Trey Anastasio Reunites With Mike Gordon & Jon Fishman On This Date In 2005

By Scott Bernstein Nov 11, 2016 10:21 am PST

The year 2005 was a tough one for Phish fans mourning the breakup of the beloved foursome the previous year. Guitarist Trey Anastasio issued a letter on May 25, 2004 announcing the intention of Phish to part ways and mentioned very clearly the band was done. It was on this day in 2005 that a glimmer of hope came in the form of a reunion featuring three of the four members of Phish.

On November 11, 2005 Trey Anastasio brought his 70 Volt Parade project to the Utica Memorial Auditorium in Utica, New York. In the days leading up to the show a coundtown timer set to expire when the concert started was posted on Anastasio’s website noting a “Countdown To Utica.” Wild rumors circulated about what would go down in Utica, though some more jaded fans chalked it up to Trey trying to sell tickets.

The first reference to “Countdown To Utica” came as the band took the stage to the sounds of “The Final Countdown” by Europe playing over the P.A. Anastasio and his troupe rolled through a set of TAB material from his early solo days such as “Mr. Completely,” “Night Speaks To A Woman” and “Push On ‘Til The Day” as well as more recent songs “Spin,” “Dark & Down,” “Shine” and “Come As Melody.” Then, a pair of chairs were set up at the front of the stage.

Trey took one of the seats and the other was for bassist Mike Gordon, who was greeted by a wild roar from the audience. Mike and Trey went on to play six Phish songs to the delight of the crowd. First up was Gordon’s “Access Me,” which had only been played once by Phish before the breakup. Next up was a “Divided Sky” that saw Phish drummer Jon Fishman emerge with a cymbal to play two beats. Trey and Mike then rolled through “Back On The Train” and “Heavy Things” ahead of a “Bathtub Gin” > “Ghost” sequence that showed the pair’s magical chemistry.

When 70 Volt Parade returned for the encore they were joined by Fish on drums and Mike and additional bass for a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Boogie On Reggae Woman.” Fans rejoiced at getting to see three members of Phish making music together and smiling throughout. It was the first sign in the thaw of relations that would eventually lead Phish to reunite in 2009.

Audio (Taper Unknown via Phish Spreadsheet)

Videos

[Access Me | Captured by Gayanastasio]

[Divided Sky Cymbal Tap | Captured by PosterNUTbag186]

Setlist (via Phish.net)

Set One: Mr. Completely, Spin, Drifting, Dark and Down, Night Speaks to a Woman, Shine, Money, Love and Change, Push On ‘Til the Day, Come As Melody, Access Me [1], Divided Sky [2], Back on the Train [3], Heavy Things [3], Bathtub Gin [3] -> Ghost [1]

Encore: Boogie On Reggae Woman [4]

  • [1] TAB debut; duet with Trey on acoustic and Mike on bass.
  • [2] TAB debut; Trey on acoustic, Mike on bass and Fish on cymbal.
  • [3] Duet with Trey on acoustic and Mike on bass.
  • [4] Fish on drums and Mike on bass.

Tea Leaf Green opened. In the days leading up to this show it was promoted as the “Countdown to Utica.” As the band took the stage “The Final Countdown” by Europe was played over the P.A. “Access Me” and “Ghost” were Trey Anastasio debuts. “Access Me” through “Ghost” were all duets with Trey on acoustic guitar and Mike on bass. “Divided Sky” also featured Fishman playing the two cymbal beats after the pause. The end of “Divided Sky” featured a “Lawn Boy” tease. “Boogie On” featured the entire band plus Fishman on drums and Mike on bass.

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