Tag Archives: Trey Anastasio Band


Trey Anastasio Band Are Firing on All Cylinders

January 24th, 2013

Trey Anastasio Band – The Capitol Theatre – January 23, 2013

Just a little more than 20 years ago, Trey Anastasio led Phish through two sold-out shows at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y. That weekend was equal parts present talent and future potential. And two decades of nearly constant playing later, potential fulfilled and then some, Anastasio returned to the historic, restored venue—the same, but different: better—for another two sold-out nights, with a second, completely different band also well on their way to maximizing their possibilities. Last night’s show opened with “Cayman Review,” setting an upbeat, major-key celebratory mood. Anastasio isn’t the lead guitarist in this group, he’s the bandleader, modeling himself, the band (percussion and a horn section that doubled as backup singers along with the traditional guitar, bass, drums, keyboards) and the music after other big bands of yore: shades of Tito Puente on the Latin-tinged opener; classic big jazz band for “Magilla”; James Brown’s heyday group in “Push On ’Til the Day”; and even notes of full orchestral music on the prog-rock “Scabbard” and “Goodbye Head,” both of which showed the prowess of an ensemble that’s grown along with Anastasio’s solo career.

Throughout two full sets, the band had plenty of opportunities to show off their wares, and like a good bandleader, Anastasio was generous with the spotlight: James Casey added a perfect dollop of flute to “Heavy Things”; Jennifer Hartswick nailed the vocals to the Gorillaz cover “Clint Eastwood”; Natalie Cressman rocked the Knopfler on trombone during the “Sultans of Swing” encore; Ray Paczkowski’s organ pushing and prodding the guitar solo in “Simple Twist Up Dave”; bassist Tony Markellis laid down the shag-carpet groove in “Push On”; and percussionist extraordinaire Cyro Baptista did a little bit of everything. Of course, what I meant to say was that Anastasio isn’t merely the lead guitar player in his own band. The show was obviously loaded with Biggie Size comes-with-fries-and-a-Coke guitar solos and jams to satisfy an audience giddy to gobble up more. In this way, the true model for the band might be Santana’s mid-era bands. The highlight jams came in “Money Love and Change,” with the group going full on jam band, scintillating guitar work leading the way.

During second-set opener “Sand” the show finally turned darker, the lights starting to find the nooks and crannies of the venue and Anastasio flexing his six-stringed muscle through the signature techno groove and the full-bore rock and roll tilt coming out of “Alaska.” Quiet moments also found their way into the set list: “Architect,” a ballad from Anastasio’s newest album began quietly, slowly building to a soaring climax, and the band’s wonderful “Ooh Child” cover was a feel-good sing-along highlight. Anastasio was chatty throughout the night, joking about how he was gung ho to play the show’s original date (the day after Hurricane Sandy struck) without realizing how big a storm it was and also extolling the virtues of the new and improved Capitol Theatre. So why stop there? I’m guessing it won’t be another 20 years until the next visit back to Port Chester. —A. Stein

(Don’t miss seeing Trey Anastasio Band play The Capitol Theatre tonight and The Wellmont Theatre tomorrow.)


Exclusive Video: Trey Anastasio Plays New Album’s Opening Track

October 17th, 2012

While guitar god Trey Anastasio is best known as the frontman and guitarist of Vermont quartet Phish, he’s put out a number of solo albums, including Traveler, which just came out yesterday. Above, at The Wellmont Theatre, the Trey Anastasio Band play the LP’s opening track, “Corona,” which Rolling Stone calls a “shimmering, love-versus-the-apocalypse ode.”

In making Traveler, Anastasio got to play with musicians from some of his favorite current bands, including members of the National, Bon Iver and Mates of State. While rehearsing at The Wellmont, he discusses the new material, playing some orchestra shows and working with Broadway musicians. Watch the interview: http://tbp.im/Wn0YpV.

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Trey Anastasio Still Wants More

October 13th, 2011

Trey Anastasio Band – The Wellmont Theatre – October 12, 2011

My dog is insatiable: run her ragged out in the yard until she’s too tired to stand and after a five-minute breather she’s ready to play some more. Trey Anastasio has the same problem. Zigzagging the country, playing three-hour shows every night with Phish doesn’t seem to be enough to satisfy his urge to play. So Anastasio is on the road again with his other band, and a three-hour marathon didn’t seem like enough last night at The Wellmont Theatre.

Opening with “Burlap Sacks and Pumps,” a horn-heavy big-band rave-up, the dial was instantly turned to party. Anastasio took the stage with his characteristic giddy-to-be-here grin and little hops accompanying nearly every guitar lick. After several tours, the band has become an independently functioning unit, no longer needing cues from the lead dog about when to make the changes or let things stretch out a bit. And stretch out they did: The first set featured more than 12 songs, including Trey Anastasio Band standards, like “Money, Love and Change” and “Cayman Review,” tunes that have entered the Phish catalog, like the jammed-out “Gotta Jibboo,” and well-timed covers, like “Small Axe” and “It Makes No Difference.”

But the first set was merely a warm-up for an even more compelling second act, a two-hour blur of a dog delightfully chasing its tail. A stretch that started with a straight-up cover of the soul standard “Ooh Child” made its way to Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing” and finally exploded with the techno-rock of “First Tube” had the sold-out Wellmont pulsing with impossible energy—Anastasio’s guitar finally taking the forefront and the band grooving its hardest to keep pace. The crowd was tanked, but not Anastasio, who brought the band back out for a multisong, curfew-flirting encore (including yet another great cover, “Black Dog”), leaving no doubt, he’d love to do it all over again. —A. Stein

Photos courtesy of JC McIlwaine | www.jcmcilwaine.com