Trey Anastasio ‘The Beacon Jams’ Night 7: Setlist & Recap

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Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio played the penultimate show of his eight-week, Friday night The Beacon Jams residency at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Night seven, which again was in support of the The Divided Sky Fund, was the first of The Beacon Jams to feature the Full Trey Anastasio Band.

Anastasio, drummer Russ Lawton, bassist Tony Markellis, keyboardist Ray Paczkowski and percussionist Cyro Baptista where joined by tumperter Jennifer Hartswick and, appearing at their first Beacon Jam, trombonist Natalie Cressman and saxophonist James Casey. The group played a funky, uptempo arrangement of the Phish classic “Camel Walk” for the show opener.

JHA, who performed the previous two weeks, explained she’s been secretly quarantining for five weeks. Cressman noted a change in the law meant she only had to quarantine for four days, while Casey revealed he was posting pictures on Instagram this week from Hawaii to help keep his NYC visit secret. “Set Your Soul Free,” a TAB song that Phish also plays, saw Trey going to work on his Ocelot Languedoc guitar. Long-running TAB staple “Alive Again” saw Cressman take an extended solo and Trey altering the lyrics to “Winter’s coming and I’d like a review.”

Previous Beacon Jams participants, the Rescue Squad Strings (Anja Wood on cello, Rachel Golub on viola and Katie Kresek and Maxim Moston on violin) and pianist Jeff Tanski came onstage while Tony, Russ, Ray and Cyro stepped off before the start of “Petrichor.” Tanski and the horns previously performed the multi-part Big Boat opus with Phish on New Year’s Eve 2016.

After the guests exited and the others returned, Trey talked a bit about Carl Monzo, the head of Phish security who recently passed away, getting emotional while recalling a story that involved Trey Kerr who is currently video crew chief for Phish. Lightening the mood, Trey then dedicated the next song to everyone at home watching in their underwear before firing up “Money, Love & Change.” Those watching in their skivvies and clothed streamers alike were treated to more back-and-forth interplay between the horns and Trey, who seemed to enjoy having his full band back together.

“Olivia” was next and featured Cyro mimicking the horns with a cuíca drum and his voice. There was a false start to “All Pretending” as Trey addressed a commenter who mentioned a Madison Square Garden staff member who recently died. Anastasio then offered words of encouragement to those watching who may be struggling with substance abuse and added there will be news next month about The Divided Sky Fund’s efforts to provide drug and alcohol addiction support.

Lawton and Markellis restarted the “All Pretending” intro, leading to the second performance of the song debuted at one of the few pre-COVID-19 pandemic shows played back in January. Trey then selected another TAB favorite, “Curlew’s Call,” which was a showcase for Russ and Cyro.

Trey then sat down and picked up his acoustic guitar as the strings returned and everyone else but Tony left. Trey then began an absolutely gorgeous acoustic arrangement of the Phish staple “Harry Hood.” When the song reached the midway point, Trey switched to electric guitar, while the rest of the musicians filed back in place assembling together for the climatic finish. Trey went back to his acoustic for another beautifully arranged Phish tune, “Lifeboy” that was played without drums or keys and with the horn players on backing vocals.

Back on electric, Trey started an impromptu song about Heather McDougal, a nurse watching the livestream who sent in a comment praising the band. When the “Heather McDougal Song” ended, Trey realized he needed his acoustic for one more song, the ode to cycling, “Let Me Lie.” The strings left and Trey was back on electric when he started the “Heather McDougal Song Reprise,” which sounded like “Chalk Dust Torture Reprise.”

“Burlap Sack And Pumps” was up next and the funky number featured Casey and Anastasio engaging in a fiery exchange. Afer “Burlap,” Trey was prompted to tell the story of the time in April 1994 when he fell through a hole in the Beacon stage and severely injured his leg, resulting in a substitute being needed that night (and other shows on that tour) to jump on the trampoline during “You Enjoy Myself.”

TAB rolled through “Valentine” and eased into the Phish/Kasvot Växt slow-burner “Death Don’t Hurt Very Long,” The strings reemerged to augment the welcomed return of “Goodbye Head,” the densely constructed Anastasio original that had only been played once since 2017. Like several of the other songs played Friday night, “Goodbye Head” ended with Trey saying “science.” He also dropped a “spatchcock” in for good measure. Trey used part of “Goodbye Head” to sing goodbye to the strings as they left for a final time. A spirited romp through “Push On ‘Til the Day” punctuated the set.

The final edition of The Beacon Jams takes place next Friday, November 27.

Setlist (via Phish.net)

Set: Camel Walk, Set Your Soul Free, Alive Again [1], Petrichor [2], Money, Love and Change, Olivia, All Pretending > Curlew’s Call, Harry Hood [3], Lifeboy [4], Heather McDougal Song [5], Let Me Lie [6], Chalk Dust Torture Reprise [7], Burlap Sack and Pumps, Valentine, Death Don’t Hurt Very Long [8], Goodbye Head [9], Push On ‘Til the Day

Notes:

  • [1] Lyrics changed to “Winter’s coming and I’d like a review.”
  • [2] Just Trey, The Rescue Squad Strings, and the horns.
  • [3] Full TAB debut; began with just Trey on acoustic guitar and The Rescue Squad Strings with the rest of the band joining later.
  • [4] Just Trey on acoustic guitar with The Rescue Squad Strings and Jen Hartswick and Natalie Cressman on vocals.
  • [5] Debut; with The Rescue Squad Strings.
  • [6] Full TAB debut; with The Rescue Squad Strings.
  • [7] Full TAB debut; sung as “Heather McDougal Song.”
  • [8] Full TAB debut.
  • [9] With The Rescue Squad Strings.

This performance was part of The Beacon Jams series and featured the debut of Heather McDougal Song and the full TAB debuts of Harry Hood, Let Me Lie, Chalk Dust Torture Reprise, and Death Don’t Hurt Very Long. Alive Again’s lyrics were changed to “winter’s coming and I’d like a review.” Petrichor, Harry Hood, Lifeboy through Let Me Lie, and Goodbye Head featured The Rescue Squad Strings (Katie Kresek and Maxim Moston on violin, Rachel Golub on viola, and Anja Wood on cello) with Petrichor featuring just Trey, Jeff Tanski on piano, and the TAB horns, Harry Hood beginning with just Trey on acoustic guitar with the rest of the band joining later, and Lifeboy with Trey on acoustic guitar and Jen Hartswick and Natalie Cressman adding vocals. Trey teased Manteca in Curlew’s Call. Trey teased and quoted Heather McDougal Song after Let Me Lie. Chalk Dust Torture Reprise was sung as “Heather McDougal Song.” James quoted No Woman No Cry and Trey quoted Welcome to the Jungle after Goodbye Head.

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