Trey Anastasio Band Mixes Phish, TAB & Ghosts Of The Forest Material In Brooklyn
Trey Anastasio presented a mixture of material from nearly all of his projects on Sunday night at the first of two Trey Anastasio Band shows at Brooklyn Bowl in New York City. Anastasio and TAB played tunes from the Phish and Ghosts Of The Forest repertoires as well as staples from the group’s own catalog over the course of the 22-song performance.
After an intense Ghosts Of The Forest run, this weekend has had a celebratory feel. TAB returned to the stage on Friday at the Beacon Theatre following the premiere of the Trey documentary Between Me & My Mind and then performed in New Haven on Saturday before returning to New York City last night. It appeared Anastasio would keep the Ghosts Of The Forest material out of the Trey Band repertoire until Sunday, when the eight-piece debuted their takes on “A Life Beyond The Dream” and “Stumble Into The Flight.” In addition, the guitarist started the encore with a series of three solo acoustic songs that included the reflective and poignant GOTF track “Brief Time.”
The band began Sunday’s concert with a run of “Cayman Review,” “Mozambique,” “Everything’s Right” and “Pigtail.” The latter was the first tour debut of the night. Next came a tight rendition of the Page McConnell-penned “Magilla.” One of the biggest surprises of the night followed as Anastasio led the Trey Anastasio Band debut of the Phish gem “No Men In No Man’s Land.” The song was part of a batch of material first performed by Phish during a summer tour-opening run at Bend, Oregon’s Les Schwab Amphitheater in 2015. Saxophonist James Casey, trumpeter Jennifer Hartswick and trombonist Natalie Cressman added brass to the number from Phish’s 2016 studio album Big Boat. The last and only other “No Men” with horns took place on December 31, 2016 at Madison Square Garden, when Casey, Cressman and Hartswick were among Phish’s special guests.
One of the improvisational highlights of the show was a swampy and dirty “The Way I Feel” featuring an outstanding pocket provided by drummer Russ Lawton and bassist Tony Markellis. “Gotta Jibboo” ended with a fierce Anastasio solo before TAB dusted off “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” by the Charlie Daniels Band for the first time since May 3, 2017. Trey struggled with the lyrics but laughed off his misstep and restarted the verse he flubbed without further incident.
Last night’s second set showcased Anastasio’s lead guitar work and was a master class in tone. “Sand,” “46 Days,” “Simple Twist Up Dave,” “Ocelot” and “Tuesday” all featured scorching solos from the guitarist. “46 Days” was one of the more exploratory numbers of the night as the horns stepped off to leave a quintet to play the song from Phish’s Round Room LP. The pretty ballad “A Life Beyond The Dream” saw Cressman, Casey and Hartswick put down their instruments to provide gorgeous harmonies. Jennifer had a turn in the spotlight on trumpet during the day-appropriate “Ether Sunday,” which also contained an outstanding solo from keyboardist Ray Paczkowski.
Anastasio didn’t have much in the way of banter from the stage on Sunday with one notable exception. At one point, Trey thanked the crowd for picking the show over watching the latest episode of HBO series Game Of Thrones. He joked that character Jon Snow could be dead for all the audience knew.
The last few years have seen Trey tour with TAB, Ghosts Of The Forest and Phish. He’s also embarked on a series of solo acoustic tours and showed off the unplugged format to begin what would be a five-song encore. Up first was the Phish classic “Water In The Sky.” He then played “Brief Time” for the first time on a TAB stage, although Ghosts Of The Forest tour performances were also solo acoustic. Finally, Anastasio delivered an emotional rendition of “Brian & Robert” before the rest of the band returned. “Stumble Into Flight,” the evening’s third of final Ghosts Of The Forest tune, fit Trey Band like a glove. The band said farewell with a nicely-jammed “Set Your Soul Free.” Brooklyn Bowl hosts the Trey Anastasio Band once again on Monday.
Watch fan-shot video of last night’s first set captured by rdeal1999:
Set One: Cayman Review, Mozambique, Everything’s Right, Pigtail, Magilla, No Men In No Man’s Land*, The Way I Feel, Gotta Jibboo, The Devil Went Down To Georgia
Set Two: Sand, Valentine, 46 Days’, A Life Beyond The Dream*, Simple Twist Up Dave, Ether Sunday, Ocelot, Tuesday
Encore: Water In The Sky@, Brief Time@*, Brian & Robert@, Stumble Into Flight*, Set Your Soul Free
- * – Trey Anastasio Band Debut
- ‘ – No Jen, Natalie and James
- @ – Solo Acoustic