Trey Anastasio Brings Music Back To SPAC For The First Time Since 2019
Trey Anastasio kicked off Saratoga Performing Arts Center’s summer concert series Friday, June 18th being the first artist to play music on the historic stage since 2019. With much anticipation leading up to the show, Anastasio’s presence put smiles and tears of joy on people’s faces and had everyone singing along the whole night. This was the first of three nights he will be performing in Saratoga Springs, NY. All acoustic with a nice addition of the “Rescue Squad” strings and Jeff Tansky on piano.
Phish‘s front man received a standing ovation upon walking on stage and immediately kicked it into high gear with fan favorite “Wilson.” This was a great selection since it allowed fans to chant along to the song. After a few songs in, Anastasio brought the Rescue Squad Strings and Jeff Tansky on stage to perform renditions of Phish’s “Stash” and “Water in the Sky.” Not only was it great to hear acoustic takes of these songs, the structure of the compositions was performed in a different way than normal providing a fresh feel to them. This was apparent during “Back on the Train” with a bluesy riff that Anastasio played throughout the song.
Anastasio performed one long set that ran over two hours, with fans guessing what he’d play next, it was time for “Sigma Oasis,” a song from Phish’s latest album. With the lyrics being very relatable to the pandemic(without relating at all), everyone finally got their chance to sing “Take off, take off, take off your mask, the fear’s an illusion, so don’t even ask.” Next, it was time for another classic “Theme From the Bottom” which was followed by a heart-felt version of “Shade” featuring Jeff Tansky back on piano.
It was great to see the joy on Trey Anastasio’s face throughout the performance as he giggled his way through saying “I can’t believe this is happening” multiple times. It seemed apparent that he missed his fans and being on a stage collectively with other musicians. At his acoustic performances, there is an opportunity for storytelling, taking chances and different renditions of already incredible songs.
Making his way through the set, Anastasio played favorites such as “Fluffhead,” “Turtle in the Clouds,” “Maze” and plenty more. Before walking off stage he pulled on the crowds heart strings with “Joy” and made us feel good about “Harry Hood.” “Big Red” came back on stage for a two song encore playing “More” and “First Tube” which featured the Rescue Squad Strings along with Jeff Tansky. It was cool to see him hold up his acoustic guitar just like he would at the end of the song with Phish and Trey Anastasio Band.
Anastasio plays two more nights at the Saratoga Performing Art’s Center and then makes his way to the Beacon Theatre in New York, NY for a two night acoustic performance. In July, he is back on the road with Phish for a summer tour opener in Rogers, AR on July 28th. Check out photos and the setlist from his performance from Saratoga Springs, NY below:
Courtesy of Phish.net
SET 1: Wilson , Alive Again, Stash , Water in the Sky , Lost in the Pack, Back on the Train, Sample in a Jar, Sigma Oasis, Theme From the Bottom, Shade , Fluffhead, Mercury, The Inlaw Josie Wales, Turtle in the Clouds, Maze, Snowflakes in the Sand, Everything’s Right , Split Open and Melt , Joy, Harry Hood
ENCORE: More, First Tube
 Trey on acoustic guitar.
 Trey on acoustic guitar; with the Rescue Squad Strings and Jeff Tansky on piano. First acoustic performance.
 Trey on acoustic guitar; with the Rescue Squad Strings and Jeff Tansky on piano.
 Trey on acoustic guitar; with Jeff Tansky on piano.
 Trey on acoustic guitar. Started and stopped before being played in full.
 Trey on acoustic guitar; with Jeff Tansky on piano. First acoustic performance.