Trey Anastasio Band @ Riviera Theatre, February 27
On Sunday night, Trey Anastasio and his Trey Anastasio Band rolled through Chicago for a sold out show at the legendary Riviera Theatre. The site of TAB’s Chicago debut in 1999, the Riv was an ideal setting to catch the band’s 2011 return to form. The first set was mostly Trey solo acoustic, and began with the 3.0 staple Backwards Down the Number Line before settling into a great acoustic arrangement of Theme from the Bottom. While surprisingly heavy on new Phish material, the acoustic segment also featured great takes on classics Gumbo, Halley’s Comet, Dirt and The Wedge.
[All photos by Joel Berk]
Jennifer Hartswick and Natalie Cressman came out to sing backup on a breathtaking Let Me Lie, an interesting slow arrangement of Water in the Sky and Wading in the Velvet Sea before the rest of the band came out and launched into Heavy Things. The tune, also slightly rearranged, gave keyboard player Ray Paczkowski his first moment to shine of what would be many. Liquid Time and Hey Ya! closed the full-band acoustic portion of the show, but the group wasn’t done yet and launched into a ripping electric Push On ‘Til the Day to close the opening stanza.
The electric set began with the TAB-turned-Phish tune Gotta Jibboo, which got the crowd going right off the bat before launching into a horn-driven version of Ocelot. Ocelot, with its horn parts sounding reminiscent of Allen Toussaint’s arrangements on The Band’s The Last Waltz, worked way better for me than it ever has as a Phish song.
READ ON for more from Joel on TAB in Chicago…
Camp Bisco 9 @ Indian Lookout Country Club – July 15-17
It seems that every year the Disco Biscuits bassist Marc Brownstein starts the last set of the weekend by commenting, “This Was The Best Camp Bisco Yet!” and yes, this year it rings truer than ever.
From the eclectic artists who kept the music flowing – about 48 hours in total – all weekend long to the new art installations which dazzled and entranced attendees, there was more action at Camp Bisco 9 than ever. While the Biscuits were only able to complete five of their six sets scheduled for the weekend – one set was lost due to safety concerns from heavy lightning – there was no shortage of music to keep you moving all day and night long. While the main focus of the festival seems to be turning to more of an electronic mix, there was much more than just DJs spinning over the weekend.
There were a few major changes that dramatically increased the amount of music that you could see over the weekend. Following the catastrophic rains that left last year’s Dance Tent anything but functional, the tent, which showcases DJs all weekend long and provides late night music till 4AM, was moved to a better location closer to the road up the path from the main stage. Also, a second stage was added adjacent to the Main Stage allowing bigger acts to play back to back without breaking for set changes. The Silent Disco debuted this year giving fans another great late night option that ran just short of sunrise. Other fun additions to the landscape at the Indian Lookout Country Club included performances each night by the Philadelphia Experiment – a dance troupe that included fire dancers, fire hoopers and poi spinners.
Thursday, July 15
On Thursday afternoon, Rubblebucket’s Kalmia Traver rocked a sax that was about the same size as her and the band brought a funky Jazz vibe to Camp Bisco. Many fans soon pushed on to the Dance Tent to dance with Orchard Lounge, who showed that no matter what time it is if you are ready to throw down some hot tracks, people will be there to hear it. Even with a five hour wait to enter the venue, there was no shortage of fans checking out what was their first set of the weekend. Never an act to rest on their laurels, OL also played the VIP tent vs. Magner and the Silent Disco. Pretty Lights took the stage after the Biscuits’ first set of the weekend with their Finally Moving Remix featuring an Etta James sample that had the whole crowd singing along. LCD Soundsystem closed the main stage on Night One by giving props to New York with a combination of New York, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down and Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind.
READ ON for more from Jeremy and Carla on Camp Bisco 9…
If a picture speaks a thousand words, then Robert Massie’s work could recite War and Peace. So once again we asked him to take us behind the lens, and share his own personal favorite photos of the year.
Photos by Andrew Francke of the Vermont Easter Jam featuring the Trey Anastasio Band and Phish from the Higher Ground in Winooski, Vermont on April 11th, 2004.
Visit Francke Design at www.franckedesign.com.
Photos by David Bann of Toots and the Maytals’ live performance at The Paradise in Boston, MA on March 31st, 2004.
Photos by Adam Foley at The Jammy Awards from the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City on March 16th, 2004.