By Kory Thibeault //
It’s been a huge year for Trey Anastasio, the guitarist of Phish fame. Between a historic year for the Vermont quartet and Anastasio earning an invitation to play alongside the core four of the Grateful Dead this past summer, one might go as far to say the 51-year-old is back on top of his game.
Now that Phish’s summer tour has come to a close, Anastasio has set his focus on Paper Wheels, the latest album for his eponymous-named side project Trey Anastasio Band. While the project lacks the extended jams and darkness of Phish, it is responsible for composing some staples of Phish’s library like “First Tube” and a personal favorite “Sand”. Both tracks made an appearance during Trey Anastasio Band’s two-night run last weekend at the Fox Theater Oakland.
Trey Anastasio Band, or TAB for short, allows the guitarist a different outlet in which to explore music. The horn section composed of Jennifer Hartswick, Natalie Cressman and James Casey is a huge draw for a fan like myself. The energy created onstage from these musicians was palpable and evident in the ear-to ear-grin plastered on Anastasio’s face throughout the shows.
The two-night run at the Fox was a beautiful blend of Anastasio originals and crowd-pleasing covers, including Gorillaz’s “Clint Eastwood” and Bob Marley’s “Soul Rebel”. But the most moving moment of the weekend was a tribute to longtime Phish booking agent Chip Hooper, who is currently battling cancer in Oakland. An emotional Anastasio honored Hooper for his years of service, attributing every show Phish and TAB have played to his efforts before the band launched into a gorgeous version of “Show of Life”. It was a great pleasure of mine to witness both nights. The energy level was high, and the music was solid.
November 6th setlist
Set 1: Tuesday, Sand (Phish cover), Cayman Review, Sweet and Dandy (Toots & The Maytals cover), Magilla (Phish cover), Money, Love and Change, Greyhound Rising, Valentine, The Song, Dark and Down, Soul Rebel (Bob Marley cover), Gotta Jibboo (Phish cover)
Set 2: Alaska (Phish cover), Alive Again, Sometime After Sunset, Curlew’s Call, Spin, Invisible Knife, A Case of Ice and Snow, In Rounds, Shine, Clint Eastwood (Gorillaz cover) (with Chain of Fools quotes), Dazed and Confused (Jake Holmes cover)
Encore: Show of Life (dedicated to TAB and Phish booking agent Chip Hooper who was in a local hospital battling cancer), First Tube (Phish cover)
November 7th setlist
Set 1: Drifting, Acting the Devil (Chris Ardoin and Double Clutchin’ cover), Speak to Me, The Devil Went Down to Georgia (The Charlie Daniels Band cover), Last Tube, It Makes No Difference (The Band cover), Pigtail, Burlap Sack and Pumps, Let Me Lie, 49 Bye-Byes (Crosby, Stills & Nash cover), Night Speaks to a Woman
Set 2: Simple Twist Up Dave, Bounce, Ocelot (Phish cover), Liquid Time (Phish cover), Cartwheels, Wherever You Find It, Mr. Completely, Architect
Encore: Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think) (Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians cover), Small Axe (The Wailers cover), O-o-h Child (Five Stairsteps cover), MacArthur Park (Richard Harris cover)