Storytellers: Compilation Features Trey Anastasio 2018 Solo Acoustic Tour Stories
Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio brought a nine-show solo acoustic tour to a close on Sunday night at the Classic Center in Athens. Not only did Trey treat all nine capacity crowds to plenty of unplugged renditions of songs from the Phish and his solo repertoires, but he also told stories at each concert. Most of the tales were hilarious and others were more emotional. 215 Music has compiled a clip of audience recordings featuring each story Anastasio told during his longest solo acoustic tour yet.
The tour started on February 8 in Morristown, New Jersey; where the guitarist admitted he didn’t realize cows needed to be pregnant to produce milk. Opening night also included a beautiful dedication of “Miss You” to those Anastasio had lost as well as those in the audience who had recently lost loved ones. Trey’s first solo acoustic show of the year additionally featured an explanation of the Tongue-Eating Lause, a hilarious tale of first-time concertgoer Peyton Hooten and how his mother reached the guitarist backstage at Atlanta’s Lakewood Amphitheater, Trey introducing the lone new original he debuted and the story behind one of the lines from “Push On ‘Til The Day.”
In Ithaca on February 9, Trey talked about the band’s early days and stops at The Haunt and how Phish gave away their van to an audience member named “Sweet Pete.” He also explained why Phish bassist Mike Gordon wasn’t allowed to drive the band’s touring vehicles back in the day, talked about SPIN’s list of the 300 Best Phish Songs, dedicated “Summer Of ’89” to his wife Sue and introduced the solo acoustic debut of a song he wasn’t sure would work unplugged.
The tour moved to Cambridge on February 10, where Anastasio recalled his sister attended Harvard University, the college where the concert was held. He also shouted out the TV show How It’s Made, told a story about Phish drummer Jon Fishman giving himself a Wheatgrass Enema, was surprised to find out no one at the show actually attended Harvard and explained how he’s the “all-request guy.” Additionally, Trey revealed the title of the original instrumental debuted at the tour opener is now titled “Til We Meet Again,” chatted about how many chords “Lizards” has and told the story of a night he visited a friend whose brothers had a motorcycle on cylinder blocks and revved the engine as Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen” blared over the stereo. Anastasio points at that night as the moment he realized he wanted to become a rock star.
The tour continued in Pittsburgh on February 12, where Trey detailed his experience fighting a security guard at a local parking garage, told the story behind Alison Krauss’s participation in the recording of “If I Could,” explained the origins of “Harry Hood” and said sometimes he feels like a wildebeest hunting prey. On February 13, Anastasio’s return to Delaware for a performance in Wilmington saw him admit he’s a Jets fan and tell the story of the night Phish got booed off the stage in France. He recalled the origins of the song “Black,” dedicated a tune to the stars of Broad City, said he isn’t into politics and detailed a story about getting a moped when he was 15 and hurting a friend when a joke went awry.
One of the most beautiful venues of the tour was a historic synagogue where Trey performed at in Washington, D.C. on February 14. Tales told that evening included Mike telling the band the meaning behind the lyrics of “Avenu Malkenu,” meeting Jon Fishman, Phish fighting at a photo shoot while dressed as cavemen, the story behind “Strange Design,” Mike and Trey’s failed attempt at burglary and the night Phish keyboardist Page McConnell made Jon Fishman cry. Then, in Durham on February 16, Anastasio explained why it felt like a hometown show, documented his experience opening for The Rolling Stones in 2005, once again dedicated “Till We Meet Again,” gave a few options for what his Game Of Thrones’ name would be and gave thanks for having Page, Fish and Mike in his life.
The penultimate show of the tour took place on February 17 in Charlotte. Anastasio joked about teleporting to the show and revealed his surprise at just how active Charlotte was at 1:30 a.m. the previous evening when he arrived. He also told stories about a fire at Phish’s hotel in Cincinnati during Winter Tour 2003, proposing to his wife, how cool his mom is and the experience that led to Tom Marshall writing “Buffalo Bill.” Anastasio ended the tour on February 18 in Athens. Stories at the tour finale included his first time witnessing Col. Bruce Hampton & Aquarium Rescue Unit in concert, his respect for late Widespread Panic guitarist Michael Houser, a science lesson and more about the writing of “Strange Design.” 215 Music ends the compilation with Trey’s solo acoustic debut of “Slave To The Traffic Light,” which took place in Athens.
Thanks to 215 Music for putting the compilation together and all the tapers who made quick work of sharing their recordings. Audience recordings of every 2018 Trey Anastasio solo acoustic performance are available now via bt.etree.org, while official recordings can be purchased at LivePhish.com. Listen to the compilation of stories Trey told during his recently completed tour:
List Of Stories Included
2/8 Morristown, New Jersey: Cow story, Dedication to those who passed and those who lost someone who passed, The tongue-eating louse, Payton Hooten, The feeling of “Saudade” the new instrumental Trey wrote about losing Chris “CCott” Cottrell gives him, How Pete Schall was behind a line from “Push On ‘Till The Day”
2/9 Ithaca: Phish’s van days + performing at The Haunt and the night the band gave away their van to “Sweet Pete,” Why Mike wasn’t allowed to drive Phish’s van, When Spin ranked 300 Phish songs, Dedication of “Summer Of ’89” to Sue, Giving a song a shot on acoustic for the first time
2/10 Cambridge: A shout out to Winthrop House in honor of Trey’s sister, How much Anastasio likes the show How It’s Made, Jon Fishman’s Wheatgrass Enema, “Til We Meet Again” gets a title, Trey realizes the audience isn’t so smart, The guitarist as “the all-request guy,” Trey realizes “Lizards” has many chords in it, How “Mississippi Queen” and the revving of a motorcycle changed Anastasio’s life
2/12 Pittsburgh: Getting into a fight with a security guard over rollerblading, Story behind Alison Krauss recording “If I Could” for Hoist, Trey talks about writing “Harry Hood” on acoustic guitar, Feel like a wildebeest
2/13 Wilmington: Trey admits he’s a Jets fan and tells the story of Phish getting booed off the stage in France, Anastasio explains why he decided to play “Black,” Dedication to Broad City stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, The guitarist says he isn’t into politics, How the New Jersey native bought a moped when he was 15 and how a joke while riding went awry.
2/14 Washington, D.C.: Anastasio recalls Mike telling him the meaning behind the words in “Avenu Malkenu,” Meeting Jon Fishman and how he looked like the “Wolfman’s Brother” as well as the time Phish got into a band fight while dressed as cavemen at a photo shoot, The story behind “Strange Design,” the night Mike & Trey had a failed attempt at burglary, When Page made Fish cry
2/16 Durham: Why the night was a sort of hometown gig for Trey, The experience opening for the Stones in 2005, A dedication of “Till We Meet Again,” What Anastasio’s Game Of Thrones name would be, How lucky Trey feels to have his Phish band mates in his life
2/17 Charlotte: Trey says he teleported to Charlotte + talks about the party scene in town when he arrived at 1:30 a.m. the previous evening + tells the tale of a fire at the band’s hotel in Cincinnati in 2003, The story of Anastasio proposing to his wife Sue, How Trey’s mom scared a couple in Marco Island, The experience that led to Tom Marshall writing the lyrics of “Buffalo Bill”
2/18 Athens: Watching Col. Bruce Hampton & Aquarium Rescue Unit for the first time, Trey shares memories about Michael Houser, Anastasio gives a science lesson about the sound of waves crashing into the beach, More details about how the guitarist wrote “Strange Design,” solo acoustic debut of “Slave To The Traffic Light”
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