Trey Anastasio ‘The Beacon Jams’ Night 8: Setlist & Recap

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Trey Anastasio concluded The Beacon Jams livestream series on Friday from The Beacon Theatre in New York City. After eight shows, The Beacon Jams finale featured the full Trey Anastasio Band lineup along with the Rescue Squad Strings and saw Anastasio sticking to his streak of no repeats.

After a pre-recorded performance of “Brian And Robert” at The Barn from Trey and Phish keyboardist Page McConnell, The Beacon Jams finale opened in a stairwell with the debut of a new Trey Anastasio/Tom Marshall/Scott Hermann collaboration called “Just A Touch” featuring Trey on acoustic guitar with saxophonist James Casey, trumpeter Jennifer Hartswick and trombone player Natalie Cressman on backing vocals. The quartet kept playing through the halls and finished the song onstage with Trey ending it with a shout of “science.”

Joined by the rest of TAB — keyboardist Ray Paczkowski, drummer Russ Lawton, bassist Tony Markellis and percussionist Cyro Baptista — Trey launched into Phish’s “Carini.” Tony held down the bottom end while Ray delivered dark organ swells laced with clav. Trey then got to work on the Blonde No. 2 Languedoc guitar with sometimes howling, sometimes weepy notes. The guitarist built the jam in tiers which included a fair amount of tapping before Trey nodded to Ray, who took over with some wild organ runs while Anastasio accompanied him with some flanged out stuff before taking over and bringing the song to a close. The TAB debut of “Carini” was a sound to behold and left Anastasio a little winded.

Trey then got into some banter acknowledging a group of firefighter fans for donating to The Beacon Jams beneficiary, Anastasio’s Divided Sky Fund. The band then kicked off the TAB classic instrumental “Mozambique.” After the swaying horn melody, the horn section played a string of solos beginning with Cressman followed by Casey and capped off with some trumpet from Hartswick to close out the quick rendition. TAB then got right into the shuffling rock of “Burn That Bridge.” Trey led the band through the song with backing vocals from the horn section ahead of a short but rocking solo before heading back into the chorus and bringing the rocker to a close.

“I’m gonna get misty-eyed. I’ve been misty-eyed all week,” Trey revealed before James read a comment from New York City Freaks, who made a large donation to the Divided Sky Fund. The band then dropped into some more vintage TAB in “Cayman Review.” After the verse and chorus, Trey got into a bit of twang-tinged soloing before kicking things over to Ray for an organ run ahead of a trumpet solo from Jen. Tab then hit the bridge and the “shake me up” refrain and a clav break down from Ray ahead of the close.

Trey got right back into banter and showed off an image of his cat Joey on his guitar headstock after a fan commented about it. “Speak To Me” — a song about organic chemsitry — came next. Trey headed into some soloing bolstered by more great backing vocal arrangements.

Next, Trey acknowledged a number of donors including music impresario Peter Shapiro and gave a shout out to parents homeschooling their kids. He then urged the kids to get out the pots and pans “next to dad’s head.” “He might be asleep on the couch…but not for long.” The reggae-tinged “Love Is What We Are” came next with Cyro somehow bringing the song to a close on a bow and arrow.

Trey sat down with his acoustic as a message from one of his favorite NYC restaurants popped saying that the owners had a baby as the Rescue Squad — Anja Wood on cello, Rachel Golub on viola, Katie Kresek and Maxim Moston on violin — took their positions. Trey dedicated the next song to the new baby before talking a bit about his hockey hero, Reggie Leach. Then, with just horns, bass and strings the ensemble kicked off “Pebbles And Marbles.” Sometimes the horns led the melody, sometimes the Rescue Squad led the charge and sometimes both the horns and strings played in unison. Trey tapped out the rhythm with his foot amid string flourishes and backing vocals from the horn section on the chorus. Trey picked up his electric for the almost “Eleanor Rigby” sounding jam as the percussion section fired back up with a pounding beat before bringing the song to a close.

After some banter about Katie Kresek spatchcocking a turkey, Trey remarked about Tony seeing a Jimi Hendrix show before Eliza Anastasio clued Trey into it being Jimi Hendrix’s birthday. The band then delivered yet another TAB classic in “Drifting.” Trey took his time diving into the solo, building it up slowly, alternating between loopy licks and soaring notes as the singers swelled behind him. Trey cued the band and jumped right into more vintage TAB in “Night Speaks To A Woman.” Trey delivered all the quick turn around licks flawlessly before heading into a quick solo as the band settled into a groove with Anastasio playing off the horns. “Night Speaks” featured some of the best soloing of the night.

A fan then commented about a memorable TAB show in Utica from 2002 that almost literally brought the house down before the band eased into “Liquid Time.” But Trey stopped the song to tell a story about his house arrest and recovery. He wrote a couple songs during that period with “Liquid Time” being one of them (and “Time Turns Elastic” another). The band then picked the song back up with Trey delivering a tasty, almost Mark Knopfler-esque solo before returning to some singing ahead of a very Trey solo complete with loopy, bubbly runs ahead of the song’s conclusion.

Trey then got into the opening strains of Phish’s “Fast Enough For You” before stopping to address a fan who lost their fiance to addiction. “Fast Enough,” a TAB debut, then began in earnest and featured some gorgeous backing vocals from the horn section. Ray’s piano floated behind Trey as the guitarist carefully crafted another solo with the vocals swelling around him before bringing the song to a close.

Next, Trey acknowledged a slew of donors which included a “Moby Dick” quote from Trey after a fan mentioned the “Moby Dick” outing at Deer Creek in 2000 before the band launched into “Shine.” After some soloing from Anastasio, the band settled into a groove which got Trey smiling.

“I gotta come clean,” Anastasio said after “Shine,” “that ending, it’s the Badfinger ending, ‘Baby Blue.’” Trey dedicated the next song to TAB drummer Russ Lawton before getting into the riff of “The Show Of Life.” A sweet horn line would launch Trey into the “solo of life,” which saw Anastasio reeling off runs of soaring notes. The song came to a close with Trey’s shadow towering on the Beacon wall. The band then headed into “Ether Sunday,” which was punctuated by claps from Cyro and some honky-tonk ivory stylings from Ray that got a rise out of Anastasio. The band brought it down for a killer trumpet solo from Jen before heading into “Simple Twist Up Dave.” Ray provided scorching organ touches and then manned the clav as Trey started his solo. Nice and warmed up, the guitarist got right down to business as his shadow danced along.

“Let Jen horn,” Anastasio said as he sat down with his acoustic. Trey and Rescue Squad then began the Phish classic “Slave To The Traffic Light.” The strings swelled nicely around Trey after the iconic guitar harmonics symbolizing the changing of the traffic light. The horn section re-emerged just in time for the compositional part as they provided some of the keyboard riffs usually played by Page McConnell as Trey soloed. A brief cello solo took the space of Mike Gordon’s bass licks as Trey switched to electric guitar ahead of a gorgeous build-up — as the rest of the band joined in for the full TAB debut of “Slave” — before Trey climbed to the climactic conclusion.

“I guess we’ve come to end of this,” Trey said before thanking everyone, introducing the band and acknowledging everyone who played, collaborated, participated and donated. The Beacon Jams then came to a close in perhaps the only way it could, with a rowdy “First Tube” that included the Rescue Squad Strings. Trey handed out masks that read “Love” as he headed out of the Beacon to a drum session and met with a dance troupe in the lobby before walking out the doors and into the New York night.

Setlist (via Phish.net)

Set: Just A Touch [1], Carini [2], Mozambique, Burn That Bridge, Cayman Review, Speak to Me, Love Is What We Are, Pebbles and Marbles [3], Drifting > Night Speaks to a Woman, Liquid Time [4], Fast Enough for You[2], Shine, Show of Life > Ether Sunday > Simple Twist Up Dave, Slave to the Traffic Light [5], First Tube [6], Jam [7]

Notes:

  • [1] Debut; began with Trey on acoustic guitar accompanied by James, Jennifer, and Natalie on vocals in a stairwell in the Beacon and finished with them on stage.
  • [2] Full TAB debut.
  • [3] Began with just Trey on acoustic guitar with The Rescue Squad Strings and the TAB horns before switching to electric guitar and the rest of the band joining in.
  • [4] Stopped for Trey to talk and restarted.
  • [5] Full TAB debut; began with just Trey on acoustic guitar with The Rescue Squad Strings and the TAB horns before switching to electric guitar and the rest of the band joining in.
  • [6] With The Rescue Squad Strings.
  • [7] Percussion jam with Trey exiting the Beacon.

This performance was the finale to The Beacon Jams series and featured the debut of Just a Touch and the full TAB debuts of Carini, Fast Enough for You, and Slave to the Traffic Light. Just A Touch began with Trey on acoustic guitar accompanied by James, Jennifer, and Natalie on vocals in a stairwell in the Beacon and finished with them all on stage. Pebbles and Marbles, Slave to the Traffic Light, and First Tube featured The Rescue Squad Strings (Katie Kresek and Maxim Moston on violin, Rachel Golub on viola, and Anja Wood on cello) with Pebbles and Slave beginning with just Trey on acoustic guitar with The Rescue Squad Strings and the TAB horns before Trey switched to electric guitar and the rest of the band joined in. Liquid Time was stopped (for Trey to talk) and restarted. Trey briefly sang Moby Dick before Shine. Trey quoted Baby Blue after Shine. After First Tube, Trey walked through the Beacon into the lobby (where there were dancers), giving facemasks out to people before exiting the Beacon with the music still playing.

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