Trey Anastasio ‘The Beacon Jams’ Night 3: Setlist & Recap

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Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio continued his weekly The Beacon Jams livestream residency at The Beacon Theatre in New York City on Friday. The third night of the eight show run again saw staple Trey Anastasio Band members, keyboardist Ray Paczkowski, drummer Russ Lawton, bassist Tony Markellis and percussionist Cyro Baptista, joining Trey for the majority of the single set show.

A brief intro by Baptista on one of his global instruments led to Phish’s “Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan” getting night three going as Trey was once again utilizing his Blonde No. 2 Languedoc guitar to fill the empty venue with scorching blues-rock riffs. Another Phish number, “Party Time,” came next after Trey wished a happy birthday to Kevin Statesir, co-founder of Burlington, Vermont venue Higher Ground and Anastasio’s brother-in-law. The band then laid out the slow-burning groove of “The Way I Feel,” which Trey talked over as he thanked the Poster Nutbag Poster Art Group for a generous donation to the Divided Sky Fund.

“The Way I Feel” developed into a funky jam, with Trey and Ray seesawing back and forth, and the rhythm section bolstering a deep pocket. Trey started talking again before the song ended, responding to a commenter’s question about his favorite snack, Trey replied he didn’t know but knew that it would be a spatchcock. He then mentioned you can spatchcock anything, introduced Ray as “Saul from Homeland” and revealed the instrument Cyro was playing at the start of the set was “Zamfir and his pandemic flute.”

Long played original “Sweet Dreams Melinda” brought the classic TAB sound to the Beacon. The live debut of “Shaking Someone’s Outstretched Hand,” a song from Anastasio’s lockdown-recorded solo album, The Lonely Trip, introduced some new sounds and textures. The instrumental rarity “Andre The Giant” from Anastasio’s 2004 orchestral album, Seis De Mayo was busted out for its first live performance since May 2002. The band then wound up “Spin,” developing a simmering jam, with dark textures and one menacing run after another coming from Trey’s Languedoc.

Anastasio then took a seat and picked up his acoustic guitar while the others left the stage. He briefly talked about Merriweather Post Pavilion, noting its backstage swimming pool and the one Phish built backstage at their Big Cypress festival. “Turtle In The Clouds” from the Kasvot Växt Halloween set, got the solo acoustic spotlight. The lights came up to reveal the onstage presence of the Rescue Squad Strings (Anja Wood on cello, Rachel Golub on viola and Katie Kresek and Maxim Moston on violin), pianist Jeff Tanski and Cyro, as Trey returned to electric guitar for a gorgeous arrangement of Phish’s “What’s The Use?”

Tanski made his third straight jam at the Beacon, while the string section was back for their second consecutive jam. Transki exited as Anastasio went back to his acoustic to join the Rescue Squad Strings on a tender performance of Phish’s “Brian And Robert.” Trey spent some time addressing a question from a commenter about what it’s like playing without an audience and compared it to band practice. Another poignant Phish ballad, “If I Could,” was next to get the acoustic strings treatment and the result was a stunningly beautiful version of the Hoist favorite. While bantering, Trey resurrected the impromptu “Rescue Squad” song he sang while being helped down from a malfunctioning elevated platform at last year’s Phish New Year’s Eve concert.

Still on acoustic guitar, Trey and the strings were joined by Ray, Russ, Tony and Cyro for the TAB debut of Phish’s “Leaves.” Responding to another commenter, Trey mentioned his first guitar was a classical guitar and learned “squirrely harmonic motion” from studying Bach gavottes. The ensemble was off to Gamehendge via the Phish classic “Lizards.” The Rescue Squad left the core band to rip into “Mr. Completely,” flipping the switch from the symphonic sequence to hard-charging, electric guitar-driven, improvisational rock.

Another early TAB tune, the reggae-tinged “Windora Bug,” was ushered in by Trey jokingly asking if the sounds Cyro was creating was the wind. Tony improvised “corona bug” lyrics that Trey happily joined in on, adding his own verses about a commenter doing her laundry. Phish’s “Possum” crossed over to TAB territory and brought its typical high-energy to the Beacon stage.

Trey thanked nurses and frontline workers ahead of “A Case Of Ice And Snow,” an infrequently played part of the TAB repertoire that led to more fiery interplay. A segue into “Last Tube,” another tune that dates back to Anastasio’s early collaborations with Markellis and Lawton lit up the Beacon — audibly and with accompanying visuals — as Cyro shouted out his percussive band mate at the song’s end.

For the final song of the set, Trey started strumming Phish’s “Twist,” while offering more thanks to everyone involved in the show, eventually getting the other four musicians to join in. It served as one more vehicle for TAB to stretch out for the night’s final jam at the Beacon.

Trey Anastasio returns to the Beacon Theatre next Friday, October 30 for the fourth of eight The Beacon Jams performances.

Seltist (via Phish.net)

Set: Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Party Time, The Way I Feel, Sweet Dreams Melinda > Shaking Someone’s Outstretched Hand [1], Andre the Giant, Spin, Turtle in the Clouds [2], What’s the Use? [3], Brian and Robert [4], If I Could[4], Rescue Squad [5], Leaves [6], The Lizards [7], Mr. Completely > Windora Bug [8], Possum, A Case of Ice and Snow > Last Tube, Twist

Notes:

  • [1] Debut.
  • [2] Trey solo acoustic.
  • [3] Just Trey with The Rescue Squad Strings and Jeff Tanski on piano.
  • [4] Just Trey on acoustic guitar and The Rescue Squad Strings.
  • [5] Trey solo acoustic; first acoustic performance by Trey.
  • [6] TAB debut; Trey on acoustic guitar and The Rescue Squad Strings.
  • [7] Full TAB debut; with The Rescue Squad Strings.
  • [8] With Corona references.

This performance was part of The Beacon Jams series and featured the debut of Shaking Someone’s Outstretched Hand, the first Trey solo acoustic performance of Rescue Squad, the TAB debut of Leaves, and the full TAB debut of The Lizards. Trey quoted Manhattan after Shaking Someone’s Outstretched Hand. Andre the Giant was performed for the first time since May 26, 2002. Turtle in the Clouds was performed by Trey solo acoustic. What’s the Use? through If I Could and Leaves through The Lizards featured The Rescue Squad Strings (Katie Kresek and Maxim Moston on violin, Rachel Golub on viola, and Anja Wood on cello) with What’s the Use? featuring only Trey and Jeff Tanski on piano and Brian and Robert and If I Could only Trey on acoustic guitar. Leaves also featured Trey on acoustic guitar with TAB returning to the stage. Windora Bug had Corona references. Twist was introduced as “Folding The Laundry” and “When Your Dryer’s Broke.”

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