October 22, 2012 by Benji
Detroit has seen some extra special love from Phish front man Trey Anastasio in the past few months. Phish released their epic show from December 6, 1997 at the Palace on Auburn Hills on their Live Phish platform.
Around the same time that was announced, Trey announced that he was opening his fall tour at the Fillmore Detroit, a tour to support his new album Traveler.
Being an avid Detroiter and music fan, this was exciting.
Last Thursday Trey came to town with his band including old band mate Cyro Bapista who hasn’t been a member of the band in around 7 years. Trey went out of his way to mention between songs that he was happy to have Cyro back on tour.
The show started off the same way the album starts off, and that is with the mellow industrial sounding Corona. I like the song, but its strange to see Trey playing an electric guitar that is not a Languadoc . For this track he is playing a Fender Squire, I’m not sure why, but if I do find out, I will post it in a comment. Here is a video of the band playing the song at the Bowery, in practice.
The show continued with the TAB classic Push On Till the Day. As soon as they started, I couldn’t help but think about how much I had missed Cyro in the band. The triangle is so simple, but such an integral part of the song.
The show continued with renditions of old schools TAB songs like Sand, Cayman Review, Drifting and First Tube. All of them were played well, there were no extended wild jams, but they hit all the changes and turns. A couple of nice surprises were during Push on Till the Day there was new licks and lines with the horns. As well as the Horn section playing parts of First Tube that normally Trey would play.
There was also a sprinkle of new songs, Scabbard, Let Me Lie and The Land of Nod. All of which where played well, much better than on the album. The bands ability to connect with the audience during a song is part of the experience that doesn’t translate the same on a studio recording. But if you have followed Phish and Trey’s career that should be nothing new, Think about songs like Reba, Antelope, Ghost, Limb by Limb and Taste, all those have good studio version, but they are sterile compared to live versions. I believe the same will be found with the songs on Traveler. Even though the album has not gotten great reviews, I think Traveler one is a good ride.
The cover songs they played were among my favorites. Small Axe (the instrumental version) by Bob Marley, The Devil Went Down to Georgia by Charlie Daniels and Clint Eastwood by the Gorillaz. The last of which being on the album Traveler.
No show review of the current lineup would be complete with out mentioning how strong the horn section is. Lead the crew is Jennifer Hartswick, she is a longtime Trey companion, she can belt out the notes vocally and with the trumpet. She also does the rap for Clint Eastwood (see video below). Natalie Creesman is young to be playing as maturely as she does, she brings sophistication to the singing and I think her trombone solo during Curlew’s Call was one of the show highlights. Russel Remmington, well he goes way back to the early days of Trey’s music, he brings the funk. nuff said.
In no way am I leaving out mentioning Russ Lawton on Drums, Tony Markellis on Bass, or Ray Paczkowski on Keyboards they are the ones who made TAB sound this good.
Lastly, to answer a question a few people have asked me – Trey did NOT bring out an empty chair to sing at for the TAB version of Clint Eastwood.
Here are a few videos from the show. I would love to hear your thoughts. If you have seen this show, or any others on this tour – what are your thoughts. What did you think of the Album?
TAB – The Land of NOD 10/18/2012 The Fillmore Detroit – Tour Opener
TAB- Clint Eastwood 10/18/2012 The Fillmore Detroit – Tour Opener
TAB – Drifting 10/18/2012 The Fillmore Detroit – Tour Opener
TAB – Scabbard 10/18/2012 The Fillmore Detroit – Tour Opener
TAB – Cayman Review 10/18/2012 The Fillmore Detroit – Tour Opener
TAB- Burlap Sac and Pumps 10/18/2012 The Fillmore Detroit – Tour Opener