Trey Anastasio Band landed in New York City this weekend for a pair of jam-filled shows at Radio City Music Hall—and a surprise appearance by saxophonist James Casey—to close out a tour that has highlighted the resilience of the Phish guitarist and his musical associates.

The six-piece ensemble that finished out Sunday evening’s show—Anastasio on guitar, Casey on saxophone, Jon Fishman on drums, Ray Paczkowski on keys, Dezron Douglas on bass, Cyro Baptista on percussion—was the sixth iteration of TAB to take the stage during the 13-date tour (Eight-piece with Cochemea Gastelum on sax; eight-piece with Jeff Cressman on trombone; five-piece sans horns; solo acoustic; five-piece with Fishman; six-piece with Fishman and James).

Beginning with the passing of founding bassist Tony Markellis in April and the addition of Douglas in July, each shift in the TAB touring lineup has been prompted by a roll-with-the-punches scenario—from a prior engagement to an ongoing pandemic—and each show has been uniquely meaningful for that same reason. But even before a string of positive COVID-19 tests landed the horn section on the bench and activated Fishman from the reserves, the last-minute news that saxophonist James Casey would be sitting out the tour as he undergoes chemotherapy for colon cancer ensured that this would be an emotional and unusual run.

In that light, Casey’s return to the stage with Trey Anastasio Band for the tour’s final three songs on Sunday at Radio City Music Hall was a coup—not another reconfiguration born of bad tidings but a reunion born of good news. We’re glad to see you up, about, and making music, James. We’ve missed you.

Of course, we shouldn’t let Casey’s return overshadow the four fiery sets the TAB with Fish quintet performed at Radio City Music Hall before the final encore. At Saturday’s NYC opener, Anastasio, Fishman, Douglas, Paczkowski, and Baptista began to break from the trend of only TAB/Phish crossover songs, with Fish notching his first live versions of “In Rounds” and “Cayman Review”. Long jams with deep grooves once again dominated the night, with highlights coming in the form of a fantastic “Tube”, interwoven takes on “Party Time”, “Ghost”, and “Mr. Completely”, and a climactic “Twist” closer. After introducing the band during the encore’s “First Tube”, an ever-humble Anastasio added, “I’m Trey, and I play guitar.” Yes you do, Trey. Yes you do.

Trey Anastasio Band ft. Jon Fishman – “First Tube” – 10/2/21

[Video: jfox]

Sunday’s first set brought more elongated takes on fan-favorites including a 20-minute “The Moma Dance”, a 30-minute “Ocelot”/”Set Your Soul Free” pairing, and a brilliantly ominous “Dark and Down”. After carving through a murky “Sand” to begin set two, the band embarked on what would become a 36-minute “Everything’s Right” expedition, the four-piece rhythm section providing a stable axis for the oscillation of Trey’s myriad tones and effects. A pair of quarantine Trey tunes, “Lonely Trip” and “I Never Left Home”, set the stage for a big “Carini” finale.

Trey Anastasio Band ft. Jon Fishman – “The Moma Dance” – 10/2/21

[Video: kembra allen]

Following a pair of acoustic encore tunes, “Strange Design” and “Backwards Down The Number Line”, a giddy Anastasio heralded Casey’s entrance. “Okay, and at this point, ah!” Trey started, “I am so excited to bring out my very dear friend, Mr. James Casey.”

The crowd responded with elated applause as the rest of the band got set for show-closing renditions of “Evolve”, “Rise/Come Together” and “A Life Beyond The Dream” featuring soprano saxophone solos and some emotional lead vocals by the still-on-the-mend TAB regular.

Trey Anastasio Band ft. Jon Fishman, James Casey – “Evolve” – 10/3/21

[Video: Gregory Marcus]

Trey Anastasio Band ft. Jon Fishman, James Casey – “A Life Beyond The Dream” – 10/3/21

[Video: ithachris]

Trey Anastasio Band fall tour 2021 is now in the books, and anyone can agree that it was far more eventful—and, as such, far more exciting—than anyone could have imagined. In a world that continues to keep live music on its toes, Anastasio and company proved that they are quick enough on their feet to carry on. Here’s to a truly one-of-a-kind tour, and here’s to speedy recoveries for those still down with disease.

Trey Anastasio and Jon Fishman will now resume their regularly scheduled programming: Phish’s 2021 fall tour kicks off Friday, October 15th in Sacramento, CA. For a full list of upcoming Phish tour dates, head here.

Listen to both Trey Anastasio Band Radio City Music Hall shows in their entirety via LivePhish.

Below, check out a gallery of photos from Sunday’s show via photographer Andrew Blackstein

Setlist: Trey Anastasio Band | Radio City Music Hall | New York, NY | 10/2/21

SET 1: 46 Days, Tube, In Rounds, Gotta Jibboo, Cayman Review > Blaze On

SET 2: Party Time > Ghost > Mr. Completely, Shade > Twist

ENCORE: When the Words Go Away [1], Theme From the Bottom[1], More[1], First Tube

[1] Trey solo acoustic.

Notes: Entire show featured Jon Fishman (Phish) on drums

Setlist: Trey Anastasio Band | Radio City Music Hall | New York, NY | 10/3/21

Set One: Back on the Train > The Moma Dance, Undermind > Ocelot, Set Your Soul Free, Dark and Down

Set Two: Sand, Everything’s Right, Lonely Trip, I Never Left Home > Carini

Encore: Strange Design [1], Backwards Down the Number Line[1], Evolve [2], Rise/Come Together [3], A Life Beyond The Dream[3]

[1] Trey solo acoustic.
[2] With James Casey on saxophone.
[3] With James Casey on additional vocals and saxophone.

Notes: Entire show featured Jon Fishman (Phish) on drums