Trey Anastasio @ The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY: January 23
Words and Photos: Andrew Blackstein
Eighty-eight days after originally scheduled, Trey Anastasio finally took The Capitol Theatre stage on Wednesday night in Port Chester, New York. The show was set to take place on October 28th, 2012 when it was postponed with Hurricane Sandy bearing down on the region. The Phish front man gave the capacity crowd a peek inside his head when he bantered about his state of mind in the hours before the decision was made to postpone the show. Trey told the crowd that he tried to convince those around him that his band could “squeeze” the show in before Sandy came ashore.
[All Photos by Andrew Blackstein]
It was a chatty night for Anastasio as he also introduced his friend Mary, who was in the audience, following an interesting acoustic(ish) take on Heavy Things in the encore. The guitarist referred to the song’s lyrics when he added that “she was a friend, until she borrowed everything thing he owned.” Anastasio then mentioned that Vanessa from Heavy Things’ lyrics was not at the venue on this night but was indeed a “real person” too before concluding with “we’re all real people!”
Doors were opened earlier than the published time on the tickets as venue staff and local police were concerned that fans would be too cold in the record low temperatures outside. It was the first of many accommodating decisions made by The Capitol Theatre staff. Inside and ready for a party, Trey Anastasio and his solo band took the stage at 8:20 with a loud, hard-hitting Cayman Review. The irony of The Cayman Islands’ warm tropic temperatures versus New York’s current cold spell that had the area around the venue in its grip was not lost on the band or the fans. Alive Again and Pigtail were both played well and sounded close to the studio versions.
A cover of Toots and the Maytals’ Sweet & Dandy gave Trey a chance to hop around to the reggae beat while he checked out fans dancing around the beautiful renovated theater. Grins from ear to ear continued as the frantic Land Of Nod showed off the band’s strong points. Perfectly struck bass notes from Tony Markellis, tight snare snaps from Russ Lawton and chilling clav work from Ray Paczkowski were the backbone to Trey’s telling lyrical content that arrives at the end of the song: “I was asleep for so long.” Dark & Down also seemed to provide a glimpse into the proverbial hurricane that was the guitarist’s life after Phish broke up in 2004.
Set Two started with a funky Sand that featured multiple layers of delay loops from Trey and a tightly played horn arrangement. Sand has been one of Trey’s favorite songs to play as of late and it showed in this version. The vibe inside was now pretty loose and colorful as the Port Chester fans started spreading their elbows and getting down to Simple Twist Up Dave. Lights projected on the Capitol Theater ceiling had Trey and fans staring off into the abyss. The back half of the second set included well executed versions of Let Me Lie, Goodbye Head and Architect. It was nice to observe music fans enjoying music as The Cap crowd was appropriately quiet and attentive during these slower tunes.
Clint Eastwood slammed home one of the most attractive parts of TAB – Jennifer Hartswick’s voice! Boy, did she make that song sound great. Hitting notes that not many could hit, Jen’s singing inspires those around her. Push On Till The Day closed the set in fine form. The end jam saw Trey running around his small carpet in tight circles like a possessed madman. Anastasio decided that it was the right time to dust off Flock Of Words when the band returned for what would be a three-song encore. For those who bask in great lyrics see this tune. Led by Trey with backup from Jen, Flock Of Words showed off how beautiful and insightful music can be. All in all, night one of this mid week two-night stand at the Capitol proved to be a wonderful event.
 Manteca tease.
 Trey on acoustic guitar.
Notes: This was the rescheduled date from the show that had been postponed due to Hurricane Sandy on October 28, 2012. This show was webcast via LivePhish.com. “Alive Again” contained a “Manteca” tease. “Sweet and Dandy” was performed at the request of someone in the front row. “Streets of Cairo” was teased before “Sand.” “Flock of Words” and “Heavy Things” featured Trey on acoustic guitar. Trey acknowledged Mary from the “Heavy Things” lyric, who was in the crowd that evening and pointed out that Vanessa was a real person too, saying “We’re all real people!”
Full Photo Gallery…