This entire show was performed by Trey solo acoustic. Trey walked off the stage while the crowd was still singing along to Bathtub Gin and played the final notes of Gin when he returned for the encore.

Show Reviews

, attached to 2019-10-23

Review by Pinhead_Larry

Pinhead_Larry Canton Palace Theater. Upon learning Trey was coming to NE Ohio, I thought for sure he'd be playing somewhere in Cleveland's famed Playhouse Square. But Canton seemed like an odd stop for the chief singer-songwriter of a band that has consistently sold out MSG. Though, in hindsight, Trey is all about odd stops. He is, after all, 1/4 of the band that can, and did convince 75,000 fans to trek out to middle-of-nowhere upstate New York, Maine, and Florida (in that order). Simply put, the Canton Palace Theater simply makes sense for a Trey Anastasio concert.

Downtown Canton (as it's labeled by city-ordinance; it's really more of a 5x5 block town square) seemed much larger than what it really was that night. The Palace Theater is clearly the city's center-piece in all its Victorian beauty; the marquee still yearning for its Vaudevillian roots. It really is a pristine building; the interior has perhaps been renovated, but never wrongfully updated. Just walking through the building is an experience itself. Everything from the wide staircases, the texture of the walls, the restrooms (aptly labeled "powder rooms") the ceiling decor, the chandeliers, and the real theater seats (as opposed to the loungers that many mainstream movie theaters have).
The excess of American entertainment of nearly a century ago is still alive in that marvelous beast.

I can't speak too much on each individual song of the concert as there were so many. I do recall some highlights, but honestly, the concert felt like it was more than just a bunch of songs and some highlights. It truly was a unique experience that you simply can't get from Phish now, or anytime back until maybe 1988. The banter, of course, was its own highlight. Since the theater has a capacity of 1,500, and because even the furthest seats still had a decent view, the show felt very intimate. The crowd was conversing with Trey multiple times (even so much as to egg him to play Fee), and Trey (to his credit) obliged and acknowledged the crowd. This will be the closest I'll ever experience to watching Trey practice in his living room.

Beyond all of that and everything else stated, the show simply rocked. I mean, in all sincerity, it was a great time. I went in completely open minded having never listened to a solo Trey show before. I was surprised to hear songs like Ghost* and Chalkdust, and even more surprised when I saw the pedalboard. But with those tools, Trey really makes himself a one-man band and then songs like the aforementioned two make sense. Trey even seemed to use the audience as an instrument as well. See Bathtub Gin where he plays rhythm and we all played the melody. Of course, the traditional acoustic songs were also joy. Mountains in the Mist, being my favorite Phish ballad, made my night, and Inlaw Josie Whales (nailed almost perfectly) were the cherry on top for me.

I can't say for sure if the show will hold up well on tape. But that's okay for me if it doesn't because it really is something you have to be there for to appreciate. Of course, the recordings will do if you can't make it. But if you can and have the means, then make it priority to do so. Go for the stories, go for the intimacy, but if nothing else, go because you get to see the man behind the band where he's most comfortable: playing music for friends where there isn't any pressure to put on a life-changing concert.

And in that sense, it works really well.

*Ghost was surprisingly appropriate at the Palace theater as well, as the theater hosts semi-regular ghost hunts in honor (or in spite) of the theater's original organist, gunned down by a mob boss in 1930 in the theater basement. The drury and melancholic sentiment of the Ghost jam could summon spirits eternally lost and taken too soon.
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