On Friday, April 14, the hallowed halls of The Capitol Theatre welcomed a sold-out crowd for the first of two nights there for the start of Trey Anastasio’s solo tour. The magnificent sound and history of The Cap made it the perfect setting for a tour opener, not to mention a diverse setlist composed of Anastasio and Phish tunes along with a few debuts and covers.
Set 1 opened with bassist Tony Markellis setting the pace on “Sand” and Anastasio quickly found his mark, clearly showing his excitement to be on the stage with his long-time solo act bandmates. With plenty of improv intertwined in the songs, the set carried on with TAB staples and closed with a funky version of “Gotta Jiboo.” The band made a few debuts and covers in the first set to the delight of the crowd. An original new tune written by Anastasio and Tom Marshall “This Crazy World I Know” made its debut as did a cover of Portugal. The Man’s brand new single “Feel It Still” off of that band’s yet-to-be-released album Woodstock, expected some time this year. Included in the Set 1 covers mix were TAB’s interpretation of George Harrison’s “What Is Life,” Bob Marley’s “Soul Rebel,” and by audience request, Toots and The Maytal’s “Sweet and Dandy.”
The second set was much looser and groovier with a greater focus on opening the songs up to feature improvisation from everyone on stage, including an impromptu moment with Cyro Baptista getting goofy on percussion. It opened with the salsa-inspired “Curlews Call” and “Night Speaks To A Woman” before getting to the first of two songs in the set from Paper Wheels, “Liquid Time.” Ray Paczkowski’s keyboard introduced “Alaska,” a tune introduced by Anastasio in 2008 prior to Phish’s reunion and reminiscent in feel to a faster version of the Grateful Dead’s “Tennessee Jed.” Things got funkier as “Simple Twist Up Dave” came around with the slow groove of “Windora Bug” following, featuring Markellis on vocals. Speaking of vocals, Jennifer Hartswick had the theatre roaring after her performance on the band’s cover of Gorillaz’ “Clint Eastwood” and again on their take on Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused” to close the set.
After closing the second set with a high-energy and powerful performance of “Dazed and Confused,” the band returned for an encore starting with another debut. The traditional Irish tune with roots in 17th century Scotland, “The Parting Glass,” was a pleasant surprise to hear. The a cappella rendition was led by Anastasio on the first verse, complimented with beautiful harmonies from Casey, Hartswick, and Cressman. Anastasio and his band blazed the end of the show with “Push On Til The Day” with the horns bringing out their inner Tower of Power to add a punch to the song.
Night One Setlist, 4/14/2017:
Set 1: Sand, Mozambique, Cayman Review, What Is Life, This Crazy World I Know, Sweet And Dandy, Speak to Me, Pigtail, Feel It Still, Valentine, Soul Rebel, Gotta Jibboo
Set 2: Curlews Call, Night Speaks To A Woman, Liquid Time, 49 Bye Byes, Alaska, Heavy Things, Simple Twist Up Dave, Windora Bug, Shine, Clint Eastwood, Dazed and Confused
Encore: The Parting Glass, Push On Til The Day
Night Two Setlist, 4/15/2017:
Set One: Drifting, Magilla, Sometime After Sunset, Alive Again, O-o-h Child, 1977, It Makes No Difference, Small Axe, Last Tube, Lever Boy, Bounce
Set Two: Money Love & Change, The Way I Feel, Tuesday, Ocelot, Goodbye Head, Architect, The Devil Went Down To Georgia, MacArthur Park, Ether Sunday, First Tube
Encore: Black Dog