Trey NYC Night 1 - Setlist & Review
5.13.05 Hammerstein Ballroom
Set 1: Night Speaks to a Woman, Burlap Sack And Pumps, 46 Days, Push On 'Til The Day, Dig A Pony, Dark And Down, Circles, In The Light, Drifting, Sledgehammer
Set 2: The Way I Feel > Mr. Completely > Cayman Review, Goodbye Head > Space Oddity > Black, Come As Melody
Encore: Mean Mr. Mustard > She Came In Through The Bathroom Window > Golden Slumbers > Carry That Weight > The End
I arrived at Hammerstein Ballroom early and met Bruce in front of the diner. He told me that the doors had been open for at least an hour so we headed inside to scout out a good spot since we had general admission floor seats. I grabbed two Coronas and they shockingly were cold, compared to Radio City Music Hall where the beers were luke warm for Widespread Panic. I've seen plenty of shows at Hammerstein and I prefer it to Roseland, a venue where the sound sucks and the security guards are nazis. The Hammerstein is one of my favorite venues to see a show in New York City (it's up there with the Beacon Theatre and Bowery Ballroom). I caught Trey Band at Hammerstein back in 2003 when he busted out Sweet and Dandy.
I've seen Trey Anastasio Band well over twenty times almost reaching thirty after this run is over. My numbers are fuzzy. I caught three shows in California, at Berkeley and in LA, and two in Vegas and dozens more on the east coast including shows at Jones Beach and Radio City Music Hall. Oh, and I think I just scored a ticket to Zooma at Red Rocks at the end of July. That might be one of the musical highlights of the summer for me.
We moved up close about twenty or so people back when the lights went down and Particle took the stage. I first saw Particle on the west coast at a post-Phish party back in 2000. I've caught them a few times since then. They don't sound as good at 7:30pm as they do at 3am. Their combination of hard rock-disco-techno fusion is more soothing to late night partiers who are winding down a night on a serious ecstasy binge. Particle plays tight and they hit a few grooves. Bruce was impressed with the guitar player.
The crowd was a little weird. Compared to a regular Phish show, the wookie and Phish kid factor was much smaller. Dare I say I saw more hipsters there than hippies? But it was a mixed crowd for sure. By the time Trey came on at 8:45, we were standing in the middle of the floor.
Unlike in Cincy when Trey eased into the mix, he opened up the first Hammerstein show with Night Speaks to a Woman. He started out smoking and didn't stop. He busted out some slow funk with Burlap Sack and Pumps. I really liked what they did with that tune when I caught it in Cincy. Both songs were repeats and since Trey's new band's song selection is limited, I expected to hear everything I experienced in Cincy at some point during the two shows. Trey didn't play 46 Days in Cicny, so that was a treat to hear. He only waited until the third song to break out a Phish cover and he ripped it up. Bruce seemed enthusiastic at the song selection at that point.
I'm a big fan of Push On Til the Day because in some of the lyrics Trey references Phish' trip to Japan in 2000. "Glass table in a five star room/and the sun always comes up much too soon." Read what you want into that lyric but the word was out on Japan's Phish tour that Trey was ripping gagers all night long in Tokyo. As a former railhead I can tell you that there's only a few things you can do with a glass coffee table.
Trey dedicated Dig a Pony to one of Trey's best friends and Phish lyricst, Tom Marshall, who was in the audience. Bruce loved his version of it. They did a better job with it compared to Cincy and the version I heard from Nashville. Trey's on a Beatles kick, eh?
The only lull in the first set was Dark and Down. I puffed down during that! The picked up the energy level with Circles. Bruce mentioned that Stevie Wonder wrote it. Anyway, Trey was having fun during Circles and they hit a nice groove when they were jamming it out when all of a sudden Trey just stopped it to play In the Light. I must say that the Cincy versions of Circles (first set closer) and In the Light (Second set closer) were better, but the crowd was into both. I thought the set was going to end but Trey kept playing. Bruce is a fan of Drifting and it was a tune I missed in Cicny. Again, I thought that would end the set until Trey broke out Sledgehammer, a cover song from Peter Gabriel. Lori heard it in Columbus and said it was pretty good. Perfect way to end the set.
I lost Bruce at setbreak and bumped into my buddy Chris. I first met Chris in Tokyo five years ago after one of the Phish shows there. Since then we always run into each other at shows. We missed each other at Coventry. He told me that the last time he saw me was in Las Vegas in April 2004.
"Where's the red jacket?"
He remembered that I was pimping in my red blazer. I retired it after Coventry. Maybe I should bring it back out again? I also ran into Chris at the Mandalay Bay before one of the Vegas shows. He was waiting for a poker game! Anyway, at setbreak we chatted about my move to Las Vegas and the Zooma tour. Once the lights went down, I tried to find Bruce and couldn't. I found a spot in the middle of the floor and fired up. I found myself watching Skeeto a lot during the second set. That's when I finally realized who Skeeto looked like... Teck from the Real World Hawaii.
Lori told me that the second set in Columbus was pretty trippy so I was prepared. I have been digging Trey's solos during The Way I Feel. There is just one lyric "that's the way I feel" in that song and it's a vehicle for Trey to show off his rock star licks. The jam into Mr. Completely was smooth. I know that Bruce wanted to hear Cayman Review, which was the highlight of the second set. The floor was bouncing on that tune and the lights looked pretty amazing. I'm a big fan of David Bowie so I was excited to hear how he covered Space Oddity. Not too bad. The girl dancing next to me almost came in her skirt since she was so moved by Trey's version.
Come As a Melody is a sick tune. Just hear it for yourself. Trey hit some peaks during that song. I wondered if Trey was going to play any acoustic Phish songs for the encore. Instead he busted right into Mean Mustard. Man, I love Abbey Road. During Phish's last tour before they went on hiatus in 2000, there were rumors that they were going to play a third set for their last show at Shoreline and going to perform Abbey Road in it's entirety. Oh well. Spun out hippies and their "rumors." That never happened and I wished I was catching Phish break out the last six songs off of Abbey Road instead of Trey's band, but heck, it was still great to see Trey have a lot of fun. I got chills during Carry the Weight.
Seriously, Trey ripped it up last night. I liked the second set in Cincy better, but overall the band played more consistent over the course of the evening at Hammerstein.
I wonder what songs and special guests were coming out for Saturday's show? I heard rumors that Dave Matthews and/or Gordo might show up. We'll see. I can tell you this for sure... I'm going to hear First Tube and I Am a Walrus for sure.
Here's a random article about Trey that appeared in the Daily News.