After 35 years together, Trey Anastasio and his band Phish remain just as dedicated to invention as ever, constantly writing new material, always developing new styles and sounds, and consistently delivering original, soulful improvisation every single night they play. Never content to get too comfortable, last year, guitarist Anastasio began doing solo acoustic shows in addition to Phish’s regular touring schedule.
On these more intimate occasions, he fills the void left by extensive jams with funny, oftentimes heartfelt, anecdotes. On December 5, Anastasio regaled his rapt Granada Theatre audience with song histories, childhood memories, and the curiosities of horse anatomy.
He joked of his lifelong “addiction to songwriting,” and his career-spanning set that night was a testament to his affliction. From old standards, such as “Cavern” and “Sample in a Jar,” to newer tunes, such as “Shade” and “Miss You,” Anastasio managed to touch on all eras of his long career.
Two songs that debuted just this past Halloween, “We Are Come to Outlive Our Brains” and “Turtle in the Clouds,” elicited enthusiastic sing-alongs, while “Steam” and “Ghost” were vehicles for inspired jamming. But the definite highlight of the night was when Anastasio seamlessly segued “Chalk Dust Torture” into “Harry Hood,” only to come out the other side again into “Chalk Dust Torture.”
The final song of the evening, “Lizards,” had everyone in the Granada standing and singing, joined in a chorus of voices, as Anastasio serenaded with one last guitar solo before sending the grateful crowd on their way.