Phish & Trey Anastasio Band Perform At ‘Easter Jam’ On This Date In 2004

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Fifteen years ago today the Trey Anastasio Band closed out the “Easter Jam” at Higher Ground’s former location in Winooski, Vermont with a set that included guest spots from the other members of Phish. The “Easter Jam” came a mere two weeks before the original Higher Ground closed and Trey Anastasio issued a letter informing fans Phish would soon break up. It also marked a rare collaboration between Phish drummer Jon Fishman and TAB members Ray Paczkowski, Tony Markellis and Jennifer Hartswick — who are currently on tour with Anastasio as part of Ghosts Of The Forest.

“The Vermont Easter Jam” was slated to be headlined by the Grippo Funk Band featuring TAB’s saxophonist at the time, Dave Grippo. Instead, a slighty truncated TAB took the stage after performances by Grippo’s outfit, The Unknown Blues Band and a duet set from Vermont musicians Jamie Masefield and Paul Asbell. Proceeds from the evening went towards the Winooski Parks & Recreation Department, Burlington Women’s Rape Crisis Center, and the Child Life Department of Vermont Children’s Hospital.

Russell Remington, Peter Apfelbaum and Cyro Baptista were the members of the Trey Anastasio Band at the time who did not participate in “The Vermont Easter Jam.” The lineup of Anastasio, Grippo, Hartswick, Russ Lawton, Markellis, Paczkowski and Andy Moroz opened with TAB staples “Push On ‘Til The Day” and “Drifting.” Phish keyboardist Page McConnell then emerged for a cover of Bob Marley’s “Small Axe.” McConnell stuck around for “Last Tube” and a cover of Dire Straits’ “Sultans Of Swing” that also included Fishman.

The highlight of the night was a wild version of “Sand” that marked the second time a version of TAB and the rest of Phish shared the same stage. Mike Gordon played lead bass since Markellis handled the song’s usual bass line. The members of TAB, outside of Trey, vacated the stage towards the end of “Sand” leaving Phish to end the tune and perform “Chalk Dust Torture” as a quartet. Fishman, Gordon and McConnell stepped away after “Chalk Dust” and TAB returned for the ballad “Flock Of Words” and a filthy rendition of “Plasma” that fittingly segued into the venue-appropriate cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground.” Mike, Jon and Page added to “Higher Ground” along with Masefield and Seth Yacovone as per Phish.net.

Soundboard audio of the set was uploaded by Jason Sobel to eTree in 2014 and still has seeders. Listen to the TAB/Phish “Sand” from this date in 2004 shared by blevine77:

Trey Anastasio Band/Phish Setlist (via Phish.net)

Set: Push On ‘Til the Day, Drifting, Small Axe [1], Last Tube [2], Sultans of Swing[2], Sand [3] > Chalk Dust Torture [4], Flock of Words, Plasma > Higher Ground [5]

  • [1] With Page.
  • [2] With Page and Fish.
  • [3] With Page, Fish and Mike; TAB members left stage, finished by Phish.
  • [4] Performed by Phish.
  • [5] With Page, Fish and Mike, Jamie Masefield, Seth Yacovone, and others.

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