On Saturday night, Trey Anastasio continued his solo acoustic tour in Cambridge, MA, at the Sanders Theatre on the Harvard University campus following Friday night’s performance at the State Theatre in Ithaca, NY. After two extremely well-received nights to open up this 9-stop solo acoustic tour, Trey offered up another captivating performance, throwing in multiple stories throughout as he has at each solo acoustic show so far. That is the beauty of these intimate shows: There is ample opportunity to catch Trey rambling on about something that turns into an unforgettable tale.
Trey Anastasio’s solo acoustic sets function as a way for Trey and his fans to connect on a more personal level. The stories he tells in between and during songs are charming and, frequently, downright hilarious. During the Cambridge show, Trey told stories that ranged from highly entertaining to somber and heartfelt.
One was an amusing anecdote about walking in on Jon Fishman‘s problematically enthusiastic former wheatgrass obsession–“I walk in the house, and he’s got a syringe in one hand and a towel in the other.” Another more serious story touched on how he spent the final days of his recently departed friend Chris Cottrell‘s life with him–“I sat with him for the last week of his life. I just sat on a couch a played guitar for him.”
“More” opened the Cambridge show, followed by an impressive “46 Days” that gave Trey a chance to show off his scatting skills. Trey took a moment to pause and address the incredible acoustics in the room, exclaiming, “Wow, the sound is so amazing in this room,” a sentiment he would echo on various occasions throughout the night. Trey also took the time to go off on a small tangent about LEGOs, before coasting back into the music and laying down a beautiful combination of “Brian and Robert” and “Anything But Me”.
As Trey made sure to mention:
This is really a pleasure, I gotta say. I have a bunch of friends here tonight… all of you I obviously mean! I have to shout out one friend. Molly, are you here? There’s a bunch of us that went to high school at Taft together, and the person I just shouted out I haven’t seen in a very long time – maybe since high school.
“Waste”, “Wolfman’s Brother” and “Blaze On” came next, before Trey launched into a hilarious Jon Fishman story from Phish’s early days in Burlington. He explained:
One time, I used to live with Paul Languedoc, who used to run sound for Phish. Fishman, him and me were roommates. When Phish just started, Fish was working locally around Burlington, and I worked at Pet Food Warehouse carrying around 50 lb bags of dog food. Fish was a ticket taker at a local parking garage [laughs]. I don’t know why I enjoy telling stories about Fish so much. I love the guy. When he gets into something he goes really hard with it.
He got really into eating healthy which progressed into an obsession with wheatgrass. This is kind of his pattern – he has an obsessive mentality. One day he heard that wheatgrass is better if you grow it at home. He got this special dirt that was flown in from the hills of Thailand or something. One day I got home and walked through the front door, this is a completely true story. I walk in the house and Fish is giving himself an enema. He has his butt facing the door, with a syringe in one hand and a towel in the other. I can never un-see that and now you can’t either!
An elegant take on “Miss You” followed before “The Line” off of Phish’s 2014 studio album, Fuego. Surrounded by longtime friends and family in the crowd, Trey got emotional and took a moment to address lifelong friend Chris Cottrell, who recently passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. Choked up, Trey explained:
I have a bunch of high school friends in the audience tonight. C. Cott [Cottrell] is the hero of the “Push On ‘Til The Day” song. We lost him the other week sadly. We’ve all been friends since we were 15 years old. I sat with him for the last week of his life in the hospital. Sean, who’s in the audience, was also with me. I just sat on a couch and played guitar for him. I would stop and he would just kind of open his eyes at me, and say, “Hey man.” [Tearing up] Now I’m gonna play something I wrote for him. I’m going to dedicate this to everyone in the audience who’s been through something like this, and probably everyone has. I don’t know what to call this but I think I’m gonna call this “ ‘Til We Meet Again”.
[NOTE: This song was first debuted at Thursday night’s show at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, NJ as “Ever” (according to Trey.com), though it was not officially given the name “Til’ We Meet Again” until last night.]
Following the emotional “‘Til We Meet Again”, Trey dove headfirst into a plethora of classics from the Phish catalog. “Free”, “Sample In A Jar”, “Maze”, “Twist” and “Wading In The Velvet Sea” all made appearances before Trey asked the audience if anyone in the room actually attends Harvard University. He asked, “Not a single one of you? It’s cuz you’re clearly not that ‘smahhht’ [in a Boston accent].”
Trey answered a fan’s request with “The Lizards”, before ending the show with a unique acoustic approach to “My Friend My Friend” and “Chalk Dust Torture”. For the encore, Trey offered up another three-song selection: “Tube”, “Backwards Down The Number Line” and “Wilson”.
Trey Anastasio solo acoustic tour will continue Monday night with a performance in Pittsburgh, PA. See below for a full list of upcoming acoustic dates. For more information, head here. You can listen to a full audience audio recording as well as full fan-shot video of the show below:
VIDEO: Trey Anastasio (Solo Acoustic) – Sanders Theatre – Harvard University, Cambridge, MA – 2/10/18
AUDIO: Trey Anastasio (Solo Acoustic) – Sanders Theatre – Harvard University, Cambridge, MA – 2/10/18
SETLIST: Trey Anastasio (Solo Acoustic) | Sanders Theatre | Cambridge, MA | 2/10/2018
SET: More, 46 Days, Brian And Robert, Anything But Me, Waste, Wolfman’s Brother, Blaze On, Miss You, The Line, ‘Til We Meet Again, Sample In A Jar, Maze, Twist > Wading In The Velvet Sea, The Lizards, My Friend My Friend, Chalk Dust Torture
ENCORE: Tube, Backwards Down The Number Line, Wilson
Upcoming Trey Anastasio Solo Acoustic Tour Dates
Feb. 12 – Pittsburgh, PA – Byham
Feb. 13 – Wilmington, DE – Grand Opera House
Feb. 14 – Washington, DC – Sixth and I
Feb. 16 – Durham, NC – Carolina Theatre
Feb. 17 – Charlotte, NC – Knight Theatre
Feb. 18 – Athens, GA – Classic Center
[Cover photo via Scott Marks (@bizarchive)]