TAB favorites such as Mr. Completely and Money, Love, and Change found Trey mixing layers of filthy guitar effects over a constantly driving funk. At midnight the band started 2007 off with a bang, literally an explosion of balloons and confetti, accompanied by a slinky cover of Michael Jackson’s Wanna Be Startin Somethin’. And Trey even coyly referenced his recent arrest with acoustic versions of Phish staples Makisupa Policeman and Sample in a Jar.
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic.com
The setlist featured numerous highlights, but it was the thoughtfully chosen lineup surrounding the redheaded jam king that gave Trey the room to musically sprawl. Ray Paczkowski is an unstoppable force behind the keys, and the return of Dave Grippo and Peter Apfelbaum to the horn section brought a precision and purpose to the brass that has been noticeably lacking from recent tours.
Unlike previous tours that saw Trey repeatedly setting down the ‘Doc to conduct, the horn section floated and swayed independently of instruction, allowing instrumental arrangements such as Peaches En Regalia and Buried Alive to soar to new heights. A refreshingly subdued Cyro Baptista also returned on percussion, adding subtle layers to drummer Jeff Sipe and bassist Tony Hall’s consistently “in the pocket” rhythm section.
While loyalties among Phish fans have split between bands such as Umphrey’s McGee and The Disco Biscuits, Trey Anastasio has quietly assembled the tightest lineup of musicians since his Vermont quartet exited the stage in 2004.
Despite the legal headaches that await him, on this night Big Red was back in the kitchen, serving his annual guests the tastiest of holiday meals with ferociously nasty jams and heaping portions of funk on the side.
Ashley that was amazing!! I could not have said it better myself. One of the best nights I have had in years…heres to hoping 2007 will bring cheer to all of us…and also return Red to where he belongs–healthy-at center stage-shredding his famous guitar w/ a smile from ear to ear.
Strong review. One question in re the 2nd photo: Is the woman who is accompanying the horns playing the same thing that Louis and Gilbert played in the “Tri-Lam” rap at the end of “Revenge Of The Nerds”?
Ashley! This is so wonderfully written! An amazing weekend, an amazing show….Happy New Year!
….’and the sun always comes up much too soon’
Great review, great shows.. Here’s looking forward to ’07
Great review Ash!