On Saturday evening, Trey Anastasio played the second to last show of his ongoing solo acoustic/storytime tour at Knight Theater in Charlotte, NC. The Phish guitarist took center stage and welcomed fans with an inspirational “Theme From The Bottom”, which led into the recently-revived Phish original, Round Room‘s “Anything But Me”, marking the 16th time the song has been played live since its debut in 2003. “Sweet Dreams Melinda” from Trey Anastasio’s 2005 Shine record came next, showing off the songwriter’s ability to capture an audience with another original that typically gets the full-band treatment. “Always gotta play a song about the town that you’re in,” he jokes about the line “Went from Charlotte.”

The vibe was immediately escalated by the opening notes of “Sample In A Jar,” and again by Trey Anastasio Band‘s “Everything’s Right”, which showed off the guitarist’s intricate playing and eventually led into the first portion of “storytelling.” After telling the audience about his space travels to the venue, and poking fun at the wild nightlife he encountered at his arrival at around 1:30 am the night before, Anastasio goes into a hilarious story from 2003 about when Phish had a show in Cincinnati, and stayed up partying all night between gigs. Trey and Phish keyboardist Page McConnell were both on the “late schedule”, Trey explained, meaning they’d stay up later than the rest of the band to entertain friends, even traveling with black duct tape for the curtains when the sun would come up in the morning. One time around 9:00 am, Trey was left alone and suddenly heard sirens and fire trucks that would soon be parked outside his window. “Oh no, damn! I KNOW this is me! Whatever it is, it has to be me,” Trey thought to himself. Once the building was evacuated, he found Page, who was also up late partying, and told him about the anxious thoughts he was having. “I was sure this was my fault,” he told Page, to which Page responded, “Oh my god, I had the exact same thought! I was SURE it was your fault!”. The audience appreciated the honest story, and the music resumed.

Another solo original came next, “Architect,” which was heavily featured on TAB tour in 2017.  A call-and-response “Twist” followed–highlighted by a spooky guitar section that lasted over 3 minutes–and led into “Mountains in the Mist” and “Lifeboy”. “Summer of ’89” was dedicated to his wife, Sue, who served as the inspiration for the song. Trey took the opportunity to tell the audience about his proposal to Sue, which took place on a long hike through the mountains when he realized he wanted to marry her but didn’t have a ring–so instead used blades of grass to weave one. The song has only been performed 7 times since its debut in 2010, getting the most attention on the last two solo tours. “The Inlaw Josie Wales”, “Limb by Limb”, and “Cavern” came next, as the audience couldn’t help but participate in the familiar lyrics of the two songs that followed the instrumental.

Up next was “Rise/Come Together”, a song that entered the rotation in 2017. From there, Trey tells a beautiful story about his mother, whom he describes as a “badass”. One time in Marco Island, Florida, while pushing a baby carriage, a man took stride in her direction and forcefully pushed her and the carriage aside on a long narrow sidewalk. Angered by the experience, Trey and his mother returned to the apartment where she clumsily walked directly into a large glass window and split open her nose–blood gushing everywhere. Still riled up about the man from before, she tells Trey to grab the keys and go to the car to look for the guy so she can show him the bloody mess. They finally see the guy standing in a circle of friends–including his wife–in what Trey describes as a “golf, retirement home vibe” community. She gets out of the car and goes straight up to him, and screams “Look what you did to me!” (with blood everywhere), “Look what your husband did to me!” After causing a huge scene, Trey looks over his mother’s shoulder only to realize it’s not the right guy.

From there, Trey Anastasio took the opportunity to deliver two solo debuts of Phish’s “Mexican Cousin” and “Buffalo Bill”. The Phish theme continued with “Waste” and “Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan”, which led directly into “Wading in the Velvet Sea”. In honor of the 21st birthday of “Carini”, the dark favorite made its third appearance in Trey’s solo repertoire, the second in 2018. The set closed with “Back on the Train”, and after a brief break, Trey returned with a three-song encore.

A beautiful “Brian and Robert” from 1998’s The Story Of The Ghost opened the encore, followed by Trey Anastasio Band’s “Show of Life”. The Charlotte show closed with Phish’s “Backwards Down The Number Line”. You can torrent the full show audio here, courtesy of kingkita.

Trey Anastasio will conclude his solo tour tonight at The Classic Center Theatre in Athens, GA.

Setlist: Trey Anastasio | Knight Theater | Charlotte, NC | 2/17/18

Theme From The Bottom, Anything But Me, Sweet Dreams Melinda, Sample in a Jar, Everything’s Right, Architect, Twist, Mountains in the Mist, Lifeboy, Summer of ’89, The Inlaw Josie Wales, Limb by Limb, Cavern, Rise/Come Together, Mexican Cousin, Buffalo Bill, Waste, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Carini, Back on the Train

E: Brian and Robert, Show of Life, Backwards Down the Number Line