Rewind: Trey Anastasio Band - Halloween 2002

Folks, I haven't archived a single article for almost a year now and my apologies. The Phreshwater team, although dispersed countrywide, are grooving right along in life. I've been putting serious thought into going back into the water full force either web or print or both. What do you think of that? Drop a line and let me know what you think! Here's one from the deep pool of articles that took place 2 years ago on Halloween night in Ashe-Vegas... by yours truly. I hope you are all doing well - we're not dead yet!

Trey Anastasio Band - A Bag Full of Tricks and Treats! 10.31.02

The chill of autumn winds stirred steadily in downtown Asheville NC bringing the Halloween crowd into the proper spirit. Phans gathered merrily outside the Asheville Civic Center costumed and lubricated with microbrew and goo-balls. Even the Asheville Police Department was rather bubbly for a ghoulish evening, which could be attributed to the positive mass consciousness that was brewing outside the doors for this general admission show.

Just before the first set the crowd was really amped. We were all treated to a full on costume show that was highlighted by a small raucous parade of cartoon heroes: The Incredible Hulk, Wonder Woman, Velma, Scooby-Doo, and Elvis all dancing in a train around the civic center. There were at least 3 Bucketheads, 2 Evil Knevil's, and some dude dressed up as a lawn chair with green patio carpet draped over him with his head protruding from the seat!

The first set kicked off with a screaming version of 'Night Speaks To A Woman' and if a minute passed it could have been an hour! You could tell Trey was loose, relaxed, and ready for a long night. The band was just getting warmed up through 'Mozambique', 'The way I feel', and 'Curluse Call' (?) the entire crowd pulsating and leaping everywhere you could see. Trey conducted the band and entire musical experience like Frank Lloyd Wright, designing architectural masterpieces right before your eyes with hand signals, telepathy, and numerous contortions. The set rounded out with an insane run of 'Olivia'> 'Windora Bug '> 'Tops Off' where Trey encouraged the screaming crowd by taking off his shirt and swinging it madly in the air which resulted in a whirling crowd fresco of t-shirts, hats, and even a few breasts poking up and out for some fresh air! But the set STILL wasn't through! The 'Tops Off' pep-rally incited the band into 'Chapeau Mauve' (?), a stellar rendition of 'Ether Sunday', and closed the set with 'Last Tube'. I thought for a brief moment that there would be no intermission and we would just dance until sunrise! All I can say is 'WOW!'

The second set got whipped up in similar fashion with 'Money, Love, and Change'> (Killer unknown Jam)> Drifting > Gazebo. Jennifer Hartswick was just beaming all night while cutting staccato trumpet riffs and singing her ass off! the entire rhythm section's performance is beyond my ability to describe how tight they held it all together with Cyro Baptsita crazily pounding his tower of timbales and birdcalls to boot. Trey just kept giving sporadic doses of guitar prodigy throughout the night and into 'Sultans of Swing'. The encore, 'Push on til the day', was equally impressive and I seriously thought it might never stop when Trey went into a barrage of feedback trickery with sonic screams and overdrive auditory meltdowns to the rabid delight of everyone present! And then, like Nikola Tesla resurrected on stage, Trey captured the sonic feedback into a ball of tangible energy and tossed this imaginary sphere of sound into the crowd where it was 'tossed' back into his hands and then 'passed' around to the band members on stage! It was a great ending that was impressive to all my senses.

This was a show that I will never forget. It was non-stop excitement and high energy musicianship from every angle. Trey Anastasio looked and appeared like he is ready and prime for the upcoming Phish events with full confidence and evergy. What an amazing Halloween!

Review: S. Remington