Trey & Classic TAB @ All Points West Festival; Jersey City, NJ
Sand, Drifting, Caymen Review, Alaska, Gotta Jiboo, Mr. Completely, First Tube E: Heavy Things, Tuesday
Trey came out and followed up his intimate and exploratory Brooklyn show with one that was much more rocking and straight forward. Not at all lacking in shredding or precise groove, the show featured high-quality standard versions of most all of the Classic TABs greatest hits; all repeated from Brooklyn. Also notable was that he did not play any of the new songs that dominated the second set on Thursday, and debuted nothing else as well. It was more of a customary festival set with all the songs that everyone that came to see Trey wanted to see.
However, as with Phish, greatest hits can often produce great moments, and in this short 70 minute set, Trey Band staples Jiboo and Mr. Completely certainly provided these moments. While Jiboo stayed within the confines of its jam and chord progression, the improvisation featured some smoking Trey licks and grew into a blistering version; the first song to really bring the crowd to the next level. The Mr. Completely that followed was the most original improvisational playing of the evening with a dark groove that had a 2001-esque feel to it- definitely the jam of the set. Sand also provided a jump start as the opener of a very high-energy set that featured a lot of solid interaction between Trey and Ray on keys.
Definitely a step down the right path, Trey pleased the crowd within the limits of a 60-minute festival slot. While not delving very deep, his playing was as precise and sharp as in Brooklyn and his enthusiasm was certainly all there. With rumors of a Fall Trey Tour swirling, one would expect that his new songs to resurface in the upcoming months. Yet, it would be cool, if not cooler, if he didn’t play them a lot with his Classic TAB ensemble, and kept them for Phish to define, characterize, and pave the destiny of. In all likelihood, they will come up throughout the fall but we shall see what else also comes up, knowing how many songs he’s been writing.
Thinking a llittle further down the road, you gotta’ hope “Goodbye Head” resurfaces as a Phish song, such amazing potential. “Backwards Down the Number Line,” “Valentine,” “Light,” and “Peggy” just sound like Phish songs. The mere templates were of these were exposed in Brooklyn, waiting for Phish to develop the jams out of them, and they would simply obliterate the Spin jam. We’ll see how “established” these songs are by the time the stars are realigned. All in all, quite an exciting weekend in the Phish universe. Trey is clearly back with intention. There are many new songs written that seem to be massive Phish jams in the waiting. The fire is burning again. Trey seems excited to get out on the road. Old friends are reconnecting. Things are in motion, and according to Newton, objects in motion tend to stay in motion- thankfully. Summer 2009 is looking very good right now, seems about right. In the meantime, Trey is back in classic form and waiting to play with your minds again; catch him if you can. This period will only last so long, and before long, well- you get the point.
One more thought- with all of his great songs, why did he decide to keep “Tuesday” in rotation? Hmmm.
Check out some of the Mr. Completely jam (thanks to linusj)