Peakin’ at the Beacon with Trey: Week Four Recap

The anticipation leading up to the fourth week of Trey Anastasio’s Beacon Jams was at an all-time high as there was a palpable energy among fans online. Last week Trey Anastasio rearranged a beautiful rendition of “What’s The Use?” with the Rescue Squad string section and debuted “The Lizards” with TAB, proving that each installment of his virtual residency is not one to be missed. 

photo by Jake Silco

Trey kept that momentum in full swing this week and treated fans to another surprise intro. Earlier this summer Page McConnell and Trey recorded a few songs at Trey’s infamous barn in Vermont. Last week the duo shared a recording of Sigma Oasis’ Evening Song” as well as a personal message from Page congratulating Trey on the success of his residency thus far and especially the newly founded non-profit The Divided Sky Fund, which focuses on delivering quality care and compassionate treatment for those struggling from addiction. This week fans were treated to a recording of Trey and Page playing a tender stripped-down version of “Waste” at the barn before the broadcast. 

One of Trey’s many talents outside of playing music is his robust sense of humor and keen sense of the evolving culture among Phish fans. Before the music started, a video showed Trey alone inside an abandoned Madison Square Garden stuck on the same platform suspended in air from the 2019 New Year’s Eve stunt. 

Trey played his best Tom Hanks in Cast Away and as he lowered himself to the floor of the arena and started walking around. Trey found himself outside of section 119’s famous spicy chicken sandwiches and holding a plastic bag over his arm recreating a viral candid shot took by a fan of him inside a juice bar (Trey also recreated this exact scene on Halloween 2017 in Las Vegas with TAB). A barefoot Anastasio with long hair and a long beard, wearing his green jumpsuit from NYE, proceeded to walk from MSG to the Beacon where he sat in the audience as the camera panned to live time and the band was on stage. 

The band opened up with an instrumental jam based on John Murphy’s “In The House – In A Heartbeat” from the horror film 28 Days Later before moving into “Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S.” There were several highlights from this week of the Beacon Jams including a stellar version of “Gumbo,” the first “Quantegy” since May of 2005, and a rousing two-song punch of “My Friend, My Friend” > “Guyute” with the Rescue Squad strings and pianist Jeff Tanski. At the end of “Guyute,” Trey also recited Vincent Price’s narration from Michal Jackson’s “Thriller” since this was the eve before Halloween. 

The conclusion of the fourth week of Trey’s virtual residency marks half way through the run and an astonishing 75 total songs played thus far without a single repeat. The energy, thoughtfulness, precision on stage, playful chemistry, and choice song selection makes this run eerily similar to Phish’s iconic Baker’s Dozen residency at Madison Square Garden in 2017. Fans are encouraged to donate to The Divided Sky Fund if they can. Trey and company will continue the Beacon Jams next Friday on his personal Twitch channel. 

trey beacon
photo by Jake Silco

Trey Anastasio, Beacon Theatre, October 30, 2020

Setlist via 

In the House – In a Heartbeat [1] -> Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S., Quantegy, Snowflakes in the Sand [2], Mountains in the Mist[2], Heavy Things > Breath and Burning [3], Gumbo [4] > Lonely Trip [5], Pigtail, My Problem Right There, Till We Meet Again [6], My Friend, My Friend [7], Guyute [8], More[6], Frost [9], Alaska, Bounce > Bug > Architect

[1] TAB debut.
[2] Trey solo acoustic.
[3] Full TAB debut. Lyrics changed to “rage on the Beacon stage.”
[4] Full TAB debut.
[5] Debut.
[6] Just Trey on acoustic guitar and the Rescue Squad Strings.
[7] Just Trey on acoustic guitar and the Rescue Squad Strings and Jeff Tanski on piano. No “MYFE” ending.
[8] Just Trey on acoustic guitar and the Rescue Squad Strings and Jeff Tanski on piano. Trey quoted some of Vincent Price’s lines from Thriller.
[9] With The Rescue Squad Strings.

This performance was part of The Beacon Jams series and began with a video of Trey finally escaping from his riser from Phish’s December 31, 2019 concert at Madison Square Garden and making it to the Beacon Theater to watch the himself and his band playing the TAB debut of In the House – In a Heartbeat before they segued into Say It To Me SA.N.T.O.S. This show marked the full TAB debuts of Breath and Burning and Gumbo and the debut of Lonely Trip. Ray teased Happy Birthday after wishing his mother a happy birthday. Quantegy was performed for the first time since May 3, 2005. Trey performed Snowflakes in the Sand and Mountains in the Mist solo acoustic. The lyrics of Breath and Burning were changed to “rage on the Beacon stage.” Trey quoted If I Had A Hammer (The Hammer Song) after Pigtail. Til We Meet Again through Frost were performed with The Rescue Squad Strings (Katie Kresek and Maxim Moston on violin, Rachel Golub on viola, and Anja Wood on cello) and with Til We Meet Again and More featuring just Trey on acoustic guitar and My Friend My Friend and Guyute just Trey on acoustic guitar and Jeff Tanski on piano. My Friend My Friend did not contain the “MYFE” ending. Guyute included Trey quoting some of Vincent Price’s lines from Thriller.

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