Tag Archives: Trey Anastasio


Mike Gordon Dazzles Brooklyn Steel with Two Sets on Saturday Night

March 12th, 2018

Mike Gordon – Brooklyn Steel – March 10, 2018

Photos courtesy of Dan Salimbene | northfieldproductions.com

A happy byproduct of Phish’s now-nine-year 3.0 incarnation is that the mighty band’s resurgence has left enough creative fuel in the tank to support other projects too. Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell and Jon Fishman have all been busy—or will be, as the case may be—with non-Phish projects, but the band that really became a band in this era is Mike Gordon’s group, which played two sparkly weird and high-energy sets Saturday night at Brooklyn Steel. His solo compositions tend to step up to and peer down the rabbit hole, just short of falling down it. They’re a little—OK, a lot—quirky and often free associative, but they’re not often big, psychedelic, nebulous maybe-statements so much as they’re left-of-center pop and indie-rock tunes, delivered compactly.

OGOGO, which arrived last fall as his fifth solo album, has some angst to even out its breezier, groovier tracks. Gordon doesn’t mind things a little heavy—he’s a bass player after all, and not a shy one—and it comes through in tunes like “Victim,” “Crazy Sometimes,” “Marissa” and “Steps,” without weighing down their bendy, bug-eyed cool. Live, however, is when these tunes come delivered with some muscle—sinewy jams that pull at their already loose edges and drive the band into downright Phish-y territory at times, and into Brooklyn-y indie-rock crew with a synth-guitar-jamming jones in others. Almost every tune Saturday landed at that balance, from the opening “Victim” and an audience-participation oddity called “Trapezoidal Sunshine” to crowd-stoking versions of Phish’s “Destiny Unbound,” Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion,” and, in a nicely explored veer into left field, Fiona Apple’s “Sleep to Dream.”

The band is the not-so-secret ace, and Gordon’s been telling us that all along. He yields often to guitarist, singer and longtime partner-in-crime Scott Murawski (still going strong in Max Creek and other bands) and/or to keyboard professor Robert Walter, who picks his spots in this band and, among other highlights, turned the first set’s “Got to Be More Careful” into a showcase of whirling organ. And that’s before you get to the drums-and-percussion corps—John Morgan Kimock and Craig Myers—who have a lot of firepower between them and, you soon come to realize, are asked for all of it in the span of a Gordon show. Each was doing his thing and doing it well, all night, and in the end of the first set came “Tiny Little World,” about as good a capture of what Mike Gordon’s band sounds like these days. All the parts working, Gordon at the center playing stabbing bass, singing about how “nothing’s making sense/ So I shake and make it saucy.” It’s a fun world to visit. —Chad Berndtson | @Cberndtson


You Don’t Have to Go to Chicago to See Dead 50 This Weekend

July 2nd, 2015


This weekend, the “core four” remaining members of the Grateful DeadPhil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann—celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary—Dead 50—by performing together for the last time on 7/3, 7/4 and 7/5 at Soldier Field. The famed Chicago football stadium holds a special place in the hearts of Dead fans as it was the location of the very last Grateful Dead show with beloved frontman Jerry Garcia. Of course it wouldn’t be the Dead without a little help from their friends. So rather than going it alone, the “core four” are joined by Trey Anastasio on guitar, Bruce Hornsby on piano and Jeff Chimenti on keys. The Dead just played two additional shows over the weekend in Santa Clara, Calif., to pretty much universal acclaim. Per Billboard, “Grateful Dead Fare Thee Well Arrives & Thrives with Trey Anastasio on the Side.” Not to be outdone, the Los Angeles Times proclaimed, “Otherworldly? Yes. Worthy of praise? Most certainly. So expertly imagined as to suggest not just a reunion but a continuation, this was the Dead ideal, communal, filled with a generosity of spirit that united stage and seats.” This weekend will be one of the biggest musical reunions in the history of musical reunions, which, of course, means lots of people got shut out from attending. But no worries, because with the eyes of the world cast upon Chicago, you won’t miss a thing: All three shows will be simulcast in their entirety at Brooklyn Bowl, the Capitol Theatre and Bearsville Theater, and the last night will also be simulcast at the Space at Westbury.


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.

Don’t miss anything. Subscribe to The Bowery Presents Live to watch more performances and interviews like these, and the latest info on our upcoming live-streaming shows.


The Roots/Bob Weir – The Capitol Theatre – September 7, 2012

September 10th, 2012

This show was a benefit for HeadCount.

Photos courtesy of JC McIlwaine | jcmcilwaine.com

(See the Roots play the Capitol Theatre three more Fridays this month: with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band on 9/14, with Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe on 9/21, and on 9/28.)


Trey Anastasio – Terminal 5 – February 22, 2011

February 23rd, 2011

Trey Anastasio - Terminal 5 - February 22, 2011

Photos courtesy of Greg Notch | notch.org


Trey Anastasio Launches Tour in Portland, Maine

February 21st, 2011

State Theatre – Trey Anastasio – February 18, 2011

(Photo: Gregg Greenwood)

(Photo: Gregg Greenwood)

On Friday night the vibe at the State Theatre was one of anticipation as those in attendance waited for Trey Anastasio to take the stage and begin his new tour. He played most of the first set—mainly Phish originals—alone. Some acoustic highlights included a sublime version of “Cavern” and an energetic “Suzy Greenberg.” Eventually horns came out and then the entire Trey Anastasio Band closed the set with a raucous cover of OutKast’s “Hey Ya.” The singer-guitarist beamed while his energy inspired the crowd, which responded with its own intensity.

Before the second set, Anastasio said, “We are going to play some loud rock and roll.” And with the full TAB lineup on fire, that proved to be true. “Acting the Devil,” played for the first time in almost nine years, was a big surprise. Perhaps the words had referenced Anastasio’s past situation, but that was all clearly behind him, and he let everyone know. His perfect rendition of “Sand” drew excited roars from the crowd. Another inspired bust out came in the encore with “In the Wee Wee Hours” getting played for the first time since 2002, prompting a boogiefest. All in all, Anastasio was on a mission, and he let the music (and energy) speak for itself. —Rob Arken


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