Trey Anastasio @ The National – October 23
Words: David Paul Kleinman
I went to hear Phish at Alpine Valley in ‘96 because of a sorority girl who had a certain way of popping her chest in and out during I Didn’t Know. I went to hear Phish at Deer Creek in ‘98 because God told me the band would open with Rhinoceros. I went to hear Medeski Martin & Wood play at the Symphony Center in Chicago in ‘01 because I knew Chris Wood would cause the building to levitate with one booming C. I think he woke the ghost of Stravinsky, who floated over to Russian Tea Time for a vodka. I went to hear Danny Barnes play at the Taphouse in Hampton, Vir. because banjotronics are better than indoor plumbing and air conditioning. I went to hear the orchestral debut of Time Turns Elastic in Nashville in ‘08 because I really had to pee.
[Photo via @RoughSax]
All kidding aside: why do we go hear live music? Cretans will tell you the answer is subjective, but as you know, you can’t trust a Cretan. Is there a singular, objective reason for hearing live music? Is there an objective reason for music? Yes, yes there is. We go to hear live music to reconnect with our ancestors who lived in Ethiopia four million years ago. We hear live music so we can travel back in time and see the wide open African sky and hear the holy drums beating the rhythm of all gods. We hear live music to worship the simplest aspects of ourselves. We hear live music for the pure, uncut source of energy.
That is why I went to hear Trey Anastasio with a new-and-improved TAB in Richmond last night, a show that was about sixty miles from my house, which put me in bed next to my wife at 1:30 for a 6:20 alarm. Several times last night I was transported away from the tightly-packed floor to some other place, the other place. Last Tube, Money, Love, and Change, The Land of Nod, Push on ‘Til the Day and Simple Twist Up Dave were as rapturous and beatific and shreddelicious as anything Phish has done this year. I was especially taken by the newer songs, Scabbard and Frost. Tunes I may have not liked so much when I heard them off of Traveler.
TAB’s new multi-instrumentalist, James Casey, stole the show twice: once on saxophone during Burlap Sack and Pumps and once as a dainty model when he came out for the encore wearing Natalie “Chainsaw” Cressman’s tight San Francisco Giants wife-beater. Apparently, he lost a bet. If you’re reading this, chances are you love live music; in which case, you should catch this version of TAB before it is too late.