Original Artist: Trey Anastasio
Original Album: One Man's Trash (1998)
Albums: One Man's Trash
Historian: Tim Wade (TheEmu)
Last Update: 2011-11-08
The second track on 1998’s One Man’s Trash, “Quantegy,” is in its album form essentially a creeping bass line with light guitar and drum accompaniment, overlaid with trippy effects. “Quantegy” seems to be a Trey-invented word (although there is a company by that name which produces commercial recording tape) whose definition is ambiguous. Fortunately, the lyrics provide a hint: “immaterial to replace material.” The studio version, clocking in at just less than three minutes, seems more like a lead-in to “Mr. Completely” than a stand-alone song.
In live performances, though, “Quantegy” gradually became a ten-minute detour into psychedelic improvisational space. Early performances are centered on Trey’s licks, with the keyboards and horns adding color – visit the 7/4/01 debut or 7/17/01 Red Rocks for early examples. By the end of TAB’s summer 2001 tour the song had become less structured, with the horns playing a larger role and the rhythm section serving as a tether to keep the band from drifting off into a formless musical nebula. This quantegenic evolution is apparent in the song’s two 2002 performances, on 6/16/02 (with Fishman sitting in on drums) and 11/2/02.
To date, though, “Quantegy” has made only one other appearance, on 5/3/05 with the 70 Volt Parade lineup. Reversing the trend of spacious exploration, this hornless version instead featured a buildup to a ferocious Trey supernova shred explosion, and sent “Quantegy” out of the rotation with a big bang.