On Friday night, Trey Anastasio continued his solo acoustic tour in Ithaca, NY, at the State Theatre following Thursday’s tour opener at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, NJ. Keeping in line with Thursday’s show as well as the vibe of last year’s intimate acoustic run, Trey offered up a laidback performance, sprinkling in hilarious anecdotes throughout and debuting five new solo acoustic renditions of songs from the Phish and Trey Anastasio Band catalogs: “Rise/Come Together”, “Light”, “Ocelot”, “Sand”, and “Fuego”.
Part of the beauty of Trey Anastasio solo sets is that they also function as a way for Trey and 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 Ithaca show, Trey told the story of Sweet Pete—a tale about Phish giving away the keys of their early touring vehicle, a Plymouth Voyager, to man in Ithaca named Sweet Pete (“I want it back. You tell Sweet Pete, motherfucker”)—and why Mike Gordon was never allowed to drive when touring (“This guy in front of me was driving 45 miles on the highway and really pissing me off… I pull up next to him, and it’s Mike, and he’s writing in his journal on the steering wheel”).
Sweet Pete Story
[Video: John Ruffner]
Mike Driving Story
“Rise/Come Together”, a newer tune to Trey’s catalog which he debuted last spring in Charlotte with the Trey Anastasio Band, came first, following the set-opening takes on “Prince Caspian”, “NICU”, and “Theme From The Bottom”. Ahead of the start of the debut, while tuning his guitar, Trey launched into a story about an early Phish show at The Haunt in Ithaca when the group “played for the door.” He explained:
I think we were getting $250 bucks, and we were so excited we were going to make this much money. Then right at the end of the night, we were loading out, and Mike—he can be… you know, his mind is other places [laughs]—is carrying this box of cords or something like that. They had this big glass door, and he was walking, and with his nose smashed into the door and broke the glass. [laughs] So they told us it was $250 dollars to repair the door. We always think of that as the night we “played for the door”.
“Rise Up/Come Together”
After takes on “Ghost”, “The Wedge”, and “AC/DC Bag”, Trey moved into a gorgeous rendition of “Light”, which saw Trey loop wispy vocals for a fuller, choral effect and a rhythmic background guitar, allowing him to lay into more complex fretwork.
Following “Light”, Trey played “The Inlaw Josie Wales”, a classic tune which first made its debut during Trey’s 1999 solo tour, ahead of “Dog Faced Boy” and “Sleep”. Up next, for the debut of “Ocelot”, which was relatively brief at around two-and-a-half minutes, Trey was all smiles. The crowd picked up on this jubilance, singing along and whooping and hollering during the fan favorite.
A take on Trey’s autobiographical “Summer of ’89” followed “Ocelot”, which made way for “Twist”. To close out his extended set, the Phish guitarist ended the show with the final solo acoustic debuts of the night—a coupling of “Sand” and “Fuego”. The start of “Sand” and its immediately recognizable and catchy hook elicited hoots from the crowd, with Trey giving the tune the proper treatment at nearly six-and-a-half minutes. To close out the frame, Trey ended with “Fuego”, noting before its performance that it’s one of his favorite Phish tunes and hesitantly adding that it might not translate well to the solo acoustic format.
For the encore, Trey offered up two crowd favorites: “Carini” and “Wilson”. After walking back on stage, the start of “Carini” received huge applause for the crowd, with the acoustic format of the song downplaying some of the harshness of the tune’s full-band performances. To close out the show in full, during the middle of “Wilson”, Trey paused the number to recall “one of the most awkward phone calls I’ve ever had to make in my life,” elaborating that “it all came rushing back to me” as he was performing. Jokingly, he explained:
The Seahawks were in the Super Bowl, and Russell Wilson, you know? They played that song at the beginning of the Super Bowl, and it was his song. He asked me if he could use, and I said, ‘Sure, it’s cool.’ But I had to call him and be like, ‘You know, you didn’t read the book. [laughs] You know, the helping friendly playbook. It is written, handeth thy ball to Marshawn Lynch, and he shall runneth it into the end zone and placeth thy trophy above thy head.’ So I had to call him—it was horrible, just awful—and aggressively, “I gotta take my song back. You can’t have it anymore.” He’s a nice and everything, but I dunno…
“Wilson” & Read The Book Story
You can check out the setlist below. You can also watch Trey’s entire performance in Ithaca on Friday night below, which was captured by gayanastasio and posted by 215 Music.
Setlist: Trey Anastasio (Solo Acoustic) | State Theatre | Ithaca, NY | 2/9/2018
Set One: Prince Caspian, NICU, Theme From the Bottom, Rise/Come Together , Ghost, The Wedge, AC/DC Bag, Light, The Inlaw Josie Wales, Dog Faced Boy, Sleep, Ocelot, Summer of ’89, Twist, Sand, Fuego
Encore: Carini, Wilson
 Trey solo acoustic debut.
Trey Anastasio (Solo Acoustic) – State Theatre – Ithaca, NY – 2/9/2018
[Video: 215 Music]