10/18/08 Palace Theatre Albany, NY
I: Sand, Drifting, Peggy, Cayman Review, Burlap Sack and Pumps, Shine, Dark and Down, Push On Til The Day
II: Valentine, Simple Twist Up Dave, Let Me Lie, Alaska, Gotta Jibboo, The Way I Feel, Brian and Robert*, Back On The Train* > Farmhouse*, Bathtub Gin*
E: Bug (* solo, acoustic)
In triumphant sort-of-homecoming to the vicinity where Trey spent fourteen months after getting into, in his own words, “some legal entanglements,” Albany’s Palace Theatre was the site of a momentum-carrying show, juiced by the energy of the Northeast. An immediately responsive audience greeted Trey with, far and away, the largest ovations of the tour. Picking up on the energy generated in Wallingford, Trey and his Classic TAB barraged Albany with another incredibly strong performance. With a setlist that included only one new addition, Trey arranged a show that flowed beautifully from start to finish, and was visibly happy with the results.
The first set included a lot of TAB staples, with quality improvised versions of Sand, Drifting, and Cayman Review, and Push On Til the Day. Yet, the true highlights of this set came in the three song combination of- Burlap Sack and Pumps, Shine, and Dark and Down. In the third consecutive performance of a song that Trey is clearly amped on, Burlap Sack and Pumps is quickly turning into one of the quintessential songs of this short tour, and provided another adventurous glimpse into what all-but-assuredly will be a new Phish reality. The song’s, second, more exploratory jam, took a different path than the previous two dark psychedelic dungeons. The band’s improvisation carried the music to a more uptempo and groovy space as Trey climaxing the piece with uptempo rhythm chords as opposed to beautifully distorted solos. Clearly illustrating the diversity of direction the song can take- I’ll say it once more- this one seems primed for the jaws of the Phish.
As he explained after the most extended version of Peggy to date, Trey wrote a lot of his new material during his stay in the region. In the first verbal acknowledgement that some of this new material is destined for Phish, Trey said, with a shit-eating grin, that a lot of his new songs that he was playing with his band, and would play with “that other band,” were written right in the audience’s “backyard.” Receiving one of the loudest cheers of the night, this nod to the future certainly upped the energy in Albany’s ornate theatre.
In an improvised Shine, evoking the feeling of warm breezes on a summer afternoon, Trey delicately built a uplifting and thematic jam, spinning gorgeous melodies into the band’s refined textures. The tour’s second Dark and Down, a track off of Bar 17‘s complimentary EP, 18 Steps, (not Shine, as I write yesterday) was the standout song of the set. With a slower jam that strongly resembles the contours and soundscapes of Pink Floyd, this is another song that Phish could kill. With a jam that shies from groove and leans toward whole band sound-sculpting, this backdrop provides a beautiful tapestry for Trey to paint with washes of color and soaring emotional, dissonant cries. In what hopefully will transfer to his “other band,” Dark and Down is a odyssey for which the sky would be the limit for Phish.
The second set flowed like water from a faucet, as Trey created a set that carried a cathartic emotional thread, while providing some heavy grooves, and yet another inter-galactic Jibboo. Opening with a wide open Valentine, the self-reflective tone of the set was put into place with Trey extending the spiritual composition slightly beyond its previous two appearances. One of two brightest stars in the Northeastern sky last night, was the tour’s first appearance of Simple Twist Up Dave. With an incredibly cohesive jam built on fiery improvised rhythm licks, Trey’s band shone as brightly as ever in this aggressive piece. Bringing the audience far out with an intense fury of grooves before returning them to their realities, Trey was absolutely crushing on this top-notch show highlight.
A perfectly placed Let Me Lie blissed-out the crowd for several minutes with its newly arranged heavenly textures, upon which Trey’s guitar lines floated wistfully into the cloud-scaped ceiling of The Palace. Yet, after this came to its proper close, Trey visited Alaska, before launching into the third consecutive focal centerpiece of Jibboo. With smooth bass work by Tony, this jam grew into another impeccably mastered dance-a-thon that spun the entire building for over fifteen minutes. In what seems to be Trey’s “choice of tour,” Jibboo has consistently provided the most inspired playing from the red headed Jedi on this tour, and since his return in August. Last night providing another simply ridiculous version to stack right next to Wallingford’s, it seems that each show will contain a monster exploration of the funky piece of TAB history. With stellar band accompaniment, specifically from Ray Paczkowski, who has been a standout player on this run, Jibboos continue to explode across the Tri-state area.
Sliding in nicely with the autobiographical nature of the set, The Way I Feel was another way for Trey to fully incorporate his band’s chops in his story telling. In a version that stood out for the tender loving care infused into each and every note and tone, this piece slowly rocked the show into a seductive groove before Trey disappeared from stage, reemerging with his acoustic guitar for the final portion of the set.
After leaving the stage with the entire crowd vocally carrying the classic melody of Bathtub Gin throughout the entire encore break, Trey came back giving the audience their own round of applause for their role in what was a collectively introspective ride through the second set. Seeming like an obvious First Tube encore, Trey instead chose the much more appropriately themed, Bug. With a staggeringly emotional solo, Trey closed the book on a self-satisfying reflective return to what was his home away from home.
Tonight, we are going home.
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
10.18.08 The Palace Theatre, Albany, NY < LINK NOW ACTIVE!!
LINK FOR WALLINGFORD SET 2 SHOULD BE UP TODAY!
All props due to Matt Quinn for turning the show around in a flash and getting to you right here on Phish Thoughts!Tags: Classic TAB