On Sunday, Trey Anastasio brought his namesake band to New Haven, CT for its debut performance at Westville Music Bowl to wrap up the first weekend of the outfit’s 2021 tour.

“This place is cool,” Anastasio gushed after a show-opening “Set Your Soul Free” jam. “I like this, man. There you all are.”

Anastasio, for his part, was referring to the seemingly cozy-yet-capacious setup that has made the former professional tennis battleground a premier destination for live music in the Northeast throughout its inaugural summer. To the New Haven crowd, his statement resonated at a dual frequency: after nearly five months of gradually growing, pod-style shows, the Sunday evening Trey Anastasio Band show marked the largest concert yet for Westville Music Bowl.

Plenty has happened for Trey Anastasio and company since the last weekend-long TAB run back in late January/early February 2020 in New Orleans, as well. After Trey cranked out an album’s worth of new material from his New York apartment, TAB appeared in various iterations throughout the eight-week Beacon Jams residency. The sudden passing of founding bassist Tony Markellis earlier this year cemented those shows at an empty Beacon Theatre as the end of an era for the band.

Even after the announcement of the group’s new bassist, Dezron Douglas, the lineup shifted once again when saxophonist James Casey revealed his recent colon cancer diagnosis and announced that another decorated player, Cochemea “Cheme” Gastelum, would perform in his place on the fall 2021 trek alongside Trey, Dezron, drummer Russ Lawton, keyboardist Ray Paczkowski, trumpeter/vocalist Jennifer Hartswick, trombonist Natalie Cressman, and percussionist Cyro Baptista.

Lest we forget, there was also the summer 2021 Phish tour, an impressive, nationwide run during which Anastasio experimented with a new stable of low-register effects and gave several of his quarantine tunes their maiden outings.

The Westville performance was unsurprisingly imbued with an element of novelty on all of those fronts. Here was a new band lineup working through new material (including the TAB debuts of “…And Flew Away” and “I Never Left Home”) and casting old songs in a fresh light (“Quantegy” and “Mr. Completely” were as ominous as “Ether Sunday” was joyous, the “Sand” jam sounded almost Floyd-ian, and the Latin vibes were stronger than ever all night) at what is sure to become a new repeat tour stop.

In so many ways, Trey Anastasio Band’s Westville debut was uniquely “2021,” a relic of a nascent era, a new chapter in an old book that could only have been written with the last eighteen months worth of perspective.

But while some of that novelty may steal headlines on this tour, the music this group creates will surely be worth its own, asterisk-free attention. No, it’s not quite the same TAB you’re used to. It’s not entirely different, either. As we’ve seen in recent years from all of Trey’s various projects, hard lines and creative compartmentalization seem to lose their importance over time. TAB songs go Phish. Phish songs go TAB. Ghosts of the Forest goes both ways. They’re all part of the same narrative, and as it unfolds, the sound continues to evolve. The story goes on.

Click below to check out a selection of videos from the show and scroll down to browse a gallery of photos via David Gray (@graypeakimages). Stream the full show via LivePhish here.

For a full list of upcoming Trey Anastasio Band shows, click here.

Trey Anastasio Band — Westville Music Bowl — New Haven, CT — 9/19/21

[Video: Larry Rulz FORE!]

Trey Anastasio Band – “Olivia” – 9/19/21

[Video: btragal]

Trey Anastasio Band – “Night Speaks To A Woman” – 9/19/21

[Video: btragal]

Trey Anastasio Band – “Camel Walk” – 9/19/21

[Video: Matt Frazier]

Trey Anastasio Band – “Sand” – 9/19/21

[Video: Matt Frazier]

Trey Anastasio Band – “First Tube” – 9/19/21

[Video: Matt Frazier]

View Videos

Setlist: Trey Anastasio Band | Westville Music Bowl | New Haven, CT | 9/16/21

Set One: Set Your Soul Free, Olivia, …And Flew Away, Alive Again > Ghost, Liquid Time, I Never Left Home, Night Speaks to a Woman

Set Two: In Rounds, Camel Walk, Sand, Curlew’s Call > Quantegy > Drifting > Traveler, Mr. Completely

Encore: Ether Sunday, First Tube