We arrived at the Orleans early and drank at the bar next to the poker room. We had a good crew with myself, Nicky, The Joker, Friedman, JW and Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot ready to kick off Vegoose with the first of several late night shows.
The Orleans filled up with plenty of kind faces as the Joker kept yelling at Phisheads, "Trey sucks!" while Neil Fontenot would run up to Phishkids and yell, "Go home hippies!"
At the bar, a drunk chick stumbled over and screamed at the sluggish bartender, "Give me two bottles of beer with the highest alcohol percentage that you have!"
We figured that Trey wouldn't take the stage until after Midnight and slowly made our way into the show. Robert Randolph and the Family Band opened and I've been seeing him since 1999. RR played a few songs that I was familiar with but didn't know the name. I Need More Love got the sparse crowd rocking and shaking their ass.
The Orleans Arena is where a minor league hockey team plays in Las Vegas. The joint was no where close to be sold out and I estimated about 1/3 of the venue was filled or around 1,500 to 2,000 people (estimated by Friedman). The security guards were out in force and busted several people for smoking cigarettes and other things. Perhaps it was due to the late time of the show, but a lot of people in the corwd were drunk. Very drunk which borderlined on annoying. One dude passed out and hit the floor. His friends had to carry him out and he puked on a guy standing near us.
10.27.06 Trey Anastasio Band, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NVSimple Twist Up Dave started out slow and then picked up in intensity. The second half of the jam impressed me as the band peaked to an amazing freight train rocking jam. That would be a glimpse into what type of show we'd see. Trey has a variety of influences and his shows can take on a poppy, funk, reggaish, or psychedelic air to them. That night, Trey would show off his best rock ensemble. Those oxy jams are a thing of the past, when Trey would be so jacked up that he'd noodle his way onto the other side of the solar system.
Set I: Simple Twist of Dave, First Tube, Stone Free*, 46 Days*, Sweet Dreams Melinda, Push On Til the Day, What's Done, Goodbye Head > Plasma, Gotta Jiboo
Encore: Mr. Completely > Tuesday
* with Robert Randolph on pedal steel
We were shocked to hear First Tube so early in the set. I dunno if Trey was pissed at the bad ticket sales, or the group he put together finally gelled after a few weeks on the road together, or maybe he was simply happy to be in Vegas (where he always loved to play). Regardless, he picked up the slack and the rest of the band fed off of his mega-high frenetic energy.
Robert Randolph sat in for two songs including a sizzling cover of Jimi Hendrix's Stone Free, which the Joker caught in Boulder on Tuesday. Next up was a bluesy 46 Days with a nice jam between Trey and RR.
The melodious Sweet Dreams Melinda was followed up by a crowd favorite Push On Til the Day. The jam featured Jen Hartswick playing several Miles Davis riffs as she belted them out in the second half of Push On. I thought that was the highlight of the show and that Trey would end the set. Instead he kept going which meant we'd get one long set instead of two short sets.
I took a piss during What's Done and got another beer as I wandered around the back of the floor. It was sort of empty. Too bad. Everyone who stayed home missed a stellar Trey show.
Goodbye Head > Plasma was an intense twenty minutes. The mood of the show was hard rock and the jams fell more towards the rock and roll sensibility of Trey than spacey or trippy shows I've seen in the past.
Trey closed with Gotta Jibboo which pleased the crowd immensely. The Joker called the encore. "They've been playing hard rock which means Mr. Completely is up next, unless Trey cheeses out and plays Tuesday or something to the equivalent of Velvet Sea."
And on cue Trey came back out for the encore and played Mr. Completely > Tuesday. During Mr. Completely, Trey did that weird thing when he gets really close up to Tony Hall and gazes into his eyes as they jam back and forth. I think Trey likes black men. Nicky called it "the Homo jam."
Overall, it was one of the best Trey shows that I've seen in the last few years. It took on the feeling of one of those hard rocking Phish shows. The best part of the one set format was that once Trey got hot and rolling (somewhere in the middle of the first song), that infectious playing got into the heads of everyone else on stage and they overall level of play was raised.
Instead of getting one of those let down moments when Phish is playing a smoking set and then they end to take a set break, Trey never let up and the more he played, the more comfortable he got with the acoustics of the arena. The result was one of the best Trey band shows I've ever seen.