This mid-week show had been floating around in the realm of possibilities, but because I had no desire to fight rush hour traffic and stay out really late in the middle of the week, there was no way I was going unless an unprovoked ticket fell into my lap. A few days before the show, an unprovoked ticket fell into my lap. What are ya gonna do?
First, you get stuck in traffic. Then, you get stuck in traffic. Rt. 3 out of the Lincoln Tunnel on a rainy Wednesday night- you do the math. But at the end of all that traffic there is a Trey Anastasio show, and these days he's been delivering. These Days, as opposed to Those Days, with Phase Puddle Trey from many years back, out of the way, that is. I saw an NYC show during that state, and was actively upset by the terribleness of it all. However, Spring Tour 2011, brought with it rave reviews, and I wanted Trey Band to redeem itself.
It did. Tenfold. Awesome show. Lots of love, lots of energy, and a really happy crowd. The show itself was 93-95% Awesome, 5-7% Wank. The kind of Wank that makes you sit down and conserve some energy, or time out a pee-break. They totally lost me with a couple of songs, but other than that-- AWESOME!
Trey was dancing, running around the stage, and acting like a freakin' kid on Fun Dip. And of course, shredding the fuck out of the guitar. His talent will still melt your face, even after all these years. These Years, as opposed to Those Years. It's adorable to see him genuinely enjoying himself and embracing his ability to entertain people again. I'm really glad to see him smile.
Highlights: Burlap Sack and Pumps -> Money, Love, and Change. Alaska, Magilla, SMOKING Cayman Review. Then I got tired, but the end of the set picked back up and Push On 'Til the Day (which I believe was meant to inspire us to drag our asses through setbreak and the rest of the show) filled me with spirit. Set II rocked, and they did the Gorillaz's Clint Eastwood, which was outstanding and blew the fucking roof off the place. Righteous groove. -> Mr. Completely, sick. Dire Straits' Sultans of Swing-- got the whole room moving. A rockin' First Tube closed out Set II. Encore featured a beautiful Ocelet and, annnnnnd, a fucking BRILLIANT Zep's Black Dog, with Jennifer Hartswick on screaming vocals. She rules.
Speaking of the band-- just an unbelievable lineup. The horn section (Hartswick on trumpet, Natalie Cressman on Trombone, and Russell Remington on Sax & Flute)--- was vibrant and sweet. Ray Paczkowski on Keys was soulful and a shit-ton of fun to watch. Tony Markellis (Bass) and Russ Lawton (Drums) layed down a locked-in & killer rhythm section. Great sound.
We tried to sneak on the floor but were totes denied. The balcony was still cool-- first time I've been up there. However, the sound towards the bottom is much better than the sound at the top. Yah, I know, duh-- but it was a noticeable difference. I like feeling the ROCK in my sternum and that didn't happen til we moved down for Set II.
Trey Anastasio Band redeemed itself. I'm so so glad that they did. I am also very glad that this unprovoked ticket fell into my lap-- thanks, Leeeza (all the way from VT! Great to hang in the Jerz!)! Trey Anastasio Band, 10/12/11, Wellmont Theater, Montclair, NJ: 8.8 HUZZAHS!!
Set 1: Burlap Sack and Pumps > Money, Love and Change, It Makes No Difference, Gotta Jibboo, Alaska, Magilla, Cayman Review, Shine, Snake Head Thumb, Pigtail, Liquid Time, Small Axe, Push On ‘Til the Day
Set 2: Simple Twist Up Dave, Acting the Devil, Clint Eastwood > Mr. Completely > Plasma, O-o-h Child > Goodbye Head > Sand, Sultans of Swing, First Tube
Encore: At the Gazebo, Ocelot, Show of Life, Black Dog
DOWNLOAD THE SHOW: haven't seen it up yet, but check http://bt.etree.org for copies that will surely pop up.