Please welcome our newest contributor, Robert Janoski, to preview this month’s TAB Tour.
For the 14th year of his namesake solo group’s existence, Trey Anastasio and his TAB ensemble will embark on a nine-show mini tour starting tomorrow at The Fillmore in Detroit, Michigan. In 2012, the early months that in 2010 and 2011 were reserved for TAB tours were given over to Trey’s symphony outings. These shows revealed nuances to Trey’s Phish and solo compositions unique to orchestral settings, and had fans pleasantly surprised. However, most still yearned for the frontman to direct his energy once again to the more accessible and cathartic Trey Anastasio Band.
With this extended eleven-month layoff period between the band’s last performance, energy is expectedly high leading up to these shows. Fans have crossed off the days until the 18th in anticipation of hearing debuts from Anastasio’s new album Traveler; four out of the ten songs on Traveler have yet to been performed publicly. Couple these reasons with the announcement detailing this iteration of TAB’s lineup and you’d have to be jaded not to feel some curiosity as to what these gigs will produce. Joining Anastasio for the tour are TAB mainstays in Natalie Cressman, Jennifer Hartswick, Russ Lawton, Tony Markellis and Ray Paczkowski, the new face of James Casey from Lettuce (who will be replacing Russell Remington on tenor saxophone) and a dearly missed percussionist in Cyro Baptista.
Here’s a pre-tour breakdown of the stops TAB will make on their autumnal sprint.
October 18th, 2012: The Fillmore – Detroit, MI (Capacity: 2,200)
[Photo via Live Nation]
Kicking off their run in the Midwest with a return to the Motor City, the band will set up shop at the Fillmore. Previous TAB outings in the city were all located at different rooms, making this first stop one of four in the slated nine which the group has not played. Almost ninety years old, the building was a movie theater before renovation gave it new life as a highlight music destination in Detroit. The band will look to write a new history at this unassuming yet eclectic Live Nation venue.
October 19th, 2012: Chicago Theatre – Chicago, IL (Capacity: 3,600; SOLD OUT)
[via Chicago Theatre Facebook]
The first of two Madison Square Garden-owned theaters on the tour, the historic Chicago Theatre is also the largest on the list: it weighs in at a capacity of 3,600. Opened in 1921, the vaulted ceilings and iconic signage saw much downfall and neglect before recent revitalization efforts brought the venue back to prominence. TAB has graced the stage here three times, split between 2003 and 2006. Although this theater fits double what some of the other tour stops can, it remains the only show outside of New England to sell out in advance (as of yet). Don’t mistakenly think you’re at another symphony show when you view the impeccably lavish interior.
October 20th, 2012: LC Pavilion – Columbus, OH (Capacity: 2,400)
Trey Anastasio @ LC Pavilion 2011 – Harry Hood
Working their way east, the group will next stop in Ohio. This site was previously known as the PromoWest Pavilion way back in 2003 when Vida Blue played there. After the renaming, TAB performed at the newly dubbed LC only once, during their early months tour last year. Oddly enough, both the stop in 2011 and the upcoming show will have been during cold seasons. While the band will perform on the smaller inside stage, the choice of this ambidextrous indoor/outdoor LC seems somewhat of an out of place room for a chilly fall tour. Nevertheless, Ohio fans will not want to miss a show in this unusual venue.
October 22nd, 2012: Sherman Theater – Stroudsburg, PA (Capacity: 1,800)
Following the Midwest jaunt and a travel day, the band will head to the Northeast for a quick pause in Pennsylvania. The Sherman is fairly distanced from the urban centers of the state which TAB normally focuses on, and indeed neither they nor any other Trey outfit have ever performed there. Nevertheless, this follower receives the Sherman warmly, grasping every chance to forgo more typical Tower Theatre and Electric Factory shows. Those that make it to the newly reopened (2004) Sherman undeniably will enjoy the suburban environment and fall foliage of Stroudsburg.
October 23rd, 2012: The National – Richmond, VA (Capacity: 1,500)
[Photo courtesy of The National]
Moving suddenly down south for a brief stint before a complete 180, TAB will halt at the National, a room with both history and the advantage of a superbly fresh sound system on its side. Southern fans will likely forget the fact that they only received one true show this year after hearing a concert in this crisp-sounding space. The National is also the most intimate of the tour’s choices, fitting a mere 1,500 people. With four years separating their only previous performance here, locally grown excitement will no doubt be high for this tour midpoint.
October 24th, 2012: The Fillmore Silver Spring – Silver Spring, MD (Capacity: 2,000)
[Photo via Live Nation]
A turn back north will bring the band to another Fillmore, and another venue they have only played once before. Compared to others on this list, this location is fairly new. While it lacks in history, this Fillmore makes up for that in its simplistic style. The sleek edges of its interior design make for a room with great sightlines. The stage stretches out very widely, so be sure to avoid the tiny balcony to get a spot up close for this one.
October 26th, 2012: The Beacon Theatre – New York, NY (Capacity: 2,900; SOLD OUT)
[Photo by Adam Kaufman]
In Anastasio’s current backyard of New York City, the final sold out triad of northeast shows will begin, after another travel day, at the Beacon. This locale has a strong and recent connection to Trey and the material he will be supporting this fall. Last December, The National invited Anastasio to the stage during their show here. Additionally, the indie rockers went into the studio on Traveler. A literal national landmark known for its acoustics and premiere setting, the Beacon hosted Phish three times way back in 1994, although this October will mark TAB’s debut here.
October 27th, 2012: Orpheum Theatre – Boston, MA (Capacity: 2,700; SOLD OUT)
Trey Leads Percussion Parade Through Orpheum – 2006
Another storied TAB venue will come next in the Orpheum; they have played here four times dating back to 2001. This early show should be sought out by diehards for two reasons: it marks the debut of twelve original songs, and it is the first of TAB’s horn-assisted performances. If venue lore intrigues you, then you’ll want to choose this stop to cross off your list. Although many reconstructions are mixed in, the Orpheum has a connective history dating back to 1852. Somehow we think the crowds were different back then.
October 28th, 2012: The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY (Capacity: 1,800; SOLD OUT)
[Arena-Sized Light Show at The Cap]
The exclamatory final blowout of the tour could scarce take place at a richer locale. Originally a playhouse opened in 1926, the Capitol Theatre saw an influx famous acts (including Phish) as it operated as a concert hall from the 1970’s to 1990’s. After dissolving off the grid, it recently underwent upgrades from Brooklyn Bowl owner Peter Shapiro, and reopened with a new look, as well as new sound, just this year. Launching into the next decade of concerts, the Capitol hosted a recent and widely publicized show including, among others, The Roots, Bob Weir and Trey Anastasio. Losing no time in playing the glorious Capitol himself, Anastasio and TAB will round out their tour in Port Chester.
We cannot wait to see what these shows will produce. Tickets are still available for some stops on TAB’s eleven-day excursion.