Trey Anastasio Performs With Symphony In Nashville

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On Wednesday night, Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio performed with the Nashville Symphony at Music City’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The two-set performance marked Trey’s first orchestral show since September 26, 2014. Anastasio and the Nashville Symphony played music from throughout Trey’s career including a trio of orchestral debuts.

Last night’s first set began with “First Tube,” a song originally debuted by TAB and now a staple for both Phish and TAB as well as Trey’s orchestral performances. The set rolled on with a beautiful rendition of “Brian & Robert,” a lively “Divided Sky” and rarity “Summer Of ’89.” Anastasio debuted the orchestral version of “Divided Sky” nine years prior in Nashville though it has been performed by Phish since 1987. “Summer Of ’89” was played by Phish four times in 2010 and then shelved. Anastasio had played the song with the Scorchio Quintet in 2010 and performed solo acoustic renditions three times including twice in 2017. Last night’s version of “Summer Of ’89” was the first featuring a full symphony.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night came next as Trey and the symphony performed “What’s The Use?” from The Siket Disc, a collection of studio jams issued by Phish in 1999. Anastasio had never played “What’s The Use?” in any context outside of 35 performances with Phish. Wednesday’s opening frame concluded with a spot-on “Stash” that ended with Trey giving the symphony an approving shake of his fist.

Wednesday’s second set featured three lengthy opuses that thrive in the orchestral setting. Up first was the complex “Time Turns Elastic.” While Phish abandoned “TTE” in 2010, the composition has been a staple of Trey orchestral performances since its debut in Nashville exactly nine years prior to Wednesday’s show. “Petrichor,” a tune that like “Time Turns Elastic” was performed by Trey with an orchestra before the guitarist introduced it to the Phish repertoire, was the second song of the set. Anastasio debuted “Petrichor” during his Fall 2014 symphonic run. Phish wound up recording a much different version for 2016’s Big Boat and started playing “Petrichor” live thereafter. The final song of Wednesday’s second set was the beloved Phish song “You Enjoy Myself.” Anastasio unveiled the orchestral version of “YEM” at Carnegie Hall on September 12, 2009 and it has been a staple of symphonic performances since.

For the encore, Trey and the Nashville Symphony tackled the Gamehendge favorite “The Lizards.” The guitarist had never played “The Lizards” with an orchestra before Wednesday’s encore. The Nashville faithful were treated to one more as the ensemble finished the evening with “Water In The Sky.”

Anastasio plays another orchestral show in Atlanta on Friday night.

Watch a handful of fan-shot videos:

[What’s The Use? – Captured by gayanastasio]

[Petrichor | Captured by Todd Binkley]

[The Lizards | Captured by Ben Katz]

[The Lizards (Angle #2) | Captured by David Peters]

[YEM | Captured by Clay Maddox]

[You Enjoy Myself (View Of Conductor) | Captured by Marco Esquandolis]

Setlist

Set One: First Tube, Brian & Robert, Divided Sky, Summer Of ’89, What’s The Use?, Stash

Set Two: Time Turns Elastic, Petrichor, You Enjoy Myself

Encore: The Lizards, Water In The Sky

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