Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Widespread Panic Halloween Setlist

Amazing show with lots of covers including songs from Jerry Joseph, Bob Marley, The Grateful Dead, REM, Hot Tuna, The Doors, and the Beatles. Review pending. I know I keep saying that, but I've been partying too much to ost pictures, videos, and write up show reviews.
10.30.06 Widespread Panic, MGM Grand, Las Vegas, NV

Set I: Contentment Blues > People Are Strange, You Should Be Glad> John's Other Jam > Pilgrims > Greta > Sharon > Time Zones, Stop Go > Three Little Birds > Imitation Leather Shoes > Chainsaw City

Set II: Can Get It Here, Slippin Into Darkness, When the Clowns Come Home, DOner > Proving Ground > Halloween Movie Theme Jam > Drums (with Carrot Top) > Airplane > Morning Dew, Love Tractor

Encore: ?, Radar Love, I Want You So Bad

Monday, October 30, 2006

String Cheese Incident Late Night Vegoose Setlist

The boys from the Cheese played a weird show at the Orleans. Our crew stopped by around 1AM to take in the late night scene which had a monkey and jungle theme.
10.29.06 String Cheese Incident, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

Set I: Hey Hey We're the Monkeys, Black Clouds, Bam, Piece Of Mine, Round The Wheel > Solution > Birdland > Wheel Hoss > Birdland, Las Vegas > Welcome to the Jungle > Drums > Jam > Welcome to the Jungle

Set II: Shantytown, Rain, Little Hands > Concrete Jungle > Bumpin' Reel, Eye Know Why > Jungle Boogie > Texas

Encore: Doin' My Time, Daryl

Phil Lesh & Trey Anastasio Sunday Vegoose Setlist

I give the guys an A for effort and a C on execution. Trey flubbed the lyrics on Row Jimmy. The highlight was Mike Gordon playing banjo on Back on the Train. There was a "roll" theme which was funny because everyone I knew was pretty much rolling. Stay tuned for a complete review.
10.29.06 Trey & Phil, Vegoose, Las Vegas, NV

Set I: Shakedown Street > Sweet Dreams Melinda > Row Jimmy, Let It Ride > Sleep Again, Like a Rolling Stone, Back on the Train > Bird Song > Help's On the Way > Slipknot > Franklin's Tower

Encore: Donor Rap, Not Fade Away
Also in the band were Jon Medeski from Medeski, Martin, & Wood (keyboards), John Molo (drums), Larry Campbell (guitar), and Christina Durfee (vocals).

Widespread Panic Sunday Vegoose Setlist

Post and review pending...
10.29.06 Widespread Panic, Vegoose, Las Vegas, NV

Set 1: Climb to Safety > Surprise Valley > Henry Parsons Died, From the Cradle > Pigeons, Rebirtha > Tallboy, Blue Indian, Solid Rock > Fishwater, Conrad > Thought Sausage > Barstools and Dreamers > Action Man, Papa's Home, Little Wing > Porch Song, Ribs and Whiskey > Good People > Chilly Water

Encore: Ain't Life Grand
Sick show, BTW!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

STS9 Late Night Hard Rock Vegoose Setlist

Sound Tribe Sector Nine played a late show at The Joint at Hard Rock Casino. Of course, we went and the entire crowd was lit up like a Christmas tree. The Joker busted out his Disco Santa costume and all the ladies were swooning. Here's the incomplete setlist:
10.29.06 STS9 Late Night Setlist, The Joint, Las Vegas, NV

Set I: Rent, Some Song, Pianoir, One A Day, ??, Blue Mood, ??

Set II: (order is off) Low Swagga, F Word, Moonsocket, Aimlessly, Orbital, Arigato, Mischief of a Sleep Walker

Encore: You Don't Say, Gologi
The Joker didn't know the two unknown songs in the first set. And the entire second set's order is off and we're missing a few songs.

Phil & Trey Late Night Setlist

Phil Lesh from the Grateful Dead and Trey Anastasio from Phish joined forces and played an amazing show at the Orleans Arena late on Saturday night/early Sunday morning. Also in the band were Jon Medeski from Medeski, Martin, & Wood (keyboards), John Molo (drums), Larry Campbell (guitar), and Christina Durfee (vocals).
10.29.06 Phil & Trey at Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

Set I: Ghost > Cryptical Envelopment > The Other One > Drifting > Dark Star > Mountains of the Moon > 46 Days > St. Stephen > The Eleven > Plasma

Set II: Dark Star > Run for the Roses > Dark Star > Wharf Rat > I Know You Rider

Encore: Viola Lee Blues > Here Comes Sunshine > Shine
Phil and Trey will be back to play a long set at Vegoose on Sunday.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Trey Rocks Vegoose Late Night

This is the ten minute version of my review.

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, NV

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
Simple 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.

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.

Trey Vegas Setlist

Review pending of one the Top 10 Trey Band shows I've ever seen. Robert Randolph opened. Here's the setlist.
10.27.06 Trey Anastasio Band, Orleans Arena, Las Vegas, NV

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

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Galactic Goes Hollywood

The G-men brought their booty-shaking slamming New Orleans trip-funk to the House of Blues in West Hollywood where hippies and hipsters converged to pay tribute to one of the best live bands touring today.

The guys in Galactic are not just stellar musicians, but they are also one of the few direct links between the heart and soul of New Orleans and the rest of the world. For a few hours every night, no matter if they are playing in Tokyo, Boulder, or Copenhagen, they're the vehicle that magically transports the audience back to the Big Easy as they bring the "I hope you brought your sunglasses because we're party to dawn" mentality to your hometown.

Since the Houseman, Galactic's lead singer, left the band they substantially reduced their play list. New Orleans musicians always had a large repertoire due to their ability to cover traditional jazz standards and other local musicians' songs with relative ease and at the same time adding their own distinct sound to flavorful old school favorites. They know that the majority of the audience is not following them from city to city and catching multiple shows in a row, which means they could settle upon a core of 20-30 or so songs which they have been rotating every other show.

My setlist is incomplete but they pretty much played 75% of the songs I saw in Colorado at the end of the summer. And with a band like Galactic, they could play the exact setlist every night and it would still be an amazing ass-shaking experience.
10.21.06 Galactic, House of Blues, W. Hollywood, CA

Set 1: FEMA, The Moil, Tiger Roll > Bounce > Space Headz, ?? New Song, Bongo Joe > Kashmir

Set 2: Garbage Truck, Black Bird Special, Spiderbite, Doo Rag, Shibuya, ??, Bongo the Dog, Little Miss Lover

Encore: Quiet Please
The House of Blues is located on a hill on Sunset Blvd in West Hollyweird which boasts of decriminalized marijuana laws and plenty of tranny hookers. I was told by Showcase that the IHOP around the corner is tranny hooker central, the epicenter of the freakiest of the freaks.

I went to the show with Nicky, Showcase, and his new girlfriend Tina. Nicky drove and we were worried that the valet guys would rummage through the car looking for weed once they whiffed the aroma of a recently smoked medicinal marijuana.

We walked in just at the start of the opening band's set. The Stanton Moore Trio opened up as Galactic's drummer took the stage with two musicians, Will Bernard (guitar) and Brian Coogan (organ), who played in support of his recent solo album. I heard Licorice and Weak Sauce. They were a nice warm up as the late arriving crowd slowly trickled in.

During Stanton Moore's last song of the opening set, I kept my eyes on one corner where a barefoot wookie and his girlfriend twirled around while a few feet in front of them, a couple of industry folks were drinking Grey Goose cocktails while checking their email on their Blackberries.

During the break, Stanton signed a few CDs by the merchandise table. I happened to be walking by after taking a piss and I found myself face to face with Stanton Moore, who I've always suspected was an alien since the first time I saw him play. I'm a few inches taller than Stanton and said, "Hamp's Hump. Time to break it out."

He laughed and gave me a look like, "Not tonight, pal."

I happened to see Galactic's setlist at the soundboard and I didn't see Hamp's Hump on the list. That's why I had to ask.

The House of Blues was almost full, but the floor was crowded for the first set. The G-men opened up the first set with a new tune called FEMA. From the moment they started, the sound at the HOB was high quality and they boys were shredding it up. FEMA is a song inspired by Hurricane Katrina and there are moments when the song takes on a dark and spooky vibe and at times it feels bittersweet. Rich Vogel on keys stepped up right away on FEMA and aside from Stanton, he might have played the best out of the rest of the band.

DJ Kwiki Mart joined the band and scratched away on his turn tables during Bongo Joe. He's from New Orleans and recently relocated to the LA area. After a heavy Bongo they quickly segued into Led Zeppelin's Kashmir which brought an enthusiastic cheer from the crowd as the energy level increased exponentially. Ben Ellman mimicked Robert Plant's lyrical wailings with his saxophone as Stanton Moore kept the hard-rocking driving pace to close the set. The first set was quick, tight, and intense.

During the setbreak, Nicky and I wandered outside while mostly everyone went outside to smoke cigarettes. The late arrivers were valet parking while we sat on the curb admiring one guy who looked like Jesus except he wore a purple bathrobe. One chick slowly got out of her BMW wearing sunglasses (at Midnight) while yapping on her cellphone and rubbing her burning nostrils. She wore black hooker boots and what appeared to be just an oversized white dress shirt as her outfit. I wondered if she had anything underneath as she stumbled over to the VIP entrance.

At setbreak I went back to the bar where one bartender had been hooking me up with triple SoCos. AlCantHang would have been proud. For $10, the guy poured me a glass (all the way to the rim) of SoCo with a little ice. I estimated that each drink was at least three shots possibly more. I had three of those and by the middle of the second set, I was properly intoxicated.

Spiderbite and Doo Rag were the highlights of the set until they boys kicked it into their highest uber-funk gear with Shibuya. The house lights came on and the crowd jumped up and down as the floorboards began to shake. The harder the band played, the rowdier the crowd got during the climax of Shibuya. Jeff Raines' busted out a few licks on guitar that would have made James Brown turn around and shout, "A fuckin' white boy played that?"

Little Miss Lover without the Houseman was interesting since I'm used to hearing him on vocals. That's one of the few Houseman tunes which they kept in rotation and played all instrumental without a guest singer.

They threw the crowd a curveball with a Quiet Please encore. I was expecting a Zeppelin or Meters cover to close the show but their slowed down and spaced up version was impressive nonetheless.

On the whole, Galactic has been consistently tight and solid for the last four shows that I've seen them play. Gets me excited to see the G-men in Las Vegas in a few days. They're playing New Orleans for New Year's Eve and I'm tempted to go down to the Big Easy and see them ring in 2007.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

2006 Vegoose Schedule

Hey kids, the 2006 Vegoose schedule has been released! Here's who I'm excited to see:
Medeski Martin Wood w/ Maceo Parker
Yonder Mountain String Band
The Ranconteurs
Damian 'Jr. Gong' Marley
The Mars Volta
The Black Crowes
The Killers
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Built to Spill
The Rhythm Devils w/ Mike Gordon
Jenny Lewis with the Watson Twins
Phil Lesh & Trey Anastasio
Ben Folds
Jim James from My Morning Jacket
The Roots
Widespread Panic
Click here for a printable version.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Album Review: Trey Anastasio's Bar 17

I listened to Trey's new album Bar 17 a couple of times and I didn't like it. I have to say that every time Trey releases an album... I don't like it right away and I eventually warm up to it. At this point in his solo career it's evident to me that my favorite variation of the Trey Band was one of the firsts when he released his self-titled album. All his releases since then wither in comparison, particularly Bar 17.

Bar 17 is an album that features an interesting mix of dozens of musicians including Mike Gordon, Jon Fishman, and John Medeski. Everyone knows that Trey is a talented guitar player and unheralded composer. Individually some of the songs he put together are remarkable especially when he mixes an orchestra with his acoustic guitar. But when you look at the album as a whole... it's schizophrenic. Bar 17 lacked cohesion and a central theme.

At least on Shine, Trey's album from last summer, we all understood the source of inspiration, energy, and emotions. Trey was crushed after Phish broke up and he hid in his studio aka The Barn and wrote a ton of music while he sobered up and watched his marriage evaporate and he allowed the last lingering memories of Phish to be blown away by the cool Vermont air.

While listening to Bar 17, I felt very lost and I think Trey is also confused. SuperDee said in best in her review of Bar 17 over at Jambase:
"More than anything else, this album confuses me. Does Trey want to be a composer of modern symphonies or musical theater? (This could be an intriguing direction.) Or perhaps he'd like to be a pop darling? (Sorry, my love, this doesn't seem likely.) Does he want to sing lullabies or does he want to be the bad-ass guitar rocker for which we are all yearning? With Bar 17, I just don't know."
On Bar 17 it seems like Trey is wearing too many hats. Perhaps he should have released three or four different albums with each focusing on a specific genre such as symphonies, popish tunes like Lou Reed or go hard-core rocking guitar via the Santana Highway.

Despite the clustered Bar 17, there are some good tracks such as a thunderous Mud City and a mellow Good-bye Head which Trey wrote with his daughter. She obviously didn't arrange the music that Phishkids twirl around and take ecstasy to, but she did write the lyrics and even got a liner credit in the album notes. Of course the biggest disappointment on Bar 17 was Dragonfly which sounded like a weak attempt at a Luna-esque or Velvet Underground Valium-induced version compared to what we saw and heard at the Super Jam. The Bonnaroo version of Dragonfly was 100% frenetic energy and that song nearly busted the roof off the tent we were in.

Trey knows his shit but this thick hearty soup of songs doesn't taste as good as his previous meals.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Trey New Years Run

Trey Anastasio can't sit still. He's getting his current band and adding some horns and will be playing five shows in four different cities including a two night stint at the House of Blues in Atlantic City to end 2006. Yes, you can go see Trey, throw some dice, and get a hooker... all in the same night!
Trey's New Years Tour Dates
12/27 9:30 Club - Washington, DC
12/28 Orpheum Theatre - Boston, MA
12/29 Palace Theatre - Albany, NY
12/30 House of Blues - Atlantic City, NJ
12/31 House of Blues - Atlantic City, NJ

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Monday Trey at Webster Hall

A few friends told me that the Sunday night's Trey show to open his new tour was a sizzler. I tried to contain my enthusiasm. Over the years I've learned to go into shows with an open mind and not to expect anything special because that way I don't leave disappointed and feel like my expectations were not met.

I still say that most of Trey's solo gigs fall somewhere in between him fronting a Phish cover band and publicly masturbating on stage for three hours. And you know how loyal Phisheads are... they'll happily let Trey jizz in their mouths for $42.50 a pop.

I met Bruce in front of Webster Hall an hour before Trey took the stage. Bruce was mingling with a few older Deadheads out front while I tried to recall the last band I saw at Webster Hall. In the 1990s I went there when it was mainly used as a dance club. In the last few years I've caught a few indie bands but no one as big as Trey and I never caught a band of the Phishy genre there.

After you go up 1.5 flight of stairs and pass no less than two bars on your way upstairs, you walk into a nice space much smaller than Irving Plaza. There's a balcony surrounding the stage which was for VIPs only. Bruce and I headed over to the far left of the stage where there was a raised section. We ended up hanging out there most of the show after one of the guys next to us said, "I was here last night in the same spot and the sound was awesome. You missed a great show. Trey's best in years."

Trey's not just a musician, he's a performer and salesman. He knows what the crowd wants. I'd say a good percentage of the fans at his solo shows are there out of respect for his talents. Some are there for his new stuff while others are there because they simply miss Phish and need any kind of fix. For hard core junkies, Trey Band is like methadone. And then there's 5-10% of the audience who's there because deep in their hearts they have this insane notion that Phish will get back together that night. We've been to enough Phish shows to know that the main reason we go to multiple shows is because you never know what might happen. So a crop of Phisheads religiously attend Trey shows on the off chance that Mike, Page, and Fish walk out on stage. They'd hate to skip the night that the band gets back together while they sit at home pulling bongs on their couch while they get a text from their friends at the show saying, "Holy fuck. Phish is playing Tweezer!"
10.9.06 Trey Anastasio Band, Webster Hall, New York, NY

Set I: 46 Days, If You're Walking, Spin, Heavy Things, What's Done, Mr. Completely, Bar 17*, Good-bye Head*, My Friend My Friend > Guyute **

Set II: Push On 'Til The Day, Sand, The Way I Feel, Mud City, Let Me Lie, First Tube

Encore: Divided Sky**, Dragonfly

* with orchestra
** Trey on acoustic guitar with orchestra
Trey opened up with a lukewarm 46 Days and threw all the Phisheads a bone with an average version. I watched the new drummer Jeff Sipe which wasn't hard because we were only about 10 people back from the front of the stage, just off to the left of Ray's keyboards.

"Dude, where's the cow bell bro?" Bruce asked.

I guess he missed Fishman's unique random usage of the distinct cowbell on 46 Days. Trey did some weird semi-gay "I'm gonna gaze into Tony Hall's eyes and try to have a sick bass-guitar duel." It was a little strange to see Trey smiling close next to another man but it looked like he was having fun. And the more fun that Trey has... the better he plays and the more fun we get to have.

They played a new track If You're Walking for what seemed like twenty minutes. I'm sure it was shorter and I used the time to smoke up and watch Sipe some more. The guy is good. Bruce and I saw him play drums with Phil Lesh and Friends at the Beacon Theatre almost a year earlier. My initial impression was that he was solid and consistent. He wouldn't make too many mistakes but I wondered how his improvisational skills would be. The problem with Trey's drummers in his solo projects were that they lacked one of Fishman's strengths... to be able to push a jam in specific direction when Trey is so far gone and out there. I've often compared Phish to a fire engine weaving 100 mph down a crowded street. Trey is out front speeding with his foot on the gas while Fishman is the dude in the back steering the rest of the truck and making sure they don't crash into anything. Although Skeeto Valdez had his moments and could play kick ass rock-n-roll bong rattling drums... he couldn't push or pull Trey out of those jams with the same consistency and confidence as Fishman did every night for over two decades. Shit, that's part of the reason the band was named after him.

I'm a fan of Spin. If you've ever been caught up in depressive funk agitated by drug use, then you can empathize with Trey's lyrics and his message about losing your shit. His version was average but since he doesn't play it too often, I was happy to get that special treat.

Trey threw the Phisheads another bone when he busted out Heavy Things which got the crowd even more excited. It was not as long as the fluffy Phishy versions but Christina and Jen on the vocals were delicious sounding especially the "Ooh ooh waaaaaa" parts along with Ray's magnificent keyboard playing.

Trey had been following a formula... play a old TAB tune or Phish song then play something new. That way he knew that the crowd wouldn't be restless for more than six or seven minutes at a time. What's Done is one of those songs that sounded better live in concert. I'd say that about all of Trey's tunes on Bar 17... they sounded better live which is not to say they were spectacular. I'm still getting used to them and it seems like the band is starting to mesh with the new material.

Mr. Completely was all Trey as he opened up his guts and unleashed hard-rocking guitar riffs as the entire room exploded with chaotic jubilation and the floor bounced up few inches as everyone in the crowd jumped up and down and danced their asses off. Bruce, who's a drummer, often relays cryptic musician speak to me during concerts. I often have no idea what he was talking about when he said, "Bro, Sipe is busting out the extra turbo rolls and fills on Mr. Completely."

Trey brought out an orchestra of six or so classical musicians to play a few songs including the title track off his new album Bar 17. They sat in the back of the stage behind a huge plexiglass sound guard. They looked like they sat in the penalty box at a hockey game. Anyway, at some point Bruce turned to me and said, "Those orchestra guys get to sit in and play for two minutes and now they're sitting there bored as shit waiting for Trey to finish up his ten minutes of noodling before they finish up the song."

Yeah, the orchestra added to the mix seemed awkward like a Saturday Night Live sketch that's funny the first five seconds and then for the next three minutes it's utter torture. The orchestra with Trey playing electric guitar is bad. But Trey playing acoustic guitar with the orchestra is good.

I'm indifferent about Good-bye Head. I've seen good versions and blah versions. I smoked up during Good-bye Head and I watched the group of high school aged Phishy chicks in front of us who were on some very good drugs. They kept dancing the entire set and all I kept thinking was although I get older, Phishy chicks stay the same age.

Bruce called Guyute but I could have swore I heard him tease My Friend My Friend to start before he busted in Guyute with the orchestra. Trey was onstage by himself with an acoustic guitar and just the orchestra. Trey ended his ninety minute first set with Guyute and took a half hour setbreak where I tried to get the score of the Denver-Baltimore game. It was tied 3-3 at the half and I had Denver.

Trey opened up the second set with an early TAB tune Push On 'Til The Day. I dig the song because Trey references to doing lines of blow in a Tokyo hotel room during Phish's trip to Japan in 2000.

With the crowd in high gear they didn't waste anytime before Trey slipped into Sand. Originally a TAB tune, it often gets mislabeled as a Phish song, although it appears on a Phish album Farmhouse and has been made insanely popular by Phish's sick versions. The lights went down as the song drfited into heavy funk riffs and Trey closed his eyes and imagined that he was playing with Phish again... kind of when you are having sex with someone and you are thinking about someone else... that's what I think is running through Trey's mind when he covers Phish tunes with his solo band.

The second half of Sand featured intense jamming between Tony Hall and Trey. But as I stated earlier, they repeated the same jam for over three minutes as Sipe held pace. With Fish at the helm, they would have evolved the jam or Fish would have pushed them in a different direction as the snaked their way into a better place to segue into a different tune.

I've see a few amazing versions of The Way I Feel and since Trey doesn't play it as frequently as other songs, I was happy to hear it. They didn't let up in the set and played one of my favorite cuts off of Bar 17 called Mud City. I caught a version of Mud City with Mike Gordon and the Duo at Bonnaroo and have been hooked every since.

Let Me Lie is one of those Trey lullabies. I hope he wrote that for one of his kids instead of trying to bed 19 year old Phishy chicks as Trey exposed his sensible side swooning the audience. I could sense the wetness in the crotches of all the Phishy chicks in the crowd. The background vocals with Christina and Jen add a nice harmony to Let me Lie and I wondered if Trey ever put his penis inside of Christina.

Trey closed the set with First Tube which started off choppy and bland but they boys picked up the slack and the crowd jumped around as the floor shook while the band built up the intense jam. It wasn't a clean version and nowhere near from perfect, but the packed audience loved every minute of it.

Trey brought the orchestra out for a version of Divided Sky. He played it on Sunday and dedicated it to his mother but decided to play it again. "Tonight, I'm dedicating this to you guys for making me feel so good."

It was a solid version and sounded great with the orchestra. It made me miss Phish though. I kept thinking about the encore at the 12.29.98 show when Phish played Divided Sky at Madison Square Garden to end their second of four shows. Talk about an epic run that happened almost 8 years ago.

Trey didn't pussy out with a lame version of Dragonfly. Instead it was a funkified rocking version like he played with GRAB this past summer. The lyrics are lame but the progressive jamming is intense and Trey shines on.

I've seen Trey play a solo show around 50 times and Webster Hall was a better than average show. I'm still ambivalent about the new stuff off of Bar 17 but Trey is doing the right thing and mixing it in with old material and classic Phish songs, that way everyone gets something that they want at his shows.

I don't care if Phish ever gets back together and I actually hope they don't. But Trey needs to stick with the same lineup for a few years and build a band around him instead of having revolving musicians come in and out. It seems like they have to relearn all the songs everythime a new member is introduced and that kills precious studio time with them getting used to playing with each other.

I'd sure like to see Trey in Boulder, Co on the 23rd but I'll be in LA and eventually making my way to Las Vegas... that's where I'll see Trey next.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Pigs on the Wing: Roger Waters @ the Hollywood Bowl, 10/5/06

(Note: Hi. I'm change100 and I'm a new contributor here at Coventry. I enjoy music, gambling, recreational drug use, and long walks on the beach. Read all about my other cannabis-fueled Hollywood adventures on Pot Committed. Many thanks to Pauly for inviting me to the party!)

"Goddammit. We SO should have taken that spot back by Ivan the Russian drug dealer's building" sighed Showcase, as we sat in gridlock on Franklin Avenue on our way to the Hollywood Bowl.

We had noticed only moments ago that this particular slice of the road was home to no less than half a dozen out of work actors and narcotics salespeople that we'd befriended over the years since Showcase migrated west from New York City. There was Ivan, of course, and sketchy Mario, Elisha, the girl from our college theatre program who took her top off for art in a little-seen indie film and Zack, who got dropped by his acting agent and started writing scripts for the Russian version of The Nanny. All on one block.

This very scene-- the two of us stoned out of our minds while sitting in pre-concert traffic for a Roger Waters show-- had played out nearly six years ago, shortly after Showcase made his home in Los Angeles. Only that time, the scene of the crime was the far-right lane of the 405 freeway in Irvine, where a mile-long line of hippies, ravers, and other assorted drug-friendly folk, pulled out their pipes while sitting in gridlock and flashed each other the thumbs-up as they snuck a few tokes during the wait at the exit for the Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre. Which, back then before corporate buyouts and Degree all-in moments was better known as Irvine Meadows.

"Dude, it is still WAY too far to walk and with our luck we'll get a parking ticket. Just keep going to Hollywood & Highland" I said, as I bent down to pull a hit of Super Silver Haze. "At least this time you don't have to pee and require a Chinese fire-drill in the middle of the freeway so I can drive while you urinate in the bushes."

It took us 30 minutes to inch the last mile or so and we parked in the structure at the Hollywood and Highland shopping mall. After grabbing takeout from CPK, it was another 20 minute walk up the canyon to the concert past a legion of ticket scalpers and T-shirt salesmen.

I have a special affinity for the Hollywood Bowl. It was the site of my first summer job over 12 years ago. Ushering wealthy season ticket holders to their boxes for minimum wage and enojying a full menu of free concerts six nights a week was (and still is) the best gig a 16-year old performing arts junkie could ask for. I saw everyone from Bernadette Peters to The Who in those mid-nineties summers, and all from the prime perch of the first level of seats. Most of the money I earned was promptly dumped off in the used CD section of the late, great Aron's Records on Highland Ave.

Showcase had never been to the Bowl and was instantly impressed. The place is huge-- an 18,000 seat ampitheatre sunk into Cahuenga Pass in the Hollywood Hills. The two lowest sections are made up of four-person boxes where can yuppies enjoy gourmet picnics before showtime. At a show like this, however, wine and cheese are scarce and the boxes are primarily home to celebrities whose agents got them good seats. Like Lisa Loeb, whom I saw waving for a friend just before the lights went down. Our seats were pretty good for commoners-- in the first section of benches above the boxes toward the stage right side.

Roger Waters, Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles CA. 10/5/06

I) In the Flesh, Mother, Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, Shine on You Crazy Diamond > Have a Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Southampton Dock, The Fletcher Memorial Home> Perfect Sense (Parts I and II), Leaving Beirut, Sheep

II) Dark Side of the Moon: Speak to Me > Breathe > On the Run > Time > The Great Gig in the Sky > Money > Us and Them > Any Colour You Like > Brain Damage > Eclipse

E) The Happiest Days of Our Lives > Another Brick in the Wall (Part II), Vera > Bring the Boys Back Home > Comfortably Numb

Roger Waters draws an eclectic crowd-- hippie kids, indie rock kids, forty and fiftysomething parents with their teenage sons, entertainment industry douchebags, L.A. Weekly-reading NPR-listening Silverlakers that valet-parked their Priuses and strung out, glassy-eyed wookies who looked as if they'd crawled out of the hills themselves. At this point, Pink Floyd songs, especially those of their magnum opus Dark Side of the Moon, are, in a way great muscial equalizers. Whether it was in your parents' basement with an apple bong, at a light show in Griffith Park or synched with The Wizard of Oz in the dorm lounge, everyone has their story about the first time they listened to Dark Side. It transcends genres and generations. My 59- year old father loves it, I love it, and if I'm ever sober long enough to bring a child into this cruel world, I'll make sure it loves it too. Even Showcase, who infamously thought that Trey Anastasio was a member of the Beastie Boys pretty much knows all the words.

Waters doesn't vary his setlists too much, opening as usual with a hard-charging "In the Flesh" that got the crowd fired up. We sparked our first joint during the sweet acoustic opening of "Mother" and the long haired high school kid in front of us begged for a toke. I passed to him and made his day as Showcase cringed.

"I want a new joint. God knows what diseases he has."

"Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun", while not one of my favorite tunes, was a dark, trippy excursion into the early Floyd catalog, while "Shine on You Crazy Diamond", "Have a Cigar", and "Wish You Were Here" satisfied the crowd's appetite for the classics. About halfway through the first set, the dippy blonde girl in the tight pink sweater sitting two seats away from me experienced a personality transplant as her roll kicked in. She started spastically dancing at completely random intervals, occasionally, during the spaciest musical passages that are usually more, well... swayable than danceable. She was in her seat... she was out of her seat. Oh wait, she's standing on top of the bench... oh now she's down. Her enormous breasts bounced freely inside the sweater's clingy rib knit as a lascivious man with a goatee stared slack-jawed at her from the row behind us. Showcase and I started prop betting the over/under on how many seconds she would remain seated before experiencing another urge to dance.

A definite anti-war sentiment ran through the show, beginning with "Southampton Dock" and continuing with the new Waters song, "Leaving Beirut." He wrote it about a day he spent in Lebanon as a 17-year old when his car broke down and an Arab family took him in for the night. It was also one of the more unabashedly anti-Bush rock songs I've ever heard, with lyrics such as "Oh George! Oh George!/ That Texas education must have fucked you up when you were very small" and "Don't let the might, the Christan right/ fuck it all up for you and the rest of the world." Naturally, the California hippie blue state crowd (including myself) ate that shit right up.

The first set ended in stunning fashion as Waters broke out into "Sheep" off the Animals disc. During the song, a giant inflatable pig flew across the audience, the phrases "Impeach Bush," "Kafka Rules OK" and "Vote Democratic Nov. 2" graffitied in black on its sides. Thousands of cell phone cameras flew open as the pig traveled around the ampitheatre, and was finally released into the night sky during the song's killer coda.

After a quick setbreak, Waters and his band lit into Dark Side. And while hearing it live is always thrilling, there was something too clean about their rendition. David Kilminister, tackling David Gilmour's guitar solos, had every note down perfectly, but was missing the spontenaity and soul that could have taken those elegant riffs to a whole other level. Carole Kenyon, however, ripped the shit out of the vocal solo on "The Great Gig in the Sky." Girl can belt a perfect high F like it's nothing. During the finale of Brain Damage > Eclipse, a black pyramid rose out of the top of the stage and a neon rainbow of light burst from its right side, mirroring the album's famous cover.

The encores all came from The Wall, beginning with a smoking rendition of "Another Brick in the Wall." More anti-war sentiment was abound during "Bring the Boys Back Home" as images of Iraq flew by on the video screen behind the band. Comfortably Numb closed the show in a thrilling fashion as fireworks shot into the sky from behind the stage shell.

As Showcase and I maneuvered through the buzzing crowd back down the hill toward Highland Avenue, I wondered aloud if the old black man with the dog puppet was still around, singing improvised gospel songs to the departing concert-goers. Not a night had gone by back in the summers of 1994 and 1995 where I wouldn't walk out of the theatre, bound for the bus to the employee shuttle lot and see this guy belting his heart out, a tattered gray dog puppet, mouthing the words along with him, an open suitcase on his lap for donations. Sure enough, he was there. He looked almost exactly the same. The puppet, however was rather worse for wear. I tossed a dollar into his case as we passed by.

As we headed back in to Hollywood, we trudged along with the rest of the audience, all in various states of intoxication. Approaching Franklin Ave., Showcase suddenly seized my arm and pulled me around to walk on his other side.

"What the fuck?"
"See that guy up there? "
"He has grabby hands."
"Grabby hands?"
"Yes. Grabby hands. Look at him. He is fighting one hell of an urge to grab that woman's ass."

Showcase was totally right. This dude looked like a total child molester and walked with both hands cupped out in front of him, as if he were about to do the deed. Buzzing from the joints we'd enjoyed inside, we got a serious case of the giggles and Grabby Hands must have heard us, because he shoved his hands in his pockets and took off running down a side street.

Just as we turned to look at each other in surprise, a six-foot tall platinum blonde feat of plastic surgery with glossy fish lips so collagened they were about to burst squeezed right between us in the crowd, heading "upstream."

Only in Hollyweird. We laughed so hard it hurt.

Trey Anastasio Band Webster Hall Monday Setlist

Set I: 46 Days, If You're Walking, Spin, Heavy Things, What's Done, Mr. Completely, Bar 17*, Goodbye Head*, Guyute **

Set II: Push On 'Til The Day, Sand, The Way I Feel, Mud City, Let Me Lie, First Tube

Encore: Divided Sky**, Dragonfly

* with orchestra
** Trey on acoustic guitar with orchestra
Stay tuned for a review.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Trey Anastasio Webster Hall Sunday Setlist

10.8.06 Webster Hall, New York, NY

Set I: Drifting, Sleep Again, Wherever You Find It, Money Love and Change, Tuesday, Sweet Dreams Melinda, A Case Of Ice And Snow, Alive Again, Skip The Goodbyes, Love is Freedom, Goodbye Head, The Divided Sky

Set II: Host Across The Potomac, Dark And Down, Gotta Jibboo, Plasma, Night Speaks To A Woman, Shine, Shadow, Bar 17, Come As Melody

Encore: Cincinnati

Sunday, October 08, 2006

New York City Music Scene: 10.9 thru 10.14

I missed out on some good bands and musicians this weekend in New York City. I didn't get tickets to British indie rockers Gomez at Bowery Ballroom or the Latin porn funk gurus of Los Amigos Invisibles because I knew thought the Yankees games would conflict. But I have a ticket to Trey Anastasio at Webster Hall on Monday which kicks off one helluva week of music in the big city.

On Wednesday, The Supersuckers are opening up for Social Distortion at Warsaw in Brooklyn. The Supersuckers are playing a ton of shows in NYC all week at Irving Plaza while they are on tour with Social Distortion. I first saw the Supersuckers perform when I lived in Seattle. One of my roommates had a crush on the guitar player and she dragged me to a few shows down in Pioneer Square. I dug their hybrid country-rock sound. Although the band relocated from Arizona, I consider them a Seattle band especially since they were on the infamous Sub Pop label. During the years I lived in Seattle, The Supersuckers were trying to discover their identity as they jumped back and forth between country music and rock and roll. Of course, you can get away with playing country in a music rich city like Seattle. Most of the stoners, drunks, and pillheads will dance to anything.

On Thursday and Friday, Jenny Lewis and The Watson Twins are playing at Town Hall. The lead singer and guitar player from the LA indie-hipster rockers Rilo Kiley released her first solo album with the Watson Twins (LA transplanted sisters originally from Kentucky) earlier in the year which features a sweet cover of The Traveling Wilbury's Handle with Care. On Friday the Violent Femmes play at Warsaw in Brooklyn. Man that would have been a great show twenty years ago!

On Saturday Tea Leaf Green will be playing at Irving Plaza. For a while TGL was my new favorite band but that distinction got snatched away from My Morning Jacket. TGL caught my eye a few years ago when a friend gave me one of their bootlegs. I recall that she empatically screamed, "You have to listen to these guys!" I saw them first play in their hometown of San Francisco but it wasn't until their 2003 show at the Knitting Factory in NYC where their sound clicked inside of me and I shifted from a curious observer to a fan.

Several jamband pundits labeled Tea Leaf Green as "the next Phish" while Justin Kreutzman (son of The Grateful Dead's Bill Kreutzman) shot a documentary film about TGL which he chronicled over at his blog Rock and Reel. Their song Taught to Be Proud won Song of the Year at the 2006 Jammy Awards and their Wilco meets Phishy sound makes for great writing music. Out of all their albums, the one I listened to the most had to be their live album from The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.

With the Yankees out of the playoffs, I can spend my free time seeing shows. Next up... Trey at Webster Hall.

Page's New Shirt on You Tube

Ah, this is a classic... a backstage clip from the Phish documentary Bittersweet Motel when Trey sings a song he made up on the spot called"Page's New Shirt."

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Trey Updates

Trey Anastasio performed Dragonfly on the Late Show with David Letterman on Friday night.

Trey also announced the lineup with Phil Lesh during the Vegoose run. Larry Campbell (Dylan's guitar player) will join John Molo on drums and John Medeski on keys. They will perform on Saturday 10.28 at the Orleans Arena and on Sunday 10.29 at Sam Boyd Stadium.

I see Trey in a few days in NYC when he kicks off his tour to support Bar 17, now in stores and available on iTunes.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Trey Day on Sirius Download


Phish - Slave to the Traffic Light (original - White Tape)
Phish - Run Like an Antelope (original - White Tape)
Phish - Kneuyarta (original Icculus)
Phish - I Am Hydrogen (original)
Phish - Log (original Divided Sky)
Tom Marshall - Just For This Moment In Time
Trey Anastasio & Tom Marshall - Adam & Eve (from 'Man From Nantucket' recording session)
Phish - NICU (original)
Phish - Silent in the Morning (original, with The Horse intro)
Phish - The Wedge (original)
Amfibian - Skip the Goodbyes
Trey Anastasio & Tom Marshall (in studio) - Inexorably
Trey Anastasio & Tom Marshall - Walls of the Cave (original)
Trey Anastasio & Tom Marshall (Mathilda) - My Swollen Gland
Trey Anastasio & Tom Marshall - Waste (original from songwriting session in Caymen Islands)
Trey Anastasio & Tom Marshall - Teaching a Stone to Speak (from 'Man From Nantucket' recording session)
Trey Anastasio & Tom Marshall - Reach
Trey Anastasio & Tom Marshall - No Regrets
Trey Anastasio & Tom Marshall - Wading in the Velvet Sea (original)
Trey Anastasio & Tom Marshall - Twist (original)
Trey Anastasio & Tom Marshall - Limb by Limb (original)
Phish - Limb by Limb
Phish - The Birdwatcher (Phish's very last recorded song)

Courtesy of some fine people over at www.phantasytour.com

Monday, October 02, 2006

Trey Day on Sirius; Mike & Fish Tourdates

Tuesday October 3rd is Trey Day on Sirius Radio. He's going to be the DJ for 18 hours playing various Phish tunes and tracks from his new album Bar 17 (which is in stores on Oct. 3rd). Rumor has it he'll play a few acoustic tunes.

Fish is hitting the road and playing with two different groups. In Everyone Orchestra, he'll be playing with Steve Kimock, Matt Butler, Jamie Masefield, Jeff Coffin, Peter Apfelbaum, Reed Mathis, Jamie Janover, Scott Law, and Asher Fulero. He's also playing with the Touchpants. Looks like I can check out Fish at Knitting Plaza with Touchpants.

Here are Fish's tourdates:
Fish with Everyone Orchestra:
October 3 Pearl Street - Northampton, MA
October 4 Paradise Rock Club - Boston, MA
October 5 Toad's Place - New Haven, CT
October 6 Recher Theatre - Towson, MD
October 7 State Theatre - Falls Church, VA
October 8 The House of Blues - Atlantic City, NJ

Fish with Touchpants:
October 12 The Big Easy - Portland, ME
October 13 Century Lounge - Providence, RI
October 14 Knitting Factory - New York, NY
October 15 Red Square - Albany, NY
Mike Gordon is hitting the road as well with The Rhythm Devils, featuring both Grateful Dead drummers Mickey Hart & Bill Kreutzmann, along with Steve Kimock, Goapele on vocals and drum master Sikiru Adepoju. I'll catch them at Vegoose.
Mike Gordon with The Rhythm Devils:
October 17 Sunoco Theatre, Harrisburg, PA
October 18 Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ
October 19 Promowest Pavilion, Columbus, OH
October 21 Stranahan Theatre, Toldeo, OH
October 22 House Of Blues, Cleveland, OH
October 24 Chicago Theatre, Chicago, IL
October 25 Riverside Theatre - Milwaukee, WI
October 29 Vegoose Music Festival, Las Vegas, NV