I: Come on Baby Lets Go Downtown, Last Tube,Tube Top Flop, Sweet Dreams Melinda, Cayman Review, Ooh Child, Alaska, Backwards Down the Number Line, Gone, Sand
II: Push on Til the Day, Gotta Jibboo, Drifting, Simple Twist Up Dave, Water In The Sky*, Brian and Robert*, GBOTT*, A Case of Ice and Snow, Tuesday
E: First Tube > Jam (w/ Billy Kreutzmann, Oteil Burbridge, and Scott Murawski)
Lupo: wolf (Italian)
In a venue named for the man himself, Trey delighted the rowdy mid-week crowd with some of his best playing on tour and a memorable encore that showed Trey is right where he needs to be. The small downtown Providence theatre was packed like sardines on the floor, but opened up in the seated balcony; all were very vocal and enthusiastic, responding to a very animated Trey dancing, jumping, and lunging around the stage, rediscovering how fun tour can be. Complete with post-song fist pumps and huge smiles, Trey was clearly having as much fun as anyone in the building during a show that all left raving about.
While Last Tube was the only significant improv towards the beginning, the first set took off musically with the return of the cover of the soul classic “Ooh, Child.” With lines resembling the uplifting textures of a Slave jam, although brief, it felt so good to hear that type of Trey again. Following this up, he took the mundane, loafing song of Alaska out further than ever before and wound up bringing the house down. With a solo that started in the dirty and distorted tone that is coming to define a large part of his current sound, he built the bluesy composition into a heavier climaxing slow rock jam.
The crowd responded with an extended ovation as Trey went around to his band members to discuss the next song. Coming back with the tour’s first Backwards Down the Number Line, Trey improvised a bit more than Brooklyn, showcasing the pop-rock jamming capability of the newest Anastasio / Marshall composition. Thematically about old friends reuniting, it would be hard to see this one not hopping into the bigger pond of Phish. Continuing the first set trend of bust-outs, Trey played the introspective “Gone,” also for the first time since Brooklyn. Clearly alluding to his troubled past few years, Trey used his voice exceptionally well with these melodic lyrics, another illustration of the strength of his vocals these days.
Despite all the new additions to the setlist, the standout highlight of the first set was the scorching Sand that closed. Moving through several furious segments of Trey improv, this one, coupled with Burlington, upped the ante for the song for the second half of this brief eight show in ten night swing. Really getting comfortable now and beginning to just let it flow, he tore apart the venue with a tour-highlight version of the song. Never returning to the composition, Trey ended the set at the natural conclusion of his sinister thoughts.
Carrying this momentum directly into the beginning of the second set, the usual set-closing Push On Til the Day was put under the lens, as Trey extended the jam further than any time this run. With incredibly fiery playing, Trey transcended his usual musical territory with enthusiastic improv that brought the jam outward- the crowd returning the energy from the stage blow for blow. Taking the highest point in the show to drop the biggest song of tour, Trey strummed the opening chords of Jibboo. Deciding to leave the rhythm funk behind, Trey sat into the colorful backdrop with a flowing non-stop series of improvised lead melodies. Beginning delicately and ending in a much more boisterous place, Trey’s improvisation grew in stature and never let up in a highlight version that provided a musical contrast to the rest of the Jibboos of tour. This stuff was very impressive and encouraging!
This wave of momentum crashed right into Drifting, where Trey chose to sit back and groove with his band and accent the music as opposed to taking another gargantuan improvised solo. His improvisational excellence returned in the heavier Simple Twist Up Dave. Continuing to solo subconsciously, Trey found his way to a sped up “The Name Is Slick” jam for a while as he moved through some sublime playing in this song. The top heavy set peaked with this intensely improvised guitar marathon, as his band has certainly has found their stride, supporting Trey with just the right amount of groove, with a dash of improv, to absolutely go off.
Yet, the surprise of the night came right at the end. As the jam of the newly-improvisational First Tube began during the encore, the recently formed trio, KBM- Billy Kreutzmann, Otiel Burbridge, and Scott Murawski (Max Creek, Mike Gordon Band)- found their way to stage, replacing Tony, and bouncing Russ to a snare and a cowbell set up behind the drums. As the stage was taken over by master improvisers, the band dove head deep into a ridiculously psychedelic jam that never returned to First Tube. Taking on a completely new and magical feel the moment Billy sat down, the guests collectively played the first true “group jam” of the run. Jamming with the best around, Trey was ready and waiting, unleashing some improvisation of the like we haven’t heard so far. He’s ready to go folks, and placed in the context of these maestros, Trey felt right at home. This was one of the most positive Phish foreshadowing moments of the tour, as Trey proved that he is drooling to dig into some deeper stuff!
In a show that featured a few bust outs, some of Trey’s personal best of tour, and a special encore that seemed like it should have continued for another song or two, Lupo’s was treated to a mid-week treat, as the weekend crowd prepares to migrate to Boston, Philadelphia, and not so much Richmond. Adding some songs to the mix over the past few shows, and really feeling it now, Trey is shaping up the last three nights to be quite an adventure. See you there!
DOWNLOADS OF THE DAY:
^^ FULL SHOW, NEW SOURCE!!! (Thanks to Matt Pagni for the upload!)
10.19.08 Higher Ground, Burlington, VT < SENDSPACE LINK
(thanks to Maniah @ PT Trey)
10 16.08 ROSELAND, NYC – photo: Col. Forbin
I’ve lost my taping source, so if any tapers would like to help out with the last three shows please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!