Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Fishman to Play

Jon Fishman is scheduled to play with The Village, which is a unique assortment of musicians, dancers, and poets. It includes bassist Kai Eckhardt (Garaj Mahal), keyboardist Kit Walker (Pagan Love Orchestra), West African talking drummer Rasaki (King Sunny Ade), Indian Kathak dancers Kaveri and Mansi, and spoken word/poetry by Julia Butterfly Hill. This will take place in early September in Berkeley, CA and Gualala, CA.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Colorado Trip Report: Mini Review

I'm back in Las Vegas after a quick weekend trip to Colorado. I had an amazing time. Truly, it was an original experience. Man, I really dig Boulder. It's gotta be one of my favorite places to hang out in America. In many ways this trip ended up being more important to me creatively than the entire Las Vegas experience. More on that later. It was finally great to get some real perspective on things after being in Las Vegas for two and a half months. I had a long drive on Sunday up to the mountains to clear my head. I also let loose an epic weekend bender. Hunter would have been proud that I was partying it up like a rock star in his state.

Boulder is a unique place and in many ways, is very cliche-ish. Are there hordes of hippies wandering around? Absolutely. Did I mention how much I love happy hippie girls?

Colorado has also been the spot where I witnessed some amazing music in my life. On Saturday, I saw a kick ass concert at Red Rocks courtesy of STS9 and Trey Anastasio Band. The Joker and I also sampled some other local bands as well such as Luna Sol and Rose Hill Drive.

Here are some random points that I'll be talking about in a full recap of the weekend:
  • Friday = partying in Boulder and Denver
  • Saturday = raining at Red Rocks and Trey Band concert
  • Sunday = Rocky Mountain National Park
  • We crashed a private party in Boulder at a hipster joint
  • Went to a loft party a few blocks from Coors Field
  • There are more dogs in Boulder than kids
  • I met a cute blonde hippie chick with a dog who chewed on it's tail when I pet it
  • Same hippie chick used to have "a huge crush" on Wil Wheaton
  • Same hippie chick went to the same college as me... at the same time!
  • Joker and I were shithoused inebriated at the concert
  • Rock climbing above the "treeline"
  • High school girls on mushrooms who fell in love with Joker's guitar playing
  • The funniest Trey story yet... or two
  • Some guy selling a used car stereo in Shakedown at Red Rocks
Colorado Pictures

Over the last three days, I took a few pics in Boulder, at Red Rocks, and at Rocky Mountain National Park. Enjoy! You can click on the pics to enlarge them.

Boulder Falls

Rocky Mountain National Park

Tundra Sign

Rocky Mountain National Park

The Road that cuts into the moutains


Rocky Mountain National Park

On the Road

Donkey-lopes when they are not playing on Party Poker

The Joker playing guitar in Shakedown Street at Red Rocks

Red Rocks

We crashed a private party in Boulder with trendy fruit

A few miles Outside Boulder

Monday, August 15, 2005

Trey Red Rocks Setlist

8.13.05, Trey Anastasio Band, Red Rocks, Colorado

Drifting, Cayman Rreview, Dark & Down, Air Said to Me, Invisible, Night Speaks to a Woman, Spin, Plasma, Push On Til the Day, Goodbye Head, (Solo Acoustic: Back on the Train, Inlaw Josey Wales, Pebbles & Marbles, Waste), Shine, Sand, Tuesday, Mr. Completely > Red Rocks Jam > 46 Days, Come As Melody

Encore: Love Is Freedom, I Am the Walrus

STS9 opened. It was raining during most of the afternoon and during the opening act. Stay tuned for a full review.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Today in Phistory: 8.14.05

Yeah, Lori reminded me that one year ago today... I was in Coventry, Vermont. Man. Time flies. I suggest you read some of our thoughts about last year:
Molly's Version
Lori's Story
Pauly Part I
Pauly Part II
Pauly Part III

Also, we added a new "head" to the roster. Go read G-Money's recap of Trey in Indiana from last week. I'll be posting my Red Rocks review in a day or so.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Trey Review: The Lawn at White River State Park

Trey Anastasio Band
The Lawn at White River State Park
August 9 2005

Ten years gone. Yea, He's Gone and nothings gonna bring him back.

It's still hard to believe that Jerry has been gone that long. It was even more weird/cool to think that I was gonna see Trey on the tenth anniversary of his passing. But I was also interested in seeing what he might bring to the table. And he delivered in spades!!
Setlist: 8.9.05 White River State Park, Indianapolis, IN

Set I: Push On Til the Day, Cayman Review, Dark And Down, Money Love and Change, Invisible, Tuesday, Drifting, Air Said To Me, Come As Melody, Back On The Train, The Inlaw Josie Wales (solo acoustic), Waste (solo acoustic), Brian and Robert (solo acoustic), Ripple (solo acoustic), Shine, Sand, Night Speaks To A Woman, Spin, Sweet Dreams Melinda, Mr. Completely, First Tube

Encore: 46 Days
First a quick note on the venue. The Lawn at White River State Park is located right in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. Standing in an outdoor grass bowl concert and seeing the tall buildings of a downtown landscape is not something you expect. A heavy mid-afternoon thunderstorm had cooled down the hot mid-august day to set the mood perfectly. Most important the venue is only 5,000 capacity. Being outdoors at a grass bowl/shed that doesn't hold 25,000 to 40,000 was an ideal situation. All the benefits of being outdoors without the huge crowd.

So with everything in place, the question was: Will Trey's new band get it into that higher gear tonite or are they still searching for the sound as I witnessed in Cincinnati 90 days earlier?

At that Cincy show in May, it seemed the band was tentative, with the first set really dragging until the last song-WILL IT GO ROUND IN CIRCLES? finally got it off the ground. Listening to tapes of that show and a few others on that tour, it was obvious something was missing. The bass player Peter was my main critique. He stood in the back, was turned WAY down in the mix, and just didn't seem to be offering anything up too inspiring. At the time I thought maybe Trey has brought someone in who won't compete/push him as hard as Mike did and that might have indeed been the case but I think he realized the music suffered without the strong interplay of bass and guitar.

Enter new bass player Tony Hall: From the opening notes of PUSH ON TILL THE DAY, it was obvious that the band was ON and firing away on all cylinders. Tony's bass was UP in the mix, just where it should be, and he was grooving upstage with Trey and the boys and adding tasty build-ups and fills that would make Mr Gordon proud. The other new addition was two female background vocalists, Jennifer Hartswick and Christina Durfee. These two ladies give Trey the strong vocal support he was used to from Phish, which was lacking in the earlier version of the band in the spring. CAYMAN REVIEW was next and what a great one-two punch to open! The band was exploring their carribean groove and the whole crowd was energized. DARK AND DOWN slowed things a little as a bluesy jam will do, but it was also well done.

The rest of the first set pretty much followed that same formula: A few rockers/dancing tunes and then a slower one to give us a rest. COME AS MELODY was especially sweet, as they built swirling layers of "chick" vocals and plenty of "red's" guitar. Which brought us to set end.

I had read that Trey was playing acoustic songs during the set break on this tour, instead of putting them at the end of the show as he did a few months earlier. BACK ON THE TRAIN was a nice acoustic opener, pretty much the same as the Cincinnati show but nice nonetheless. WASTE was also a Cincy repeat, but fun to listen to the crowd sing along, Trey then told a story about him watching tv the night before and seeing the movie "The Outlaw Josie Wales" but I think that was just "wacky stage banter" because he had been playing it for a week or more on tour! But it was great to hear it live, as he weaved his way through the tricky passages perfectly! BRIAN AND ROBERT was a nice surprise.

It was cool to hear it on acoustic and it translated well.

Then he made the announcement. "Its so great to be playing here tonight and especially on this special anniversary..."

And I thought "Oh boy, what Jerry song will he do?" And then he began strumming the wonderful G-Chord intro to RIPPLE! The crowd erupted. You could feel the energy ripple across the lawn.

I can only tell you that from the first few rows it was nothing less than bittersweet, more sweet than bitter. The majority of the crowd sang along, and you could tell Trey was enjoying the moment as well. What else can I say? You had to be there.

The second set got underway soon after with a nice version of SHINE, which was followed by one of two revived songs I was really hoping to hear from previous nights (the other one was GOTTA JIBBOO) Instead of Jibboo we got a ten minute plus version of SAND! Funkified phantastic! Did I mention that new orleans native Tony Hall is da man? Upfront on stage and in the mix and steering the mothership down Bourboun Street into Funkytown.

I also noticed that Les Hall, who was playing guitar and keyboards in Cincinnati (90% of the time he played keyboards) was playing 90% guitar this go-round. What exactly does that mean? Hell, I don't know but it was just one more example of Trey tweaking the band's sound.

NIGHT SPEAKS TO A WOMAN was wonderful with Jennifer adding nice vocals to support Trey so he could more fully concentrate on his guitar playing. It's like they used to say about the Grateful Dead: When Jerry doesn't have to sing, Jerry really PLAYS!

SWEET DREAMS MELINDA has been re-arranged and really is a sweet tune that is really growing on me. It feels like a Europe '72 "electric ragtime" song.

That brings us to MR COMPLETELY Without a doubt the most "spacey" song of the night. The lights(being handled once again by Chris Kuroda) were perfectly in sync with the swirling jams and was most appreciated even WITHOUT the chemically induced "extra help" I usually enjoy at these things!

FIRST TUBE was a nicely charged version, much better and more jammed out than the Cincinnati show, in my humble opinion. Hell, the whole damn show was better! (As if you hadn't figured that out by now!)

ENCORE TIME: I thought we would get an I AM THE WALRUS again (like in Cincinnati) but instead the first funky notes of....46 DAYS rang out and that was the icing on the cake. Trey took his time and grooved it out long and strong and the last section with the girls continously singing a sweet refrain and Trey jamming over the top with eyes closed is one moment I will definately take away from that show. This incarnation of the TAB might be the closest he has come yet to realising his vision of the "new band" At any rate, you can bet I will be at any show within a couple hundred miles of my sleepy city.

Special thanks go out to Daddy, Megan and Patrick for showing me such a nice time in Indianapolis!

G-Money is a Deadhead and musician from Cincinnati, OH.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Jerry Day

Jerry Day

Photo by Herb Greene

I wrote this bit called Jerry Day three years ago. Wow! It's been that long? If you are a Deadhead, it's a must read.

Daddy called me and was in shock that it's been 10 years since Jerry Garcia died. Man. That day seems like yesterday.

To celebrate, it's an all Jerry Day of music for me.

Jerry at one of The Grateful Dead's free shows in the 1960s