Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio ended a series of five acoustic concerts on Wednesday with his second of two sold-out nights in front of full-capacity audiences at The Beacon Theatre in New York City. Anastasio kept to a similar format as the first night and a recent three-show run at SPAC in Saratoga Springs by fitting gems from his solo and Phish repertoires into the setlist. The guitarist was once again accompanied by pianist Jeff Tanski and the Rescue Squad Strings (violinists Katie Kresek and Maxim Moston, violist Rachel Golub and cellist Anja Wood) for portions of last night’s concert.
Anastasio emerged to a rousing ovation and opened with a solo acoustic “Theme From The Bottom.” While he hinted at “Back On The Train” next, he instead called an audible and went with “Sample In A Jar.” Then, Tanski and the Rescue Squad strings came out to add to a spot-on rendition of “Divided Sky.” The guitarist took a moment to welcome the crowd and asked if anyone saw the front page of Wednesday’s New York Times which featured an image of a man wearing a donut mask voting while carrying a small child sporting a donut hat.
Trey mentioning the front page of today’s NY Times. pic.twitter.com/YxKZrErRjQ
— Scott Marks (@bizarchive) June 24, 2021
Trey told the audience he was going to play a song written during the pandemic of 2020 before teaming with Jeff Tanski for the rocker “I Never Needed You Like This Before.” Anastasio then lit into a solo acoustic “Free” and re-teamed with Tanski for the first “The Wedge” of the run. Next, The Rescue Squad returned to help out on gorgeous versions of “Water In The Sky” and “The Inlaw Josie Wales.” Anastasio then went at it alone for a “Twist” filled with looping action and paired with Jeff for the tour debut of “Bouncing Around The Room.”
All six musicians presented the Ghosts Of The Forest standout “Drift While You’re Sleeping” ahead of Trey going solo for the run’s first takes on Phish classics “46 Days” and “Steam.” The latter featured crowd participation as many in the audience imitated the sound of steam that is such a huge part of the song. Anastasio thanked the crowd for joining in and noted, “that’s how it works!” Fans went on to make the steam sound at various points throughout the remainder of the concert. Next, Jeff Tanski and the strings returned for a beautiful “A Life Beyond The Dream” ahead of a rousing “Split Open And Melt” played by Trey and Jeff. The strings then came back for the Phish ballad “Joy.”
The evening’s next solo acoustic segment featured a version of “Farmhouse” in which members of the audience sang Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” towards the end of the song followed by “Chalk Dust Torture.” Apparently, Anastasio hadn’t forgotten about the “Back On The Train” he started earlier as he fit the Farmhouse chestnut within “Chalk Dust.” The 140-minute set came to a close with all six musicians digging in on stellar versions of Phish classics “Slave To The Traffic Light” and “You Enjoy Myself.”
More Trey at SPAC on JamBase
Anastasio emerged to begin the encore with solo acoustic takes on “Waste” and “Bathtub Gin.” He was then joined by Jeff Tanski and the Rescue Squad Strings for the run’s first “Brief Time,” the song that ended Ghosts Of The Forest concerts. However, on this night, the musicians would say farewell with a crowd-pleasing “Tweezer Reprise.” The guitarist now heads to Pennsylvania for an Oysterhead performance at The Peach Music Festival in Scranton.
Watch fan-shot video from last night’s concert below:
Setlist (via Phish.net)
Set: Theme From the Bottom , Sample in a Jar, Divided Sky , I Never Needed You Like This Before , Free, The Wedge, Water in the Sky, The Inlaw Josie Wales, Twist, Bouncing Around the Room, Drift While You’re Sleeping, 46 Days > Steam, A Life Beyond The Dream, Split Open and Melt, Joy, Farmhouse, Chalk Dust Torture -> Back on the Train > Chalk Dust Torture, Slave to the Traffic Light, You Enjoy Myself
Encore: Waste, Bathtub Gin, Brief Time, Tweezer Reprise
-  Trey on acoustic guitar.
-  Trey on acoustic guitar; with the Rescue Squad Strings and Jeff Tanski on piano.
-  Trey on acoustic guitar; with Jeff Tanski on piano.