Trey Anastasio Welcomes Page McConnell At SPAC

Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio continued his three-night run at Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center on Saturday. Trey would welcome his Phish bandmate Page McConnell on piano to close out the set as well as on the encore.

Trey got things going with solo acoustic performances of “Set Your Soul Free” and “Blaze On” before frequent collaborator Jeff Tanski joined him on piano for the acoustic debut of “I Never Needed You Like This Before” from Anastasio’s 2020 solo album Lonely Trip followed by “Esther.” The duo recently delivered the first acoustic performance of the Phish classic during Anastasio’s second Rubber Jungle Live performance on SiriusXM’s Phish Radio. The Rescue Squad string section of violinists Katie Kresek and Maxim Moston, violist Rachel Golub cellist and Anja Wood joined in for “Brian and Robert,” “Wolfman’s Brother” and “Divided Sky.”

Anastasio then went it alone on “Driver,” “When the Words Go Away,” and “Twist” before Tanski helped Trey on the acoustic debut of another Phish classic, “Foam,” followed by the Rescue Squad joining the duo on the acoustic unveiling of “What’s The Use.” Anastasio then reeled off a solo “Chalk Dust Torture” before Tanski came back out for “Sand.” “Sand” is among the songs Anastasio co-wrote with the late great Tony Markellis of Trey Anastasio Band, who was a longtime resident of Saratoga Springs. Trey delivered the acoustic debut of another Markellis co-write, “Frist Tube,” the night previous.

Next, Tanski and Rescue Squad accompanied Trey on “Pebbles And Marbles” and “Lifeboy.” Anastasio then returned to the solo format for “Backwards Down The Number Line” and “Limb By Limb” before Page McConnell emerged. Page took the stage to thunderous applause and the duo then delivered “Mountains In The Mist.” Trey debuted “Mountains In The Mist” during a solo acoustic show on May 3, 1999 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as per Phish.net, and Phish would debut it later that summer. But it’s a great piano and guitar song and Trey and Page included the number on their late 2020 duo album, December. The song sees Page joining Trey on vocals for the tune, adding some nice high harmonies. The pianist also provided a floating foundation over which Trey soloed before the duo came together on the vocal section to close out “Mountains In The Mist.”

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Page stayed on for the last three songs of the set beginning with “Sleep” and followed by “Waste.” The duo performed the Billy Breathes cut at The Barn in a video that debuted before an episode of Beacon Jams. Trey also quoted “Reunited” before “Waste.” The set wrapped up with “Sleeping Monkey.” Trey remarked before “Sleeping Monkey” that it was Tony Markellis and Page’s favorite song. The duo also left the stage with the crowd singing the tune. They would return for the encore and finish up “Sleeping Monkey” before Rescue Squad reemerged for “If I Could,” another track on December. Tanski then joined the fun on keys for the final song of the evening, the Kasvot Växt favorite, “Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S.”

Watch audience-shot video of “Mountains In The Mist” below via the Jambase Live Video Archive:

Setlist (via Phish.net)

Set One: Set Your Soul Free [1], Blaze On[1], I Never Needed You Like This Before [2], Esther [3], Brian and Robert [4], Wolfman’s Brother[4], Divided Sky[4], Driver[1], When the Words Go Away[1], Twist[1], Foam[2], What’s the Use? [5], Chalk Dust Torture[1], Sand[3], Pebbles and Marbles[4], Lifeboy[4], Backwards Down the Number Line[1], Limb By Limb[1], Mountains in the Mist [6], Sleep[6], Waste[6], Sleeping Monkey[6]

ENCORE: If I Could [7], Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S. [8]

Notes:

  • [1] Trey on acoustic guitar.
  • [2] Trey on acoustic guitar; with Jeff Tanski on piano. First acoustic performance.
  • [3] Trey on acoustic guitar; with Jeff Tanski on piano.
  • [4] Trey on acoustic guitar; with the Rescue Squad Strings and Jeff Tanski on piano.
  • [5] Trey on acoustic guitar; with the Rescue Squad Strings and Jeff Tanski on piano. First acoustic performance.
  • [6] Trey on acoustic guitar; with Page on piano.
  • [7] Trey on acoustic guitar; with the Rescue Squad Strings and Page on piano.
  • [8] Trey on acoustic guitar; with the Rescue Squad Strings, Page on piano, and Jeff Tanski on keys.

This show featured Trey on acoustic guitar and the first acoustic performances of I Never Needed You Like This Before, Foam, and What’s The Use? Brian and Robert, Wolfman’s Brother, What’s The Use?, Pebbles and Marbles, and Lifeboy featured the Rescue Squad Strings (Katie Kresek and Maxim Moston on violin, Rachel Golub on viola, and Anja Wood on cello) and Jeff Tanski on piano. Page joined on piano from Mountains in the Mist through the end of the show. Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S. also featured the Rescue Squad Strings, with Jeff Tanski accompanying on keys. Trey quoted Reunited before Waste. Sleeping Monkey was introduced as Tony Markelis’s and Page’s favorite song. Trey and Page left the stage to the audience singing Sleeping Monkey and began the encore playing the ending of the song.

Trey concludes his three-night run at SPAC tonight before returning to the Beacon Theatre this week.