't go see him and expect Phish. I think in order to listen to Trey with open ears and a open mind, we have to forget about Phish and embrace him as Trey Anastasio. Give him some time and i'm sure he'll find his groove. And if he doesn't then fuck it and go see something else, but that's just my opinion.

BluesMan3 Fri 12/16/2005 05:46PM
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I saw Trey at the Orpheum, and this reviewer has a point. Theres somekind of larger than life idea about him. He's a Hendrix disciple and that's what I expected. All i could think was freak it with some hendrix. I read Band of Gypsys is his favorite album. Do something for all the soldiers fighting in Iraq, and "Happy New Years first of all"

zeveriah starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/16/2005 06:20PM
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So I went to the NPR site to hear the interview and acoustic songs from Shine one of the commenters listed below. I now see where Trey went with it. It's mostly a relaxing and inward journey. I can see that and I can respect that, but damn if I didn't fast forward through the songs after hearing the first minute. The Dec. 3rd show was a disapointment with this new band. No, I'm not comparing anything to PHISH. They had and may have again their own sound. I liked TAB, with them Trey did create a sound somewhat seperate from PHISH, would most not agree that Russ and Cyro are a missing link now. Maybe 70 volt needs some more time. I don't know. Regardless of how good Trey is, he needs a band to feed him.

paynematt73 star Fri 12/16/2005 08:21PM
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I'm sorry this is the only experience you have had with Trey. You obviously shouldn't be writing this article. I on the other hand am thankful for every experience I ever had w/Trey. Live or @ home on the stereo. Trey is the fucking Master. Oh ya, he's also human. Hmmm.........that makes it even more interesting. peace

phlem starstarstarstarstar Fri 12/16/2005 08:52PM
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I thought the article was suberbly written but really hard on Trey! I hadn't seen Trey since Fillmore West in Denver after the "legendary" SF show with Santana, and I had heard that 70 volt sucked... Still I had a chance to see him at Norther Ill. after Vegoose, and I was talking to buddies and said EVEN if I heard they sucked it's ALWAYS fun to see Trey... becuz Trey is a funny looking guy... So I almost end up not going becuz I think Dekalb is too far from western suburbs of Chi-town but I go, and I get ansty because I do want the "fix" like all the PHANS... But I've had a cigarette, and they don't serve booze at the new venue (which was really nice). There are tons of empty seats becuz everybody is crushing each other on the floor to give their as COOK deems it "viscous Trey love" That is a great line!!! I can see how an outsider could see that because Trey is so intense, and it shows through his loyal fan base... So I stay up in the 1st seat section and face Hartswick and watch her pretty smile all night! Great show right? Absolutely, but I was also reveling in watching all the kids getting down on the floor and one loner running across the top aile across the arena... This is where COOK really shows how much he went to the show just to write his review... There's nothing wrong with that, but hey I thought he was the guy with the open mind... He didn't mention one thing about how the PHANS reacted... Not that he does, but if he had some examples of the die hards going "Oh this blows" then it validates some of his comments. All COOK does is go into POP comparison's and rips on Trey's questionable aspects... Every Phish/Trey fan knows he is atonal... We all know that he gets goofy off of bossing people on stage...But when COOK starts tearing into his POP songs just becuz he's rich... well I think that is VISCOUS, and not very loving... Trey can write whatever he wants because he can compose whatever he wants, which is a freedom that very few artists possess... I think it's cool that he is maturing his sound into a formula for pop friendly songs, but still able to jam them out... I agree with alot of things COOK metions like Hall being the weak link. Hall was trying to play a wierd synth-voice modulator that sounded like sonic burbs in between Trey's over zealous rhythm... COOK did make a great discription for the drum and bass... something about crotch level... And he liked P.O.T.T.D so he picked up on the "drug" a little bit. Trey opened with Mr. Completley in DeKalb, and Money, Love, and Change was sweet, but I didn't think the new songs were all that bad... I may just be a softy left over from Phish days, but I saw Trey BAND in Red Rocks 4 times so I know the keyboardist is sick as is Hartswick... The special guest in Dekalb was some little kid named "Joe" and Trey didn't know a Dylan tune so they played "After Midnite" and it was boogie shakin' clam bakin' good time... I think the fact that those Dead guys played gave COOK an alternative motive to rip on Trey and the 70 volt parade... After all these guys jam nite in and nite out for a living. How can COOK lump all these other band's fans and styles into what Trey is doing... That's pretty far-fetched, because trying to sound like anybody else is the last thing Trey is going for... And the comments about him wanting to please the whole world yada yada yada... I thought COOK was an outsider? Halfway thru his story he becomes Trey's secret psychiatrist bringing out the Fruedian themes and what not... For a guy who probably isn't going to see him again he sure seemed thoroughly interested in his personal make-up!

goeke starstarstarstar Sat 12/17/2005 07:36AM
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to all the people who think that just because someone says they don't like what trey is doing right now it's because they are expecting phish, get real and get out of your demented trey is everything and all people want is phish state of mind. that is completely not true. lots of us liked tab, and that wasn't phish. i personally also like the orchastral stuff he was doing on seis de mayo. you don't have to expect phish to not like it. personally, i just expect something good, intresting, and fun and this is not it right now! everyone has a right to like or not like it, but don't assume you know why they don't like it.

Sweeniful starstarstarstar Sat 12/17/2005 09:30AM
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I thought the article was good. I am a total phish fan,and even though I shouldnt compare, I have to admit I am just not digging his new music. I heard a couple songs off Shine, and I was embarrased. I was sad that this is what Trey had amounted to. BUT, he is one of the great ones. People like Trey dont come around often. He'll get it, he needs to find himself. I agree with the person that said he needs to get himself back to the small local bars that are half filled, and get back to having fun. I grew up in VT, I saw Phish when they were in college, THAT was life altering amazing music. I still have faith.

stu199635 starstarstarstarstar Sat 12/17/2005 12:19PM
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Johnvoss-I am not in any way compairing sci to Phish or trey. I am a Phish fan over anything els. I was simply stating that Trey has lost the groove and until he gets it back sci is where I'll be spending my time. But if you are going to say the compairing 70 volt to sci is like apples to dry rotten bannanas I think you have lost it. At least Sci can creatively jam with all members involved.

rgmbass starstarstarstarstar Sat 12/17/2005 02:17PM
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everyone had a lot to say, but ive only got 1 thing---
Trey sucks--- suck it up and deal with it

spreadhead31384 starstarstarstar Sat 12/17/2005 03:50PM
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panicfan:preety good article. I also love phish but sometimes feel that trey is way too in to himself.will i ever just go see trey without page and gordo probably not. maybe at a festival. I would rather see pages side projects or vida blue any day of the week. trey is self in dulgent at times and one can see that through alot of his solos or a few of the dvds that were released. trey without phish is like diana ross without the supremes. I heard the new cd it should have been renamed to shite. thats just how this spreadhead feels

spreadhead31384 Sat 12/17/2005 04:05PM
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fuck umphs reign to watever thatasshole had to say.Its panics time as well as phil and friends. as far as new bands on the scene. New Monsoon is where its at

biscuit wheels starstarstar Sat 12/17/2005 06:36PM
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biscuit wheels

strange review. eloquence. great writing. knows how to talk about music. love to external viewn from the non phish fanatic, but it seems the same way phish "missed" the author, he misses the musical genre as well. it's also called having something go over your head. phish was something that was not for everyone, for good reason. now, on to the words "my morning jacket" and "blowing minds" in the same sentence. combine this with following a band that plays 12 bar blues and trades solos like an all star jam aka the black crowes, i do believe the author is a closet dmb fan. but that's fine with me, a fish out of water for an alternative view. what's boggling, of all people, the author doesn't like the watered down, retrospective, sober trey. i don't care much for his current songs, phish was a part of my life and i'd never ask to have that back, but you must applaud a man who is recovering from a nearly deadly addiction. what the hell did clapton do after he kicked it? and how about the black crowes? to paraphrase the words of chris robinson (rolling stone magazine, fall 1995), "i don't feel that taking over the throne of the grateful dead to be a burden to my music." basically, the author's points are valid, the trey we stick up for is our friend, his music is a side note as far as i'm concerned, i showed up to support someone who is doing better for himself, regardless of what the fans expect from him. throw in half a dozen 30 second moments of brilliance spaced throughout the night and i'm satisfied. trey has changed, he had to shoot his dog, aka phish, to break this chain. the recovery process is long. that's the endless support you're witnessing from the fans. not absolute love for any music he throws our way, just absolute love for what a part of our lives he has been. the author's suggestions as to where we should go to fill this void, in the end, leave his review and judgements of trey somewhat useless. you never got it, you still don't, perhaps you should be writing for rolling stone or npr or some other college indie rock loving rag. appletoastbedheatedfurblanketrat.

biscuit wheels star Sat 12/17/2005 08:25PM
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biscuit wheels

one more thing! i read mr. cook's review of my morning jacket. "a cross between radiohead and the grateful dead" what? what! ok, so the man has different taste in music, that's obvious, but read the article, read his crowes article. is mr. cook dating a member of the band? his words may be eloquent but his agenda is so transparent. he has no understanding or respect for phish/trey and his writing reflects this, which is fine by me, but don't lie to us and continually say you always go there for the moment with open ears, yada yada. additionally, when he writes about my morning jacket or the black crowes, his writing is filled with more fluff than a down comforter. perhaps after this firestorm mr cook will realize his talents are best served writing promotional sales pitches for a business more than sharing honest critiques on art.

shakobe Sat 12/17/2005 11:39PM
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my lord'as much as i dont like treys new stuff i'd would much rather see trey over s.c.i.,dave mathews over s.c.i.,blues traveller even, i'll goes as far to say john tesh over any me and maybe i'll see s.c.i.FARCE!!!!!!!!!

LampyB starstarstarstar Sun 12/18/2005 09:32AM
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Well said. Finally, someone has written the inevitable truth. I couldn't have said it better myself.

I try to listen to music without ideals. Whats good is good, and whats bad is bad. After hearing Shine and seeing 70 Volt Parade last month I think what he's doing needs a review like this.

gd4life Mon 12/19/2005 06:09AM
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SCI can't touch phish but they sure be a solo trey.

FormulaOBX starstarstarstarstar Mon 12/19/2005 09:04AM
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WAIT one cotton pickin moment.......Jerry drove a BMW.

Twist512 starstar Mon 12/19/2005 09:06AM
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While I completely respect the opinion of writer because appreciation is like art or beauty, meaning that it is in the eye of the beholder- I must vehemently disagree.

I was in attendance of the show on 12.02.05. I have indeed seen Phish many times, and prior to and since their breakup – I have seen Trey perform with his many variations. I agree in the fact that SHINE is not Trey’s finest effort. HOWEVER, I STRONLY praise Trey for being sincere to his creative integrity and going with what moves his soul.

One thing I find staggering- is that no one has once mentioned the personal energy, invigoration, and passion that Trey himself showed on stage. I have honestly not seen Trey that energized and passionate about his playing and musical exchange with the crowd since 1995. It did my heart a lot of good to see him so in love with his craft and liver performance. Shouldn’t we as fans (whether it be via nostalgia- or present appreciation) be sincere in our love for someone who gave us MANY good memories and sound- tracked moments in our lives?

The address of the Phish/ Trey nation was LONG overdue, and although it pained me to see Trey so angry and hurt- I think its commendable that he addressed the bullshit that has been transpiring at the shows. Painting defamations on the wall? Throwing cups at the performer? WHEN DID THE PHISH NATION TURN INTO A FRAT BASEMENT?

Keep doing your thing Trey- explore- write- sing- play- and PLEASE keep coming back to the Warfield…

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} Mon 12/19/2005 10:18AM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

It makes sense, that speaking of Trey would spark heated debates here. I can say this. I am a panic,dead fan to the bone. I saw Trey this past spring in atlanta at the fox. HIS PASSION is still there, he still has FUN, the light show was one of the coolest things I have seen that was new. A tri colored textured wall! Trey is too self involved yes, but he did lay off and let the keys rip, drums rip, and the enthusiasm of his band, him and the entire show, was just that, A SHOW!!! I am speaking from the heart, Trey is a great musician and writer. His show was very impressive. I just wish he would have kept that lineup a bit longer. But, in the effort to stay fresh, invigorated, and excited, changing band members may not be a bad thing. If music fans would except art for arts sake, they may not be as dissapointed as often. His new album is POP, but its still ART! I was quite surprised at the show I saw at the fox, even tho I am not a Phish head, trey head, I still enjoyed it, even tho my bones have been shook the most by Panic and Dead. peace yall!!!

osubuckeyes starstarstar Mon 12/19/2005 12:53PM
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What does "They lack darkness, menace, some hint of anything besides comfort and light" mean?? Has anyone walked out of a show and thought to themselves "man, that song of his new album lacked darkness" or "epic. but where is the comfort and light". Whoever wrote this article had a lot of stuff right about Trey. He also had a lot wrong. This band is a project!! Granted these are professionals, but they are new to this and it is evident to me that they need more time. I would just like to see the tix price at around $24. Another note: if you want to hear someone with a great voice, listen to Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston before she was on crack. People into Music, dont nessecarily need to be lured by astonishing vocals. I've never danced b/c someone was a great vocalist and I've also never seen a statue of a critic. I dont buy $7 dollar beers to listen to someone sing. I will buy a $7 beer to watch a musician who is a not afraid to take risks.

antjar starstarstarstarstar Mon 12/19/2005 01:24PM
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I recently stuck around to hear what Trey Anastasio was up to and caught the show with 70 Volt Parade this last Fall at a festival. I didn't know what to expect which was the way that I wanted it. I had seen a couple of Phish concerts(they were really good)in 1997 and 98 and have always respected his ability and uniqueness as a composer and guitarist. I felt that the new material was bland and abit generic sounding and I don't think it was because I didn't "get it". There was alot of pointless jamming on the tonic chord that didn't have anything to do with adding to what was going on. It was very "fail safe" and unfocused playing. I'm with the writer on this one.

BluesMan3 Tue 12/20/2005 06:03PM
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Trey's got music in his head and he can tour till the end of time . the new tunes are alright. i'm just waiting for him to come up with a "Sessions for Jimi Hendrix" album the way Clapton did "Sessions for Robert Johnson" that would be fucking awesome.

Marcsmall Tue 12/20/2005 06:52PM
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Man, this guy wrote a 100% accurate article that echoes how many of us feel and all you little Phish kids won't stop riding Tre's nuts....He's not that good, not even with Phish......Deal with it

criticalmind starstarstar Tue 12/20/2005 11:03PM
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Dear Mr. Cook,

Well put, for a critic. Let me guess... you wanted to play in a band, but didn't have the talent so you went to college to study music business? It's people like you that aren't openminded. The only thing I'd like to add to your well-crafted argument is this... Trey is a sheppard without his flock. Maybe your inability to open your musical views when Phish toured non-stop reflects your ignorant tone. Perhaps writing from a non-drug point-of-view is hard for critics like yourself, but try to recognize the past and appreciate Phish for what it was... an era in rock n' roll history!

No hard feelings, but f-you and your Berkley degree in Musical Inability.



jibblesman starstarstarstarstar Wed 12/21/2005 10:46AM
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Yes, everyone go see Trey. Stay away from Widespread so I don't have to smell ya. Trey rules! Keep believing it! Go see anything that sounds similar to phish so all of the other bands do not fall apart like phish did. Please continue to indulge in the mundane, for my sake.

toeknee420 starstarstarstarstar Wed 12/21/2005 11:04AM
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Nicley written piece. Well done. I caught one of the first 70 Volt shows down in good ol' Manchester last summer. I wasn't impressed. Which is a good thing. At this rate, Trey'll figure out that the what made it great was the four souls of Phish in a few years. If they dont ever get back together, I'll be waiting for a long time in vain I guess. Just like a good woman in your past, you know where to go to find the magic :) That late night set in Roo was ok, but the only thing I really left with was thinking how nice of an guitar impression Trey did of Eddie Van Halen. At least I wont have to look at Bo Bice again :) Anyone see that? I'll tell you if it sounds better after NYE in the Garden. Merry Christmas to the people, and eveyone stay safe

phishphreak2009 starstarstarstarstar Wed 12/21/2005 11:13AM
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First off, PLASMA SUCKS BALLS!!! The album titled, "Trey Anastasio", is very good, why couldn't he have stuck to that type of music. Also, we might want to tell him to stop holding up his guitar on the cover of Plasma!!! Trey is amazingl, but I think he needs to get back on track, and that does not mean he has to get back with Phish. It only means that he should play what he knows he is best at.

funkypurplebutterfly starstarstar Wed 12/21/2005 12:36PM
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i enjoyed the phish things, but what happens is change happens, it's inevitable, we either accept it or not, even though the sound of phish was great to listen to, Trey was on some serious shit, and was heading downhill, he was falling apart towards the end of it...he's sober, he's trying, he's not that good really to me but that's my opinion, other people may like him, i think the article was right on when it said he lacks depth now, and those who don't like depth in music can go watch him... i however do like somedepth to my music and my life, and would not ever go see him again, his ego gets in the way of his music, he's seeking what he already had, he was just to fucked up to realize it

rubyreba starstar Wed 12/21/2005 11:49PM
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first of all trey anastasio is a me it's all about the energy.when the energy is on , the music is on.when i am at a show i am participating in an energy exchange with god,an exchange with the band,an exchange with those around me,an exchange with those who have gone before me.trey is a super-conductor of energy,a giant cosmic transformer......he always has been.......thats what 'it' is all about.
i was at the warfield both nights,i am surprised the show review didn't include an account of the cup incident,in which an asshole threw a cup at trey during his acoustic set and trey opened up to the crowd expressing his love for gordo,fish,and page ...and also addressing with brutal honesty his feelings about the blatent disrespect and abuse from so called fans he's been recieving the entire tour.a giant wieght was lifted off of his and all of our shoulders that night i was honored to be in his prescence.
as the air cleared,mikey hart comes bounding out with,you said it, a cowbell.cause like the rock genious trey is he knew....we just gotta have more cowbell!!!namaste to trey,he's the man spread love instead of hate.

Twist512 starstar Thu 12/22/2005 08:53AM
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I firmly believe that everyone is entitled to their own tastes and opinions- but JESUS CHRIST PEOPLE... Who on earth would have the balls to say that Trey Anastasio has no musical depth, longevity, or even go as far as to say talent less?

If you don't know anything about theoretical musicianship or technical craft ability.. Please rather just not post! Trey has been, continues to be, and will be one of the MOST RESPECTED GUITARISTS in music today. That is both a professional and technical appraisal of his craft.

Whether it be jazz, blues, rock, progression fusion, you CANNOT say that he doesn't have depth as a musician.. Christ- he releases one pop album- and all of a sudden he's public enemy number 1. Because he has the balls to walk away at the top of his game- and try new things- he's let YOU down?

NEWS FLASH- he's a human being doing what HE LOVES, it doesn't make a lick of difference if you appreciate it or not.. He's an artist- and last I checked- he, nor Paige, Mike, Or Fish GAVE A SHIT what the mainstream thinks! Dig it, or don't - but for g-d's sake - don't be so fickle! We ALL loved phish- we all loved the shows.. It provided ALL of us something fantastic in our lives.. Remember that the next time you are slamming the primary creative force behind those memories!

And for the record… After the “hiatus” the energy and musicianship at Phish shows- were in the toilet.. You’d also be bored shitless after playing the SAME thing- every night for 20 odd years. Coventry was indicative of how bad the music had become.. I say kudos to all 4 of the boys for knowing when to say when and bowing out gracefully. Would you all rather they became lame parodies of themselves and toured till one or more of them OD’ed of drank themselves to death? Or is it really that you actually don’t give a shit what Trey is putting on disc and playing live- its actually just one big pitty party because you can’t “go on tour” anymore?

djdaddyp starstarstarstarstar Thu 12/22/2005 05:53PM
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Well people, this is what it's all about! We're all responding to the article. Isn't that great! Let's all stay geeks. Try not to get too worked up. Great article. I love it when people talk about my comments. So thanks for all that responded. Poop and all, besides we've got bands that aren't quite jambands like Secret Machines, Of Montreal, Steel Train, Dandy Warhols, Super Furry Animals, Mercury Rev, anyways the list goes on. Doesn't it? Flaming Lips? I understand this article is about Trey. I thought TAB was great for a little bit. 70 Volt...leaves something to be desired. We've got tons of music to listen to. Anyways I would like to thank everyone for commenting as I have enjoyed it immensely. Love to all ya'll opinionated peeps. One band can't do it all for us.

pronice Fri 12/23/2005 07:00AM
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Thank you very much Twist512 & rubyreba! That's what I was waiting to read after reading 200+ reviews, most of which were absolutley ridiculous and waaay of kilter. Last week I was reading all these reviews and it was making me laugh, cry, puke, sh*t myself, cringe, and, oh yeah, LAUGH!!!
I wanted to write some of my own ideas and opinions but these two people have summed it up nicely and I couldn't agree more.
Someone else made a perfect comment earlier: if you can't say anything nice, don't say it at all.
This (piss poor) review was about Trey and his new band, not about any other bands on the scene, other than the amateur bands that D. Cook raves about. Might as well go and see Gavin Degraw and write up how great that music is. D. Cook writes 'Strangely, despite where I was standing, I've never been part of this club. Phish just plain missed me. I had other things to do, and they always seemed, even in their earliest days, to have an overabundance of support and hardly needed mine. Loads of respect for 'em, but not a lot of enthusiasm.' HMMMMMM? You can shit on one of the most impressive guitarists in the world today but you never witnessed what he did with Phish? That's messed up, brah. Too, bad cause they was some good times, brohaughm! I'll never forget them. Phish lives on in the hearts and minds of us all. Well, at least the 'true' heads.

Peace out.

dcvet starstarstarstar Fri 12/23/2005 02:11PM
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I saw Trey Anastasio and 70 Volt Parade at Red Rocks this past August. I'll admit I would not have gone to the show if Sound Tribe hadn't done an hour opening set. Regardless, I thought they played well, given the pressure of being in the best outdoor amphitheatre ever naturally created. I definately phelt the Phish in trey but I could never get over the fact that the music was bad. I left red rocks and none of the songs stuck...maybe 46 days. In fact that night trey played I AM THE WALRUS. its like, he thinks he's so incredible that he can play John Lennon songs. Of course it sounded awesome but the nerve of that guy.... I had been given a placebo; I was expected to rave but I felt nothing.

Red Rocks is a small venue and I should have felt lucky to be so close to a member of Phish. If trey wants our attention he's going to have to come up with something a lot better than this muck....or atleast continue to play after Sound Tribe Sector 9.
P.S. article well written. now I am one out of 230.
IF you are thinking of writing more comments, don't. We all know that no one wants to read our comments but ourselves.

trifecta starstar Fri 12/23/2005 03:17PM
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I thought Dennis touched a nerve in me, made me examine whether I just PASSIVELY accepted piss in my mouth at Trey shows like so many a-cheap hooker...and I probably did. Admittedly, it didn't taste all that good, but see most of it missed my mouth and maybe hit my eyes or cheek, and I was able to forget about it pretty quickly...

Hmmmm. That analogy didn't go so well...okay, look. Many things have changed surrounding Trey's career - all well documented and examined. As far as I'm concerned, the one thing that hasn't changed is his dedication and respect to the moment, to the give and take with the audience.
At both the shows I've been to (in Cincinnati btw, which he seems to enjoy for whatever reason) the quality of the music seemed to directly coincide with the audiences willingness to just have fun.
Part of what blocks that is this staring into Trey as the portal to "better days". Strange expectations. Oppositely, part of what helps to have fun at a Trey show is keeping an open mind. The responsability to have a good time is not entirely on the performers shoulders.
Sure, a bonafide force like Trey has been known to absolutely carry an entire night on his shoulders in a sense, but I'd levy that not even he would take all the credit for his very best night. I could be wrong, but... Nevertheless, the crowd is a key component. Maybe even THE key component. So when it comes to his new stuff, is it "The Squirming Coil"? hahaha! Of COURSE not! hahaha (that's funny). But is it too hard to accept in passing during a show? I guess so, for some, but not really to me. The only one I didn't like was Shine. Did it ruin my night? hahaha! That's even funnier! hahaha! NO! How could it? We all still had Trey on stage for another 2 hours. That's f*cking awesome under any circumstance, if you ask me. Whatever happens, you know an expert will have shredded some shit you couldn't have otherwise shredded with your best axe. So, is it worth sacrificing your entire night for the sake of criticism? Did you even TRY to have fun? Or did you put it all on Trey to provide the same thing Phish or WSP, or UM, or any other band might? When it comes down to it, it's your choice to have fun or not. And all I can say is that if you're willing, Trey is a highly reputable musician full credentials and a musical badge of honor with five stars and a full presidential salute, and I'd refer him to any bug or slug willing to enjoy themselves, because inevitably, you will find yourself enjoying himself just like he ever did, IN THE MOMENT.

So anyway, that's my philosophy, can YOU still have fun?

BluesMan3 Sat 12/24/2005 08:52AM
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i'd have more fun at a trey show if someone hid all his tube screamers and effects pedals before the show.

jtcarey2 star Sat 12/24/2005 02:22PM
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While the author of this article may have had some genuine insights into Trey's egotism and the characteristics of his fan-base, his insights were poisoned with judgmentalism. One can be insightful and even critical without resorting to labeling and judging. I don't usually consider myself a Christian, but the saying "judge not, lest ye be judged" seems to apply here. If one judges, labels, and denigrates others, this implies the presence of self-judgments and self-hatred. To the author I recommend this: liberate yourself by examining your judgements and their effects on your heart. Have some compassion for Trey and his fans, even if you don't like his music!

JennyPeach starstarstarstarstar Sat 12/24/2005 04:05PM
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It's too bad that Cook is so right...I completely agree with what Tantheman wrote up there. It is sad, man.

waolsen starstarstarstarstar Tue 12/27/2005 04:52PM
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First off, jtcary2, critics are supposed to make judgements. Thats there job. No one wants to read someone who cannot make an opinion based on there experiences.
Secondly, I totally agree with the article. I am a huge Trey fan and have been seriously disappointed with this act. Trey has put out a high expectation with his past works. I won't pay to listen to what he is putting out now. If you have followed his carreer and enjoyed the boundries hes pushed with his music then this latest band/album is totally unacceptable.
I hope Trey wakes up. He's too great to be doing this.

Gabe627 starstarstar Thu 12/29/2005 12:40PM
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I will admit I am a large Phish fan, and have been since 1993. I was one of the many that drove across country through Canada to make it to Coventry. As for the comments in the article. I can only compare it to religion. This writer is obviously a Dead fan. Which is "grate", everyone has their favorite. But, it can be taken a little too far.

Just because you thought a band got too much credit, and you were no on the original fan base, an they were big before you heard of them, does not make their music bad.

I even have to agree (being a Phish fan) to a point, I think Trey's new album is unfocused and lacking depth.

SIDENOTE: Why is it that people that could not play an "A" chord on a guitar, can rip a person and their musical creativity?

Going back to religion... different people believe in different Gods, and we're silly enough as humans to believe that "our" god is better than "your" god.

Mind you, Trey is a Jedi, not a God.

I have been to a number of Grateful Dead shows. Some were great, others were kinda sad. I saw Jerry's last show in Chicago, and I walked away sad. (I know there are "peace lovin' pacifist hippies that would tear me a new asshole for saying that, but that is my point) We put individuals on pedestals, and it is not fair to them or their music, especially if it is not your taste.

Since I got into the Jam band scene, it has always been Grateful Dead or Phish. Why does there have to be a competition.

I think we can all agree, that there has to be something there to bring the crowds and attention. And it is not the drugs. You can get drugs anywhere, you don't have to pay $45 a ticket to spend $10 on a couple of trips.

Grateful Dead was good, Phish was Good.

Trey's new album, not so much.

Even God created Skunks and Naked Mole Rats, and that does not make all other of God's creations bad.
Even if my God that created them, and my God is better than yours.

Gabe "The Old Guy" Gomez

bcterry star Thu 12/29/2005 01:58PM
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Though I agree with some of the comments made in the article concerning Trey's current disposition/direction, the fact that the author would totally rip and pretty much degrade one of the most influential people in the entire scene is pretty sad, and clearly shows a complete understanding of the history of Trey's musical journey. Clearly the author knows absolutely about Phish, for if he did, he would know that for some people, attending the fall '95, summer '96, fall '97, or hell, even summer '03 Phish tours was enough for fans to become relative devotees. I guess some could say Trey is in a "slump" at the moment but it's pretty hard to maintain the levels of pure creative genius that he so regularly maintained during his tenure with Phish. To argue that MMJ or Mars Volta is more capable of blowing people's minds than Trey is just complete and utter ignorance, again, get some historical perspective. Though the author made some "kind" references to the Rhythm Devils sitting in with Trey at the Warfield, I guess it would have been his opinion as well that Jerry was passing out "placebo" during the Dead's '85 winter tour considering the kind of harsh criticism he has thrown at Trey. I think NOT. Every great artist has their inner demons, because they are human, just like the rest of us, and to hold them to some kind of divine standard is just idiocy. Jerry, Clapton, Miles, all had "issues" and came through, but it's a process, and Trey will come through his. Perhaps the author will be able to review SerialPod this coming year with a more open mind.

COtiny star Fri 12/30/2005 11:40AM
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This reminds me of so many grateful dead reviews by the local 'music critic' that just doesn't get it and gives the band a bad review in the local rag. Trey lives to play music and he plays great music. If he's not playing with phish he's going to play, that is what he lives to do. It doesn't appeal to the 'me generation' people, good less whiners sucking the energy out of the show. Please don't send somebody like this guy to review a show, if i want an opinion like that i'll see what rolling stone or entertainment weekly has to say about the underground rock and roll scene that they are too uptight to be a part of.

lovejahlive Sun 1/1/2006 07:00PM
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It seems like alot of people take pleasure in trashing Trey lately.I personally dig what he's doing now.70 volt is a nice change from some of his other projects,they were great in vegas.If you want PHISH you might not like though.Quit comparing and listen to the music!

waolsen Mon 1/2/2006 01:12PM
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You don't have to compare Treys latest work to Phish. However that is Treys largest work. You compare it to Phish and his other bands and this does not compare. I am not looking for Trey to recreate Phish's sound with another band. I don't think many people are. I would hate it if Trey tried to recreate that sound with another band.
If you compare it to what we all know Trey is capable of it is a disappointment.
Finally, Trey alows people to be bitter about this band by playing a large amount of old Trey Band and Phish tunes at his shows. If you are going to go out and do something else do it but please don't play the old music and think that this will make your new work float. It doesn't.
Trey is a genius. I agree that is very hard to keep up the creative process for so long. At the same time you can't expect people to follow your music and love it to accept it when its bad.

Mufia star Tue 1/3/2006 03:08PM
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I agree with Ozox. There is so much ignorance amognst the music scene now adays. Quit ignoring the music and listen to the fucking shit. Dont think, BREATH.

Greenjah starstarstarstar Tue 1/3/2006 05:08PM
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I don't even recognize this scene anymore - such anger and hostlity directed towards a man who, for 21 years, gave us Phish and brought such hapiness to so many people. It's OK to criticize, but, mam, some of you got to chill.

And to attack the writer of the review??? People, this isn't Time magazine, it's suppose to be fun.

How times have changed.....

Scotty Greene

dedfan starstarstarstar Wed 1/4/2006 01:26PM
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I would have to agree with toeknee420...I was at Roo '05 and had to leave the late night show due to a lack of energy. Not even the fantastic fungus I found in Tennessee could keep me interested! Trey seemed like he did not want to be there. I have a great deal of respect for the band Phish, but I don't think I have ever really connected with Trey. I have "never said never" when it comes to attending his solo gigs, but he has yet to entrance me like other musicians do. I still think he is more talented than anyone posting in this forum, but he is certainly not heading in the right direction. Thanks and god bless...."my" god!

Gr8phull starstarstar Thu 1/5/2006 07:40AM
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First off I think Phish and Trey are very,very good if not great. Anyway I think in my opinion (trey if you read this take a note) I don't like the "new format" of not taking a set break. Do you (trey) not want to hang out backstage and have fun with your bandmates? Set breaks are a tride and true formula for a proper show. Take a damn break, hang out with you bandmates, give everyone a chance to chill for a few moments. Also change it up I'm sick of the same old songs at every show, with very little change from show to show. Do you want your fans to only go to one show? Trey go back to a show format that works. Thank you, you rock sort of.

rebubu12 Fri 1/6/2006 04:28PM
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treys new band is horrible, this man is right. but mmj and mars volta? who the hell is that? last time i checked, they suck. go see some moe.

UmPhreakMcN2F starstarstarstarstar Mon 1/9/2006 07:01AM
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Regardless of wheather or not i agree with the author... it is awesome to have a writer inside the community that will critize (pretty much the founder of our MODERN scene) trey.

Unclebensband starstarstarstar Mon 1/9/2006 07:47AM
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straight up, trey needs to realize that his place was with phish, Treys new group is horrible, seeing him down at the chevrolet theatre about 2 months ago or so did not very impress me, His new songs he played were totally boring, I was constantly waiting until he would play his originals.

SweendogYEM star Wed 1/11/2006 10:15PM
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First off, unless any of you people who are knocking Trey are members of the Grateful Dead or any other of his biggest influences you have no right to put him down. Did you forget that he is probably the reason you are into this kind of music. Of course many people now a days are ignorant and wear blinders,for whatever reason, and these people should take a serious look at themselves before they bash someone like Trey. Second, I would like to say has anyone ever listened to the first year of Phish or the first year of The Trey Anastasio Band (99)? It was good music, but sometimes not that good. Now if anyone wants to compare Phish or The Trey Anastasio Band to 70 Volt Parade give the band a couple of years stop being so impatient, or just stop going because you create bad energy anyway. I wrote the mostly to the fans who posted their comments. I really dont care what the columnist had to say because he is biased and obviously not a musician. I personally didn't like the article and i feel all of us would be better off not hearing from someone that feels My Morning Jacket or Mars Volta would be a better time. All in all have a great new year and go see Steve Kimock if you get the chance.

dannymo Thu 1/12/2006 05:21PM
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please for the love of god.end this pointless discussion. move on people!!!!!!

blower starstarstarstarstar Fri 1/13/2006 02:55PM
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A month later I come back and you are all still having a pissing contest. Get a life! Trey is a great guitar player, but his overzelous fans are a joke.

openupmyhead starstarstarstar Sun 1/15/2006 08:44PM
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everyone justs needs to quit talking trash on any band they're not well versed in. MMJ one of the most innovative bands of recent years, with immense stage presence. I for one, as a longtime Phish fan, can agree with the author. Trey's new material is increadibly cliched and contrived. It seems as though he tries to inject the same sort of jamming and exploation we saw with Phish, and it worked there, only as it can after the four of them (Phish) matured musically together. Trey seems to be going for more of a mainstream pop-rock sort of sound, and his often dead-end noodling just doesn't fit. As for Trey being "the reason most people got into this kind of music" or "the founder of our modern scene", anyone subcribing to this belief is surly misguided. What about any of the members of the Greatful Dead, or David Byrne, do none of their accomplishments overshadow your hero Trey's? Face it, just as his new best friend Dave Matthews has done, he's commiting career suicide.

anon star Wed 1/25/2006 09:20PM
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whoever said ringo isnt a good drummer is an idiot. he is one of the BEST. as far as the article goes, thanks for the read. nothing too too special at all though. i wonder what lester bangs would have to say about jambands!! to me, its kinda like how in the 60's and most of the 70's you didnt have all of these classifications of music. but they eventually became catagorized. in the 90's, phish, wsp, dmb, were not classified either. now... they are JAMBANDS. HA HA HA - and everyone else is too. damn, when things start to suck.... always will remember the days of phish shows, and panic shows, and further festivals, leftover salmon, a little dmb in there too, but now things have gone to hell. i still love all the bands that were around then that eventually led the way to a genre of garbage.

mateotee star Fri 1/27/2006 01:47PM
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Dennis Cook is just an average Trey critic. Without Jambase backing him he's just another slightly talented, but ultimately unimpressive wordsmith.

AustinJams starstarstarstar Sat 2/4/2006 02:46PM
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This is very sincere article and fits everything i have experinced with the new band. However, didn't something similar happen when TAB started up? didn't they take at least 3-4 years to become a really good band. I saw the very last TAB show at ACL and it was ridiculously sick. Just watch the first tube on the ACL DVD. This band has been around for less than year. I must admit i was very dissapopinted, but after having some discussions with various folk i came to see the light. Trey is Trey. He is going to do whatever he feels like doing and knows he doesn't have anything to prove to anyone. Give this band a few years and hopefully they will gel into something worth while, possibly even great.

Brynn starstarstar Thu 2/9/2006 02:40AM
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holy moly...this article affected quite a handful of people!! i have to say, i have grown quite detatched froom trey, i dunno, maybe it was the set when he played with the runner up from american idol, or maybe the whole vh1 stint with dave mathews...all in all trey is and always will be an outstanding musician but cmon. he has taken a downward tumble since that one band he was in for a while called it quits! Now, we shouldnt be comparing treys new musical endevours with Phish - cause they arent realted in any way, except for the trey aspect. personally i feel that music is music, and its all a beautiful creation. people are going to these trey shows expecting to feel how they felt 2, 5, or 10 years ago when he was part of such an amazing turning point in the musical world. that just the thing, he was 1 of 4 that helped us find that place in music that was so beautiful and pure. its like going to see a cover band and expecting the real thing. its not phish, its just trey! I love the man to death and i thank phish (as a whole) for giving us all that freedom to truly embrase that love and oneness that was attainable while they were around. All good things come to an end, blah blah blah. And all great musicians have their moments - i just dont think this is treys time. But there is huge potential, if he could only get his head straight agin. all good things in all good time, right!?

Flat5 Mon 2/13/2006 05:13AM
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i agree with eeryone, but we should all just go to bonaroo and shut up. that's the only way to make trey happy, and you all know it

yoyochocolate Thu 2/16/2006 07:46AM
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well everyone has there opinion...whether or not "shine" is a mediocore album or not isn't the's just so nice to see Trey up there having a blast and making us dance as often as possible...anyway is any of this true?...[1.16.06] Mike and Trey to perform a series of shows together.
[12.23.05]Update: The Phish organization has reserved a series of dates in venues along the east coast during fall of 2006, dates on which it is hoped Phish will return to play a small number of shows. Names mentioned thus far include both the Spectrum as well as New York's Madison Square Garden. The organization is currently trying to finalize several very important and crucial details to ensure such performances.
[12.23.05] Phish to play the Philadelphia Spectrum on Halloween of 2006. At this point, Phantasy Tour cannot confirm the validity of other rumors regarding additional dates
this is from phantasytour and i'm just wondering if ayone heard anyof this from another source

Lucid_Interval Tue 3/14/2006 10:43PM
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Ok i know this article is old but the big problem with all this Trey bashing and criticism is that when people see Trey on stage they automatically have a Phish flashback. When the band starts playing they realize that its not Phish on stage and proceed to piss and moan like little girls...

rhythm_a_ning starstarstarstar Tue 5/9/2006 09:00PM
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Trey has been a very sad story for me. Phish's musical connection within the band, his guitar sound/playing, and his composing totally swept me away around 2000 when I was first introduced to them. His music was the most original stuff I'd ever heard and his guitar tone was to die for. I went for about 3 years of listening nearly exclusively to Phish and I enjoyed nearly every second of it. However, as much as I wish it weren't true for someone who's been my single biggest musical influence, I have to agree completely with the article.

It all started for me when I first watched Bittersweet motel. IMO Trey made a complete ass out of himself in that movie, and it's clear from the other band members that they felt the same way. The clips of him thrusting his guitar around 'sexually' like it's his 'member', and the way the clips were edited at the end with Page describing how Trey acts in the band, (not to mention Mike's comment about him playing too many notes) totally caught me off guard. His comments seemed to suggest that he had a wannabee like Jimi complex at that time.

Phish's music really connected for me because I felt like it was sincere, and out of an honest and loving intention. I had never heard a band that loved music so much. But IMO Trey lost it. He couldn't keep his head.

From Oysterhead to his first solo album I really felt like he lost the connection. I think he's the most expressive as a composer and arranger. His rock songs are just empty. They sound like he's trying to live a childhood dream of being a rocker, but they just feel wrong. I totally agree that even the song titles sound contrived and empty.

My biggest fear is that he'll never come back to his roots. He's always been one to do his own thing and ignore criticisms, and that would be a tough thing to deal with anyway if you were living with his amount of fame and influence. But for me, being an intensly passionate fan of earlier/composed Phish, I just hope that someday I'll hear more Anastasio compositions in the likes of Guyute, Rift, and The Squirming Coil. THAT was inspiring music which was innovative, original, and most importantly, honest. I truly feel like it would be a great travesty to hear this amazing musical mind continue down this path of mindlessness.

deadhead1 Wed 12/27/2006 09:23AM
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To start off, i know this is an older article but it seems nobody is talking about the article itself, and this "post your comments" thing is being used to bash trey. wel all know trey has changed and will continue to change his music. he is still a finominal guitarist. 70 volt parade did not impress me but neither does a lot of music. why isn't everyone satisfied with what he HAS done. i didnt hear of any jerry bashing after forgotten lyrics drugged out ramblings and plain and simple bad shows. if trey walked into your rooms right now, i guarantee more than half of you would tell him how big a fan you are and start kissing his ass. you all would tell him how wonderful he is and you would probably "forget" to mention all the shit your saying right now. alot of artists have to explore music until they find what their meant to play, i believe he found that in phish but passed it up. i think he will recognize in the future where he belongs and until then, if your not satisfied with him, STOP GOING TO HIS SHOWS. thats another thing iv heard is people saying they say him a few times post-phish and hated it and thought it was a waste of money, WELL DON'T GO SEE HIM IF YOU KNOW YOU WON'T LIKE IT.

dannytunsia starstarstar Fri 12/14/2007 10:22AM
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The article makes a lot of good points but seems quite mean spirited at times. Alot of the jam bands, including Trey have taken noodling and self-indulgent jams to far. The spirit of those explorations started with the Dead who seemed to understand when to take a song out and went to keep the jamming minimal, also those were group sonic explorations, whereas Trey jams almost "by himslef" at times.

Shwing starstarstarstar Mon 2/18/2008 11:54AM
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I have to agree, Trey's solo career has been a bit of a rocky one. I can definitely see where you're coming from, he is very much the Alpha-Male in that band. I wouldn't count him out though, his experimentation and musical prowess that showed itself while he was in Phish is something to be reckoned with, albeit it may not be showing itself now, I would still keep an open mind about Trey, I hope he can pull himself out of this pop-jam rut, because I would love to hear some new face melting riffs that I was so used to with Phish. Quality article though, thank you.


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