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Trey Anastasio Medals at Terminal 5

February 17th, 2010

Trey Anastasio – Terminal 5 – February 16, 2010

Trey Anastasio - Terminal 5 - February 16, 2010
Toward the beginning of the second set of Trey Anastasio’s marathon show at Terminal 5 last night, someone tossed the Phish guitarist a Brian Leetch USA hockey jersey, which he displayed on his amp the rest of the night and then wore during the encore. It was appropriate because Anastasio was playing like an Olympian. From the get-go, it was pure joy, as the mind-probing lights seemed to be induced purely by his smile and energy. Hopping around the stage like a moguls skier, he eased his band into the evening with strong versions of “Push On ’Til the Day,” “Mozambique” and “Gotta Jibboo.”

The Classic TAB, with a horn section and a bass-drums-keys rhythm section backing Anastasio, acted more like a jazz ensemble than a jam band. While it would have been easy for everything to devolve into filler between axe solos, Anastasio has fleshed out this side project with its own fully functioning repertoire. This got mixed up a bit at the end of the first set with an extended solo acoustic sing-along featuring the typically rocking Phish songs “Sample in a Jar,” “Chalkdust Torture” and “Wilson” that was pure joy for musician and audience alike. The second set featured counterintuitively horn-heavy covers of classic-rock staples “Black Dog” (mightily sung by Jennifer the trumpet player) and “Sultans of Swing.”

Still the highlights of the night were when the band relaxed into a groove and Anastasio just shredded. The band reduced to a quartet on songs like “Jibboo” and “Sand”—the bass and drums transforming into gates in a slalom downhill, and Anastasio barreling downhill, gaining momentum and dangerous speeds, with just fractions of a second the difference between gold and crashing and burning. And at the critical moment, the horns would return for a tremendous climax, and there was no question about who would be taking the podium. —A. Stein

Photos courtesy of Gregg Greenwood | www.gregggreenwood.com