Happy Birthday Trey Anastasio: Big Red On Fire Part IV – Phish Edition

By Scott Bernstein Sep 30, 2016 5:58 am PDT

Today marks Phish front man Trey Anastasio‘s 52nd birthday as he was born in Fort Worth, Texas on September 30, 1964. This year Trey has focused his efforts on his main band as he’s only played two shows with his solo outfit and hasn’t participated in any extra curricular activities like he did in 2015, when he performed with members of the Grateful Dead at five Fare Thee Well concerts.

The guitarist is still a prolific songwriter as he contributed eight songs to the new Phish album, Big Boat which is due one week from today. Phish returns to the road for a 13-show Fall Tour starting on October 14th and recently announced a four-show New Year’s Run at Madison Square Garden in New York City to cap the year.

In 2013 we celebrated Trey’s birthday by compiling five fantastic clips displaying Big Red On Fire. We did the same in 2014 to honor Anastasio turning 50 and once more one year ago today. This year we’ll present two installments of Big Red On Fire, a Phish edition and a non-Phish edition. Here are six clips showing Trey Anastasio, aka Big Red, at his most ferocious with his main band and stay tuned for the non-Phish edition later today:

12/31/1993 – Harry Hood

On December 31, 1993 Phish started a move to arenas, playing their biggest show to date on New Year’s Eve at the Worcester Centrum. Trey was on fire all night long, but one of the highlights of the evening and of the song’s history came when he unleashed a flurry of jaw-dropping riffs to bring “Harry Hood” to a close.

10/31/1994 – Divided Sky

While Phish’s October 31, 1994 performance at the Glens Falls Civic Center in Glens Falls, New York is best remembered as the night the quartet covered The Beatles’ White Album, it was also a night everything the band touched they turned to gold. Trey’s “Divided Sky” solo is almost beyond belief as he plays hundreds of notes within a one-minute span.

12/30/1997 – Izabella

Between June 13, 1997 and July 31, 1998 Phish covered Jimi Hendrix’s “Izabella” a total of 10 times. The Hendrix classic was right in the foursome’s wheelhouse and Anastasio leveled each and every “Izabella.” While the version performed out of “Tweezer” on December 6, 1997 may be a bit more adventurous, Trey’s “Izabella” solo on December 30, 1997 is tops in our book.

06/28/2000 – Bathtub Gin

You can always count on Big Red to shred “Bathtub Gin,” but his solo during the version at PNC Bank Arts Center on June 28, 2000 is next level. Just when you think he’s hit his peak, Anastasio seemingly finds a new gear. For over five minutes Trey strings together one mind blowing riff after another to the delight of a capacity crowd in New Jersey.

06/20/2004 – Drowned

Twelve years later, the two-night stand Phish played at SPAC on June 19 and 20, 2004 still stands as arguably the best two-night stand in the band’s history. There were highlights all throughout the shows with an insane 22-minute cover of “Drowned” by The Who that ended the first set on the 20th standing out as the peak moment. All 22 minutes are worth your attention, but it’s the final seven minutes where Trey shows why he’s one of the best guitarists in the game. He comes up with a bevy of inventive riffs and along with his mates builds the jam to a rolling boil that nearly tore the roof off SPAC.

07/03/2011 – Mound

As jam fans we love the unexpected and when Phish started “Mound” on July 3, 2011 at their Superball Festival in Watkins Glen, New York no one expected anything other than a usual version of the Rift classic played like every other take on the tune. However, Trey had something different in mind. Instead of the usual organ solo that brings the song to a close, Anastasio let it rip for a wild and inventive guitar solo that makes this version stand out as the best “Mound” ever.

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