A Night At the Symphony

9.12.09 (C.Batka)

9.12.09 - Carnegie Hall (C.Batka)

It all began back in college.  With intricate, multi-part compositions- arguably better suited for an orchestra than a rock band- Trey began his songwriting days.  Scribing pieces so far-reaching in musical scope, it was mind-numbing how a four-piece outfit could conquer his songs with such proficiency.  And throughout the years, when the band really nailed them, they sounded like- well- a symphony.  “You Enjoy Myself,” “Fluffhead,” “Divided Sky,” The Curtain (With),” “David Bowie,” “Harry Hood,” “Reba”- these weren’t your everyday “rock” songs.  But with Phish as his musical outlet, that’s what they became, some of the most unique rock songs in history, or- in other words- Phish songs.  But there was a vision of something greater that drove these compositions, something unattainable at the time.

TreyYouthDecades later in 2000, during Phish’s first break, Trey turned his energy to his lifelong goal.  Taking a similarly scribed song, “Guyute,” he spent four months with the conductor of the Vermont Youth Orchestra creating an orchestral arrangement of his composition.  And with two benefit performances at the Music Hall in Troy, NY and Burlington’s Flynn Theatre- a show that included his mentor, Ernie Stires- Trey’s new career was underway.  During the hiatus, he also worked with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra- conducting them, at Bonnaroo 2004, through pieces from his first classical album,”Seis De Mayo.”


Nashville Program

And on Saturday night at Carnegie Hall, after years of diligence and many baby-steps along the way, Trey’s dream was finally fulfilled.  Playing a full two-set show of his own material with the world-class New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Trey took center stage in one of the music’s most legendary venues, realizing his vision hatched so long ago.  Decked in black, he was the man of the hour, not only showcasing “Time Turns Elastic” in its proper setting, but also highlighting the night with a ridiculously creative arrangement of “You Enjoy Myself.”  On a stage filled with some of the world’s best musicians, Trey’s seminal piece took on a completely new life.  It was the first time that we all got to hear what Trey has been hearing in his head for years.  And it is some of the most surreal music you will ever hear.

9.12.09 - Carnegie Hall (P.Mason)

9.12.09 - Carnegie Hall (P.Mason)

While I couldn’t be at the show last night- all reports and reviews I got from New York City were glowing, and after listening to the show, I certainly understand why.  To hear Phish music in this milieu is absolutely breathtaking; the complexities and emotions are magnified, and the music sounds surprisingly at home.  Blending his guitar with a far greater whole, Trey’s integration with the symphonic tapestry is brilliant.  Arranging all pieces with Nashville’s Don Hart, with whom he collaborated with on “Time Turn Elastic,” the nuances and intricacies of each piece were astounding; Trey’s playing, selfless- his tone, gorgeous.  Making the first complete performance of the next chapter of his career, Trey announced his arrival on one of world’s most prestigious stages.

The way he painted suggestions of his soaring “First Tube” solo against a lush, horn-led backdrop; the enchanting and dreamy, “Brian & Robert;” the soaring power of the strings in “Divided Sky”- was this all a joke?  Trey had gone right ahead and redefined the Phish experience overnight.  And in his recent interview in Timeout: New York, he indicated he would love to see this project grow to where he could tour between Phish activities, playing two nights in a city without repeating any material.  Pretty freakin’ cool if you ask me!  And quite the “side project.”

9.12.09 (LiveMusicBlog)

9.12.09 (LiveMusicBlog)

After playing a series of relatively shorter pieces in the first set, the second set featured but three songs- “Time Turns Elastic,” “Let Me Lie,” and “YEM.”  In its full three-movement incarnation, and set in Carnegie Hall, it was very clear where “Time Turns Elastic” belongs.  In full blossom in Trey’s virtuoso performance, the song was easier to digest after a summer of hearing it as a Phish song,  but after listening to Saturday’s performance, it seems almost silly that it was transposed into a contrived prog-rock “epic.”  Taking on its natural form, as debuted in Nashville and performed in Baltimore, the piece’s innovation and power was evident, and it sounded authentic in its orchestral form.  But the highlight of the night was, without question, the classical debut of “You Enjoy Myself.”

With one of the most renowned symphonies on the planet, Trey played through a rendition of his seminal work that has to be heard to be believed.  The creativity, fun, and sheer genius on display was completely over the top, as the once-imaginary version of the song burst into reality.  Complete with an interpretation of his band’s improv, this “YEM” quickly developed into a career-defining moment for Trey.  With their collaborative ingenuity teeming, he even complemented the orchestra as the piece came to rest in a mesmerizing “vocal jam.”  And as he did, one can’t help but think that college kid from the mid-eighties, somewhere inside the mature maestro onstage, was beaming with a goofy, radiant smile.



Winged music noteJams of the Day: Carnegie Hall

You Enjoy Myself


Simply amazing. I am re-posting it for the Monday morning crowd.

Time Turns Elastic


In this setting, this composition is stunning.

First Tube


An unexpected way to start a night at the symphony!



9.14.1990 The Living Room, Providence, RI < Torrent

9.14.1990 The Living Room, Providence, RI < Megaupload


Feb 1990 Poster

We are taking it back nineteen years to the day, to a small club in Providence, RI for today’s download.  Those from the Northeast are most likely familiar with the intimate Living Room, a club that is still active today.  An old-school nugget to start the week that features the debut of “Destiny Unbound.”  Enjoy!

I: Suzy Greenberg, Bouncing Around the Room, The Landlady, Reba, Paul and Silas, Stash, Dinner and a Movie, I Didn’t Know

II: The Asse Festival, The Squirming Coil, Buried Alive > Tweezer, Magilla, Cavern, Lizards, Destiny Unbound*, Fire

E: Going Down Slow

*first time played

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202 Responses to “A Night At the Symphony”

  1. Mr. Completely Says:

    sounds like a caveman statement. “Goota say….fire bad! Pebbles…good!”

  2. Harpua Says:

    @fat bastard

    he didn’t do that in ’95, he did it right before David Bowie in 94, after the White Album.

  3. fat bastard Says:

    custard pie? right! im always just a little off.

  4. snigglebeach Says:

    Chiming in a little late,

    But it is obv. true it was always Trey’s band. He has always been the creative force behind the band.

    Funny that it comes up, as it makes me understand the breakup even more.
    When the leader of anything, becomes too f’d up too make rational decisions, people are going to stop following, and start looking for new direction. i.e. Gordon movies, Vida Blue, whatever.

    Now that our chosen Leader is back in control, the sky is the limit.

  5. Jay Says:

    ^^ “sounds like a caveman statement. “Goota say….fire bad! Pebbles…good!””

    That or a cockney accent – goota say there chap, good show.

  6. halcyon Says:

    Miner….last night I posted an etree link….you might want to check there..

  7. halcyon Says:

    nevermind kenny powers just posted it

  8. HYHU Says:

    Hey miner

    What source is your Carnegie recording from?

  9. whole tour! Says:

    my 2 cents….i don’t watch mtv. it’s straight up garbage. that being said, taylor swift should have kicked kanye square in his nuts and punched him in his fish stick loving mouth.

  10. Pence Says:

    This board needs an announcement.

  11. Mr.Miner Says:

    alternate source of this show coming soon

  12. AintNoTele Says:

    fish stick loving sob, it’s the new craze

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    I heard Trey is going to make an MTV music video for the orchestral version of YEM, and he’ll win an award for it, but then Fish will come onstage at the awards ceremony and interrupt to say that Mike made one of the greatest videos of all time, y’all

  14. NovaLox Says:

    Alternate Source?!? Please let someone have tapped the soundboard.

  15. Jay Says:

    I heard Trey was going to “host” the MTV music awards (or was that Spring Break Week?)

  16. BrandonKayda Says:

    You guys are cracking me up today.


  17. Jay Says:

    Clapton must have given up that title. Good for him. We need a new god.

  18. butter Says:

    Rockin my Phishthoughts T today…..(with Trey on it front and center)….DOPE

  19. Mr. Completely Says:

    nice butter! get ’em while they’re…uh….normal t-shirt temperature, I guess

    Clapton was demoted to a minor primitive tribal deity decades ago

    ===== speaking of that ====

    went out to the river this weekend for some end of summer beach time…stumbled upon an all female nude pagan watery ritual cermony of some kind…just moved to the next beach upstream so as not to disturb. I think they made one guy fall out of his kayak, he hit some fairly obvious rocks…

    I really love it here

  20. Highway Bill Says:

    …dude that conductor was kickin ass during YEM. Trey’s face says it all. I was five rows behind Tom Marshall and have seen 100+ phish shows……it was well worth the time and effort to attend…..no poopooing the undeniable.

  21. BingosBrother Says:

    You motor boatin son of a bitch, Mr. C! Seriously though, you must have tremendous respect for all female nude pagan watery ritual ceremonies. Went to the next beach? Wow. Lotta willpower kid.

    46 DAYS!

  22. whole tour! Says:

    ^whoa! naked pagen chicks? rituals?
    i need to move out there ASAP 🙂

  23. SOAM Says:

    Motorboatin-that should have been the title of the new album–You motorboatin son of a bitch(Vince Vaughn in some movie-right?

    fuckin funny

  24. SOAM Says:

    I am starting to wonder if there will be a full fledged fall tour or just a mini tour around NYE-I mean late fall shows should be announced by now -no?

  25. BrandonKayda Says:

    46 Days…..

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