Sometimes, schedules just happen to line up. It happened back in June, when Trey Anastasio wound up on New York City stages with both Goose and Billy Strings in the space of a week, and it happened again on Friday when Trey Anastasio Band and Goose’s co-headlining tour landed at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, VA on Billy’s off day ahead of a run in nearby Washington, D.C. This latest confluence of circumstances culminated with an unhinged “Carini” encore featuring all of Trey Anastasio Band, all of Goose, and Billy Strings on electric guitar, but the evening took an eventful path en route to that big finish.

Per TABoose tour custom, Goose got the night started with a lively set. The evening was already significant for the band before the show started as Jon “Coach” Lombardi had celebrated the birth of a son earlier in the day. A heartfelt shoutout from Peter Anspach surely had him feeling the love from home. Congrats, Lombardis!

As the eight-show run moves into its final weekend, certain early-tour trends have begun to fall by the wayside including the no-repeated-song streak that the Connecticut quintet kept up through four shows. Friday’s Goose set featured three songs that had already appeared on the tour—”Arrow”, new entry “Thatch“, and “Arcadia”—worked around a pair of fan-favorites that had yet to make their TABoose debut, “Seekers On The Ridge Pt. 1” and “Seekers On The Ridge Pt. 2”.

While certain selections have gotten second helpings, Goose has made sure to serve up a new dish each night for the Trey course of the meal. In Fairfax, Anastasio and the young five-piece added to that running list with collaborations on “Hungersite” and “Tumble”.

The Phish guitarist’s presence paid instant dividends on both tunes. “Hungersite”, a song familiar to Trey from his sit-in at Radio City Music Hall, was buoyed by his wide-open, arena filling riffs, while “Tumble” went dark and stormy behind thundering percussion from Ben Atkind and Jeff Arevalo and a shower of sixteenth notes from Big Red. Hell, you might even call Trey’s picking pattern here “bluegrass-inspired,” but we won’t. That part comes later.

Things proceeded normally as Trey Anastasio Band took the stage following an intermission. After getting straight down to business with a set-opening “First Tube”, Anastasio led his eight-piece through a mix of tried-and-true tunes like “Set Your Soul Free”, “Twist”, “Curlew’s Call”, “About to Run”, “Magilla”, “Everything’s Right”, and “Simple Twist Up Dave”.

Rumors had percolated throughout the day on Goose, Phish, and Billy Strings boards about the possibility of a Strings sighting on TABoose tour. That speculation became reality as Trey grabbed an acoustic guitar welcomed the young flatpicker out to the stage to lead the group through his original tune, “Meet Me At The Creek”.

The way the young Strings guided Trey Anastasio Band—an outfit with which he had never played before Thursday evening’s soundcheck—through this multi-section composition seemed effortless. The way he swapped licks with Trey was fearless, as if he was trying to draw the elder guitarist outside his comfort zone, not the other way around. The way he snuck in some cheeky yet confident “Tweezer” riffs as the jam rounded back to the final chorus seemed to excite Anastasio as much as it did the crowd—almost like Strings was saying, “I know whose house this is, but we’re about to try on a new wardrobe… You’re gonna like the way you look, I guarantee it.

Trey Anastasio Band w/ Billy Strings – “Meet Me At  The Creek” (Billy Strings) [Pro-Shot] – 11/17/22

“Thank you so much, everybody, how the Hell ya doin’ toniiiiight?” Billy cooed as he swapped his acoustic guitar for an electric and followed Trey and the gang into “Possum”. While Trey seemed intent upon coaxing his guest to the mic here, Billy was ensconced in his instrument—and, it seemed, not entirely familiar with the vocal parts—and instead mainly opted to hang back and observe between his creatively phrased blues-rock solos.

Trey Anastasio Band w/ Billy Strings – “Possum” – 11/17/22

[Video: DiscoStu1975]

Goose’s Rick Mitarotonda (guitar) and Peter Anspach (keys) joined in next as Trey, Billy, and company gave “The Moma Dance” a whack. Things could have easily gotten messy here with three lead guitarists on the stage, but Rick and Billy followed Trey’s lead as he split up the solos and head-to-head riffs, dutifully falling back into a rhythm role or adding tasteful accents when it was the others’ turn to drive. Billy’s dissonant, tension-heavy solo, in particular, took the groove down a more winding route than usual, adding yet another interesting layer to the ever-evolving tune.

Trey Anastasio Band w/ Billy Strings, Rick Mitarotonda, Peter Anspach – “The Moma Dance” – 11/17/22

[Video: DiscoStu1975]

Cruising at full speed after a searing “Moma”, the eleven-piece combo (TAB + Rick + Peter + Billy) rolled into “Gotta Jibboo” featuring both Trey and Billy on vocals to close out the set. While Strings and Anastasio’s last live “Gotta Jibboo” was tackled on acoustics, this full-electric TAB/Goose/Strings “Jibboo” barreled forward with arena rock abandon as the three guitarists got increasingly comfortable with their collaborative dynamic.

Trey Anastasio Band w/ Billy Strings, Rick Mitarotonda, Peter Anspach – “Gotta Jibboo” – 11/17/22

[Video: DiscoStu1975]

After a brief pause, Trey Anastasio and Billy Strings returned to the stage with acoustic guitars in hand to begin the encore with Billy’s “Love and Regret”, another song Trey played during his Strings guest spot in June. Trey, clearly a genuine fan of the wistful ballad, took a back seat here, adding simple accompaniment to Billy’s emotional reading. Strings turned the spotlight back to Anastasio when he changed the lyrics “and the silence when she went away” to “and the sweet, sweet licks Trey’s gonna play,” prompting a roar from the crowd and some gorgeous melodies from the Phish guitarist’s corner. Billy returned the favor next, providing some easy-going accents to a Trey-led “Water in the Sky”.

Trey Anastasio Band w/ Billy Strings – “Love and Regret” (Billy Strings) – 11/17/22

[Video: davidbradley28]

Rick, Peter, and the rest of Trey’s band returned once again as Billy and Trey strapped on electrics for “Back On The Train”. Noticeably more dialed-in than the thrilling but rough-around-the-edges “Moma Dance” with the same crew, this bluegrass-light rocker was a thoroughly collaborative effort, with Trey, Billy, and Rick all adding vocals and colorful solos.

With time for one more, Trey stepped to the mic to explain the scenario: “Man, this is so fun. Thank you guys, this is great, man! You know, it was once said about a week ago that sometimes you need two basses.” Cue Goose’s Trevor Weekz, instrument in hand. “Sometimes you need two basses and four drummers,” a chuckling Trey continued. “And sometimes, in order to  reach the level of Godzilla stomping on Tokyo, you need four drummers, two bassists, two keyboard players, three guitar players, three horn players. We may almost be there. And then, all of you screaming continuously for the next ten minutes hopefully.”

With that, all of Goose, all of Trey Anastasio Band, and William MF Strings set out on a maniacal rampage through “Carini” close the unprecedented performance. Godzilla stomping on Tokyo, indeed.

Trey Anastasio Band w/ Goose, Billy Strings – “Carini” – 11/17/22

[Video: davidbradley28]

Trey and Rick’s collaborations throughout this tour have been notable for how seamlessly their styles thread together, like the wheels of a roller coaster car gripping the track. Billy’s influence felt like the sharp twists and turns on that metaphorical amusement park ride—a toppling g-force pull away from the charted track that made the course-correcting straightaways all the more satisfying when they arrived.

Or, if we’re sticking with snacks, if Trey was chocolate and Goose was peanut butter, Billy was like a salty pretzel—a different sort of snack entirely, an ingredient that pairs well with both savory and sweet, but defines the dish no matter how it’s used.

This TAB/Goose tour has had a lightning-in-a-bottle allure from the start, two acts with their own successful paths choosing to take the same highway for a stretch. The happenstance addition of an available Billy Strings, one of the busiest touring musicians on the road, all but ensures the once-in-a-lifetime nature of Thursday’s show. You gotta love it when a plan comes together.

Check out some photos from the show below via Josh Hitchens/Bolt of Sunshine. For a full list of upcoming Trey Anastasio Band/Goose tour dates, head here. Tune in to livestreams of the upcoming shows in Syracuse, NY (11/18), and Reading, PA (11/19) via

Setlist [via]: Goose | EagleBank Arena | Fairfax, VA | 11/17/22

Set: Arrow, Seekers On The Ridge Pt. 1 > Seekers On The Ridge Pt. 2, Thatch, Arcadia, Hungersite[1] > Tumble[2]

[1] With Trey Anastasio on guitar and vocals and Sco-Mule tease from Peter.
[2] With Trey Anastasio on guitar.

Coach’s Corner: After Arrow, Peter noted that Coach was not at the show due to his newborn son and sent love and congratulations to Jon, Bonnie, and Bodie Lombardi!

Setlist [via]: Trey Anastasio Band | EagleBank Arena | Fairfax, VA | 11/17/22

Set: First Tube, Set Your Soul Free, Twist, Curlew’s Call, About to Run, Magilla, Everything’s Right > Simple Twist Up Dave, Meet Me at the Creek [1], Possum [2], The Moma Dance [3], Gotta Jibboo [4]

Encore: Love and Regret [5], Water in the Sky [6], Back on the Train [7], Carini [8]

[1] TAB debut; Trey and Billy Strings on acoustics. Billy on vocals.
[2] Billy Strings on guitar and additional vocals.
[3] Billy Strings and Rick Mitarotonda on guitars and Peter Anspach on keys.
[4] Billy Strings and Rick Mitarotonda on guitars and Peter Anspach on keys. Billy also on vocals.
[5] TAB debut; Just Trey and Billy Strings on acoustic guitars. Billy on vocals.
[6] Just Trey and Billy Strings on acoustic guitars.
[7] Billy Strings and Rick Mitarotonda on guitars and vocals and Peter Anspach on keys.
[8] Billy Strings and Rick Mitarotonda on guitars, Peter Anspach on keys and vocals, Trevor Weekz on bass, and Jeff Arevalo and Ben Atkind on percussion.


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