Trey Anastasio Band went heavy on the jams with Phish drummer Jon Fishman behind the kit on Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. Fish, guitarist Trey Anastasio, keyboardist Ray Paczkowski, percussionist Cyro Baptista and bassist Dezron Douglas solely played songs included in the Phish live repertoire last night at Stage AE beginning with a four-song first set.
Jon Fishman was aboard for yesterday’s concert and will be on drums for the remainder of a tour that concludes on Sunday at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall after TAB drummer Russ Lawton tested positive for COVID-19. The quintet set the tone right from the start by opening the show with a wild 21-minute “46 Days” and followed with an even more adventurous “Blaze On” that spanned nearly 30 minutes. “46 Days” marked TAB’s first +20-minute jam since “Mud City” on December 8, 2006 as per Phish.net.
Douglas and Fishman were immediately locked in on a “46 Days” featuring fretboard fireworks galore from Anastasio and tasteful organ work from Paczkowski as Baptista added layers of percussion. TAB strayed from the song’s progression as they explored a funky jam space during the opener. Anastasio and his bandmates then varied tempos throughout “Blaze On” and painted outside the lines for a blissful excursion. Next up was an “Undermind” propelled by Fish. Trey let it fly with a powerful solo in which he utilized a particularly dirty tone. Last night’s first set concluded with a “Ghost” that at 10 minutes was the shortest song of the frame. Fish provided backing vocals and laid the base for a build to a huge peak.
The crowd in Pittsburgh sang “Happy Birthday To You” to Anastasio, who celebrates his 57th birthday today, as the band took the stage for the second set. “Party Time” fittingly kicked off the frame. The celebratory song was expanded to nearly twice the length of the longest Phish version as pointed out by Scott Marks. Paczkowski shined on “Party Time” with barrelhouse piano stylings and impressive work on the organ and Clavinet. Ray and Trey connected on a cool progression towards the middle of the song before the band brought “Party Time” to near silence for a spacey conclusion to the jam. The “Ocelot” that followed was also nicely extended and featured a master class in tone from Anastasio.
TAB staple “Gotta Jibboo” came next. Anastasio and Paczkowski exchanged solos leading up to a crowd-pleasing climax. “Jibboo” bled into a stellar “Plasma” that was extremely tight for a lineup that had never performed together before. Ray accented Trey’s bluesy leads with perfectly placed counter-melodies. The five-piece then put the focus on Trey’s 2020 quarantine album, Lonely Trip, by ending the set with the title track and rocker “I Never Needed You Like This Before.”
Anastasio and company capped the night with an encore featuring “Twist” and “First Tube.” Douglas starred on the former with a bubbling bassline that alternated just enough to keep it interesting. Trey went with an evil reverse delay tone towards the end of the song. “First Tube” gave the band and fans one more chance to rage. Next up for the Trey Anastasio Band is a Friday night concert at The Anthem in Washington D.C.
Watch fan-shot video featuring “Gotta Jibboo,” “Plasma” and “First Tube” from last night:
Setlist (via Phish.net)
Set One: 46 Days, Blaze On, Undermind, Ghost
Set Two: Party Time, Ocelot, Gotta Jibboo, Plasma, Lonely Trip, I Never Needed You Like This Before
Encore: Twist, First Tube
This show took place in the amphitheater and featured Fish on drums in place of Russ Lawton who had recently tested positive for COVID-19.