Watch James Casey Lead Trey Anastasio Band On Emotional ‘O-o-h Child’ Cover In Baltimore
The saxophonist sat out the concert at Pier Six Pavilion until singing the cover of the Five Stairsteps’ 1970 hit for the encore.
Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio brought the Trey Anastasio Band to the stage last night in Baltimore for their first performance of 2023. Saxophonist James Casey sat out Thursday’s show at Pier Six Pavilion until he emerged to sing the “O-o-h Child” encore.
This year appears to be a light one for the main Trey Anastasio Band lineup which finds Anastasio joined by bassist Dezron Douglas, drummer Russ Lawton, keyboardist Ray Paczkowski, percussionist Cyro Baptista and a horn section consisting of Casey, trombonist Natalie Cressman and trumpeter Jennifer Hartswick. Instead, the guitarist helmed a new iteration of the Trey Anastasio Trio featuring Douglas and Phish drummer Jon Fishman for a three-night stand in Denver last month.
Additionally, Anastasio will hit the road with Classic TAB (Douglas, Lawton and Paczkowski) this September. The full Trey Anastasio Band plays in Asbury Park, New Jersey tonight; the Levitate Festival in Marshfield, Massachusetts tomorrow and the Catbird Music Festival in Bethel, New York on August 20.
James Casey has been bravely fighting colon cancer for the past two years since a stage 3 tumor was discovered in his colon. Casey has needed to miss occasional TAB shows while undergoing treatment. Last night, the 40-year-old musician did not take the stage with the group during their two sets. While Cochemea “Cheme” Gastelum and Kenneth Whalum have subbed for Casey when he’s sat out shows since 2021, the Trey Anastasio Band went without a saxophonist at Pier Six Pavilion.
Trey Anastasio Band featuring James Casey on vocals started their “O-o-h Child” encore in Baltimore with no introduction. Last night marked the first time TAB played the Five Stairsteps’ 1970 hit since September 15, 2017. Trey Anastasio has sang past versions of the song. Thursday’s “O-o-h Child” was also the first full cover performed by the Trey Anastasio Band dating back to Winter 2020. Anastasio and the troupe did take on a variation of John Murphy’s “In The House – In A Heartbeat” from the 28 Days Later soundtrack to launch the fourth The Beacon Jams concert on October 30, 2020 and backed Billy Strings on his “Meet Me At The Creek” in Fairfax, Virginia on November 17, 2022.
Casey delivered “O-o-h Child” with passion and ferocity. James had the crowd singalong with the “la la las” by pointing his mic at the audience. He belted out the final rounds of “right now” from his gut. Anastasio then took a brief but powerful solo. A visibly shaken Trey Anastasio gave James Casey a big hug at the end of the song. The rest of the saxophonist’s bandmates were applauding James after “O-o-h Child.” Trey’s voice was cracking with emotion as he introduced Casey, Hartswick and Cressman before TAB left the stage.
Watch fan-shot video of last night’s “O-o-h Child” finale below:
The Trey Anastasio Trio debuted a heaping batch of new originals during their three-night stand at Denver’s Mission Ballroom in June. Surprisingly, none of the new songs made the setlist last night in Baltimore. Instead, TAB played a mix of such classics as “Back On The Train,” “Pigtail,” “Sand,” “Cayman Review,” “Gotta Jibboo” and “Push On ‘Til The Day” along with Phish tunes including “Camel Walk,” “Blaze On” and “The Moma Dance.” Additionally, Anastasio looked to his 2022 album mercy for its title track and “hey stranger,” while “A Wave Of Hope” and “…And Flew Away” off 2021’s Lonely Trip were also performed at Pier Six Pavilion.
Tonight, the Trey Anastasio Band continues their weekend run in Asbury Park, New Jersey. An official recording of last night’s show can be streamed by LivePhish+ subscribers.
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Setlist (via Phish.net)
Set One: Everything’s Right, Camel Walk, Blaze On , mercy, hey stranger, Back on the Train, Set Your Soul Free, Pigtail, Sand
Set Two: A Wave of Hope > Cayman Review > Undermind, Sweet Dreams Melinda, …And Flew Away, Gotta Jibboo, About to Run, The Moma Dance, Push On ‘Til the Day
Encore: O-o-h Child 
-  Lyrics changed to “dancing by the water.”
-  James Casey on vocals.
Blaze On’s lyrics were changed to “dancing by the water” and the song ended with Everything’s Right quotes prompting Trey to say “we’re going to end every song like that tonight.” Gotta Jibboo also ended with an Everything’s Right quote from Trey. O-o-h Child featured James Casey (who did not perform during the show) on vocals.