Next came a fairly brief story from Trey explaining his involvement with orchestral ensembles. He also profiled his arranger and gave the back story to TTE. Here's where things fell off the rail a bit for me. I loved hearing this song in its natural setting, but the crowd became very distracting. It started slowly, but by the end of the song, hundreds of people had left their seats for the bathroom and beer lines before the end of the set. Some were making their entire row stand to let them pass, while others knocked cups and belongings loudly onto the floor. At the softest moments, you could hear boisterous, schwilly noise from the lobby much louder than the music. Trey even leaned into the orchestra to hear them better. Maybe I'm old or crotchety, but I was embarrassed and very distracted from the magic happening on the stage.
Guyute, now a fixture of Trey's orchestral shows, brought lots of smiles to the audience at the start of the second set. The crowd was WAY into Architect, much more than any time I have seen Phish or Trey play this song. It seemed to fit perfectly.
The biggest highlight for me was Petricor, the new Trey composition for orchestra. It contained elements similar to Guyute, TTE and Divided Sky, but also sounded like nothing he has ever done before. His composition showed massive growth and was very engaging and complex throughout. There were radically different tempos, dynamics, color and moods that flowed smoothly from one section to the next. There is great potential for a successful Phish crossover from Petricor, but that's for another day. When the piece ended, the entire crowd jumped to its feet and roared their approval. Petricor was a triumph in every sense of the word. I can't wait to hear it again.
The expected YEM took a very different path than other versions during the "vocal jam." After the jammy orchestral section, Trey chanted a haunting tune accompanied by the strings. The audience was mesmerized. H2O finished the night off well with the slow C+W version. We thanked the staff and headed out for a night cap.
If you haven't seen Trey with an orchestra before, do not hesitate. There is improv in the show and the fresh takes on old favorites is enough to cover the price of admission. Hopefully, you will get to hear Petrichor and have your concert taken to the next level. Thank you to the Portland Phil and everyone else involved in making Tuesday night so special.