Trey Anastasio Band, The Paramount, Seattle, 5/21/2002

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Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2002 18:00:32 -0400 
From: "Meryman, Joshua M [PVTC]" joshua.m.meryman@rssmb.com
Subject: Seattle review

The Seattle premier of the "Trey show" was a good start, great introduction
to the Trey way and musically satisfying! Being Trey's first trip to Seattle
since the '97 Key Arena Phish show, besides a short trip with a no name band
with no name members called "Oyster-something" (just kidding, great show
also), I was very interested to see what he could do within the illustrious
confines of the Paramount Theatre. Contrary to previous allusions, since
it's renovation 4-5 years ago, the open floor of the Paramount is
constructed by removing the floor and seats normally scaling down to the
stage. If you came late you were certainly behind a large crowd of dancing,
grooving ex(or at least on hiatus)Phishheads. Uncharacteristically, Trey was
basically on time, arriving on stage at 7:30 on the dot (or 1/2 hour exactly
from ticket start time).  
The show got off to a raucaus start with a jammin rendition of "Money, Love
and Change" with Jennifer belting out background (and sometimes dueting)
vocals. Indeed, at the very start of the groove/jam, I was feeling a little
phishy although with a twist of the new territory explored on the studio
album (TA). I'm sure the lights helped to bring about the euPHoria! Alive
again followed (after 10 or so minutes of the opener) and although after
hearing it on the radio and deciding it to be a great outdoor tune, I was
pleasantly surprised by the interplay of the horns outdoing the album
arrangement. Having not seen the previous incarnation of the traveling
Treys, since he would not venture more northwesterly in years prior, a few
unknowns to me rolled on - the most memorable being Pebbles and Marbles
(actually a phan request from the back of the floor between songs) as it
sounded like a cross between something from Quadrophenia and Talking Heads
if that makes any sense :-).....
The inevitable Push on 'til the day, now several years old as Trey and
friends performed this on Conan en route to the first Trey tour, did build
to an energizing climax to end the set.
I was hoping the 2nd set would rock with a few covers (Oooh Child?) and
maybe a little Jiboo but alas it did not. Exciting it was, but better than
the first set I must deny. Interesting to hear First and Last Tube in the
same set though! Night speaks to a Woman rocked, seriously, and Ether Sunday
- although short - was still sweet and very moving. I was waiting for
something like that. I bet, had it been a Phish tune whether album tested or
only live would definitely be a Phan Phavorite by now! Encore was only one
lousy instrumental, At the Gazebo, but did calm the crowd down after a very
entertaining and soothing suedoPhishmusic evening. My lasting impression -
Trey singing over and over to the crowd during Alive Again............."the
time has come for you to feel alive again!".......

Josh in Seattle
Josh Meryman

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Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 09:52:59 -0700 From: Aaron Braganza a_dog333@hotmail.com Subject: Trey Concert Review at the Paramount, Seattle Here's my review of Trey's show last night - it was great! >>> Trey Anastasio Band, The Paramount, Seattle, 5/21/2002 We arrived at the show a bit late, "Alive Again" was finishing as we walked in the doors. Regarding the venue, "The Paramount", it is not my favorite place to see a festive show like this. Security is very anal, it is almost impossible to buy a drink (even water), and the main floor, which goes OVER the seats which normally fill the lower level, and under the massive balcony, doesn't work very well. We were sitting nearly front and center in the balcony, which in my opinion is a lot better than the floor unless you're willing to go all-out to get close to the stage. I had hoped to grab a drink or two before the show, But the band was already on and the lines to the bar were long. This would have been a bummer, but even beforee we got to our seats I was getting caught up in the energy of the show. Beautiful, friendly, happy people everywhere - gotta love a Trey crowd. Halfway through the second song we got to our seats. Not sure what this song was - I was pretty caught up in taking in the scene visually. Trey was dead center on the stage, where an orchestra conductor would be, which was appropriate because much of his time was spent with his back to us as he directed the band. Arrayed around him in a semi-circle, from left to right, were the horns, bass, drums, percussion, and keys. CK had the lights going, and the crowd was up and animated. The music didn't really start to hit me until the 3rd song, "Pebbles and Marbles", which was awesome. No soloing, but just a beautiful, powerful song. At this point the crowd was just loving it. Instantly, all questions were answered and all doubts put to rest. This is a band worth going on the road with. Other highlights from the first set were "Burlap Sack and Pumps" and "Push on 'Til the day". The horns are great. The songs will be grooving along and then the horns come in and just push the energy level through the roof. This music HITS you. The band is tight as Hell, and Trey was obviously having fun playing with his new toy. He had the band in a continuous, controlled frenzy, and by the time "Push on 'Til the Day" ended, the battle was over, the crowd was won. The second set didn't flow quite as well as the first. I think Trey got a little caught up in direction - during "Last Tube" (which rocked overall) Trey shut the band on and off, almost like switching on and off a light" 5 or six times. Although it was an impressive display of how tight and focused the band is - they always hit it right on - it kind of disrupted the flow a bit, in my opinion. Maybe Trey is still figuring out what he can do with the band, what works and what doesn't, and what makes musical sense. On the plus side, Jennifer Hartswick^s singing was excellent. As far as Trey's soloing, it was great, but restrained. He didn't do it as often, or as long, and didn't go out as many tangents as Phishheads are used to. Another thing is that with a 9 (soon to be 10) piece band, there as a whole lot more sound for Trey to merge with, and at times it was hard to pick him out from the tidal wave of sound that's coming at you. Not to say that it's a good thing or a bad thing - just different. The last time I saw Trey was at the Oysterhead show here, when Trey was anywhere and everywhere. Last night, he was picking his spots a lot more. The 2nd set closer was "First Tube", which was bordered on mind blowing. In fact, if it hadn't been a Tuesday night, and I hadn't been completely sober, it probably would have been. The encore was "At the Gazebo", which was really gorgeous. There is a different kind of emotion in these songs relative to Phish. It's less ambiguous; more "human". The crowd really wanted one more jam but alas, we didn't get it. As we left the venue, I could be hear people around me humming and whistling horn licks. Overall the band and the show were great. They're already completely rippin', and it's obvious that there is a lot more potential to be tapped once they get a bit more comfortable. I'm extremely excited to see some more shows (I will be at Angel's camp and Vegas), and I would advise everyone not to miss these guys.
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