Trey kicked off his solo tour in style over the weekend, playing three shows with a notably more diverse song selection, precise guitar shredding and some surprise covers in Portland, Albany, and Boston. Though I’ve only been listening along on tape, the band sounds well-practiced and as tight as ever. With Trey on point, the band seems to come together quite readily.
Trey’s current two-set affairs carry a different contour than ever before. Flooding his first-set solo segments with Phish songs, Trey has given favorites from “Theme From the Bottom” to “Carini” the acoustic treatment. More easily garnering momentum with pieces that fans have an attachment to, Trey has allowed his song structures to shine in a stripped down setting, and they’ve been translating to stage better than I would have imagined. Though many classics inevitably turn into mass sing-alongs, at least the show has energy from the beginning—something that wasn’t guaranteed with an acoustic opening set.
Towards the end of the first half—in his opening two shows—Trey brought up part, and then all, of his band to accompany him while still playing acoustic guitar, a rarity for Red. But some legitimate highlights have emerged from these segments, including the return of “Liquid Time” in Portland and “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” in Albany. These portions have concluded the opening sets, prepping the audience for the full-on electrical barrage.
The buzz of the first couple shows has not only come from the obvious and power-packed jams, but also from some brand new and old-school covers. The moment of tour that everyone has been talking about is TAB’s take on The Gorillaz’ “Clint Eastwood,” a lamping groove from the band’s debut album that actually fits TAB quite well. With Jen Hartswick rapping in lieu of Del tha Funky Homosapien, the band pulled off a surprisingly proficient cover of the creative hip-hop nugget. Trey has also dipped into contemporary culture during the end of his acoustic set in Portland, playing Outkast’s “Hey Ya,” a comic funk-rocker from Andre 3000′s half of the 2003 double-album “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below.”
Bringing older covers like “Ooh Child,” “Sweet and Dandy” and “It Makes No Difference” back into the mix, Trey has been switching things up early in his tour, and the word from the road has been nothing but glowing. Not only spicing up setlists with creative covers, Trey has also delved into his past catalog, reviving songs such as the ska-laced “Acting the Devil” and “In the Wee Wee Hours,” both unplayed since 2002, and “Black” unplayed since 2005. He has even made a backwards conversion, adding a Phish staple, “Ocelot,” to his solo shows. Including all his heavy hitting staples from TAB history, Big Red has quite a base of songs to choose from when forming his one electric set, and, albeit early, he’s been doing a great job.
After three shows, (only two considered in this mini-armchair review), Trey seems to be off to a smoking start to his cross-country tour. Altering format and clearly having fun, the band has already thrown down some fierce jams and must-hear moments. Check out the first two shows below and some audio clips below.
Jams of the Day: TAB @ Albany, NY – 2.19.2011
DOWNLOADS OF THE DAY:
2.18.2011 State Theatre, Portland, Maine
Acoustic Set: Theme From The Bottom, Cavern, NICU, Bug, My Friend My Friend, Horse > Silent in the Morning, Gumbo, Suzy Greenberg, Kill Devil Falls, Water in the Sky*, Spin**, Liquid Time***, Hey Ya***^
Electric Set: Cayman Review, Mozambique, Gotta Jibboo, It Makes No Difference, Acting the Devil, Alaska, All That Almost Was, Words To Wanda, Push On Til The Day, Birdwatcher, Sand, Wherever You Find It, Plasma, Tuesday
E: In The Wee Wee Hours, Dragonfly
Notes: *with Jen Hartswick and Natalie Cressman
**with Jen Hartswick, Natalie Cressman, and Ray Paczkowski
***with all of TAB
^debut. Outkast origianal
Source: MP3: (FOB) Sound Professionals SP-BMC-12 / FLAC: Schoeps MK4
2.19.2011 The Palace, Albany, New York
Acoustic Set: Free, The Wedge, Prince Caspian, Backwards Down The Number Line, Limb by Limb, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan, Guelah Papyrus, Buffalo Bill, Joy, Halley’s Comet, Wading in the Velvet Sea*, Black**, Valentine***, Devil Went Down To Georgia***
Electric Set: Money Love & Change, Done Done It, Ocelot, Clint Eastwood^, Night Speaks to a Woman, Sweet & Dandy, Ooh Child, Windora Bug, Birdwatcher, Sand. Drifting, The Way I Feel, Push On Til The Day
E: Cayman Review
Notes: * w/ Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman
** w/ Jennifer Hartswick, Natalie Cressman and Ray Paczkowski
*** w/ TAB
^Debut, Gorillaz original
Source: Busman Bsc1 (Hypers)Tags: 2011, Side Projects, Trey