Dennis Cook on Trey Anastasio’s Warfield (night #1)

Believe me, I’m all for not talking about Trey Anastasio right now. I skipped the show in Dekalb for a reason, even considering that I would have liked to have seen Tea Leaf Green for the first time. I’m sure anyone reading this blog knows (and some have mentioned) that we write about Phish a lot. And, obviously, that means we’ve done a hell of a lot of writing about Trey Anastasio. A lot, and in hindsight, probably a lot more than I actually would have liked to have published.

At any rate, I’ve had plenty of mixed feelings lately about what I keep reading about Trey, Shine, 70 Volt Parade, Skeeto, whatever. This latest show review from last weekend’s Warfield outburst/Grateful Dead jam session definitely struck me in a few spots. Good stuff.

Unfortunately, in a world where My Morning Jacket and the Mars Volta are blowing minds nightly, it’s hard to regard Trey as anything but what he is presently – a middle-of-the-road legend coasting on his rep while trying to get into the mainstream.

I seriously have to agree with that right now. He gets all pissed at people when he gets shit on while being the posterboy for the drug-induced Phish breakup, and yet he’s still doing crazy interviews and AIM chat sessions. I don’t see Mike Gordon talking about it. I know Page has declined interviews. I just have to agree with this one right now, and maybe it’s because I didn’t see this latest tour. It just seems to me that this is so clearly another case of The Police -> Sting situation that I’d hate to see happen to any other group I’ve held so dear.

Hall is the weak link here. His playing might be described as so subtle as to be absent much of the time. I kept trying to figure out what he was adding to the mix and frequently found myself scratching my head.

I felt the same way when I saw Trey and 70VP at Northerly Island in Chicago.

How good is this new drug Trey is offering? Not that good really. When the first things that come to mind about a band are stamina and confidence, not emotional content or musical inspiration, it’s not a positive sign.

Yeah, very well-said if you ask me. That’s a very good point.

Again, good stuff. I was glad to see that he wasn’t filled with the same optimism that a lot of other people are about this, especially considering the quality of the music Trey’s putting out right now.

Read the whole review here.