Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio held the final performance of his The Beacon Jams livestreams series on this date in 2020. Held over eight consecutive Friday evenings in New York City, the concerts were played at an empty The Beacon Theatre due to COVID-19 restrictions. Taking place during the peak of the pandemic, the livestreams quickly became highly anticipated events that offered momentary reprieves from the seriousness and isolation of the global crisis.
The eight concerts were streamed on Twitch, which allowed Anastasio to interact with those sending messages in the chat. Over the course of the eight weeks, The Beacon Jams helped raise more than $1 million for Anastasio’s recently established Divided Sky Fund. The money raised is being used to build an addiction rehabilitation center in Vermont.
The concerts saw a variety of Trey Anastasio Band lineups and configuratoins as Trey was frequently backed by drummer Russ Lawton, keyboardist Ray Paczkowski, percussionist Cyro Baptista, and late bassist Tony Markellis. The final night of The Beacon Jams proved to be Markellis last public performance with Anastasio. The longtime TAB bassist died in May at the age of 68. Below is footage of The Beacon Jams “First Tube” finale, a song co-written by Markellis.
The TAB horn section — trumpeter Jennifer Hartswick, trombonist Natalie Cressman and saxophonist James Casey were also brought in to The Beacon. The fifth week was a Ghosts Of The Forest performance, which includes Phish drummer Jon Fishman. Pianist Jeff Tanski, vocalists Celisse Henderson and Jo Lampert, and the Rescue Squad Strings (Anja Wood on cello, Rachel Golub on viola and Katie Kresek and Maxim Moston on violin) also featured promiently at different times throughout the series of shows.
Scroll down for links to recaps to all eight The Beacon Jams performances and pro-shot video highlights from each night in NYC:
Week 1 – October 9, 2020
Week 2 – October 16, 2020
Week 3 – October 23, 2020
Week 4 – October 30, 2020
Week 5 – November 6, 2020
Week 6 – November 13, 2020
Week 7 – November 20, 2020
Week 8 – November 27, 2020
Watch “43 Weeks Later,” a comedic video riffing on Trey getting stuck on a platform above the stage during Phish’s New Year’s Eve concert at Madison Square Garden months earlier.
43 Weeks Later
Bonus Part 2
Watch What Calls You Home, a mini-documentary chronicling The Beacon Jams.