Sunday, November 05, 2006
TREY ANASTASIO BAND
New Daisy Theatre
Thursday, November 2, 2006
By Rob Winkler
NOTE: All band photos courtesy of http://www.honesttune.com and used without permission.
I don't get the opportunity to see many shows these days, living out here in the sticks, so maybe I'm less jaded than I used to be, but TAB the other night REALLY exceeded my expectations. I thought it was a great show! Trey was in really good form, unlike the last time I saw him, and his playing was spot-on and ferocious, his solos often surprising and inventive. He was also chatty at times and full of praise for the Memphis crowd. He dedicated (not 1 but) 2 songs to a good friend of his in the front row, "Memphis Mary", who is mentioned in both songs: Heavy Things and Push On 'Til The Day.
The rest of the band is also seriously good and the rhythm section really push the music hard. Unlike the rhythm section of Phish, and completely unlike the rhythm section of the previous TAB, these guys were more like Weather Report on steroids, seriously pushing and driving the music and the jams at breakneck pace, in a sort of pop-fusion-rock sort of way, with some prog thrown in here and there, but not at all in a way I'd call "Phishy".
Tony Hall on the bass was a monster - his style is very 'fusion-y', and very hyperactive, always staying in the very low registers, always with very smooth, deep tone, never slapping or going into the upper registers like Mike Gordon.
And Jeff Sipes on the drums, formerly of Leftover Salmon and Aquarium Rescue Unit - it was so good to see him again after all these years. I thought he was a perfect fit for this band, sounding a lot like Billy Cobham or something back there.
On keys was Ray Paczkowski, from the previous TAB. Ray's specialty seems to be the clavinet, the funkiest of all instruments (have you ever heard a clavinet play jazz? blues? I didn't think so), and he added some real spice to the jams. To round out the band were Jennifer Hartswick on occasional backing vocals and trumpet, and Christina Durfee on occasional backing vocals.
Sometimes the girls were offstage for extended periods of time, especially during the second set when some of the jams spanned 15 to 20 minutes. Money Love and Change to open the second set was one of these, and by the time they finished the 2nd song (If You're Walking, a new proggy one that was probably the most like old-school Phish), 45 minutes had already passed. These jams were not anything like the Phish type II or type III jams, as they never wandered too far off the theme, never meandered into psychedelia, and rarely slowed down at all. At times they would evolve into new improvised progressions, but always trending toward higher tempo and fury, making you want to do intense cardiovascular workout or drive your car 100 miles an hour or something.
The venue was the New Daisy Theatre, at the far end (away from the Mississippi river) of Memphis' famous Beale Street. It holds around 1500, and is like a cross between San Francisco's Warfield Theatre (narrower, but with similar drink rails and terraces on the floor) and Petaluma's Mystic Theatre (same width, same balcony setup, same bar under the balcony). Very cool place, except for the heavy amounts of cigarette smoke and lack of other smoke (which I assume is typical outside the San Francisco Bay Area), and the view from the first drink rail was awesome, the sound was very good and very loud.
The show started about 8:20 and the last encore ended about 11:35. Here's the setlist:
November 2, 2006
Push on til the Day
Case of Ice and Snow
Money Love and Change
If You're Walking
Come as Melody
Sweet Dreams Melinda
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