The Way I Feel
Original Artist: Trey Anastasio
Albums: One Man's Trash
Historian: Tim Wade (TheEmu)
Last Update: 2012-11-25
Unlike many of Trey’s early Phish compositions, ”The Way I Feel” isn’t a series of complex musical ideas that form a progressive rock epic; it is a song distilled to its essence, a foundation from which licks spring naturally. Like many TAB songs, “The Way I Feel” is primarily a bed for improvisation, with the rhythm section and a single, looped guitar note keeping time and allowing Trey room to riff as he sees fit. The origins of the song go at least as far back as the summer of 1998, when Mike began employing the bass line from C + C Music Factory’s “Things That Make You Go Hmmm...” both during shows (for example, 7/9/98 and 7/19/98) and as a soundcheck jam in Portland Meadows (7/15/98, released as an iTunes-only bonus track with Live Phish 17). While Mike would later cover the Clivillés and Cole song in his solo performances, Trey would appropriate the bass line in creating “The Way I Feel” for his first solo album.
Most of the earlier performances feature subdued, sparse phrasing, but there are notable exceptions. The 12/30/06 version at The House of Blues in Atlantic City was alive with shenanigans, including an “Auld Lang Syne” tease, a talk box vocal jam, a parade, and a Cyro Baptista “evil nitrous tank” solo. The most electric version of the song, though, may be the 5/31/03 dueling shred-fest between Trey and Carlos Santana at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco, which was included as a bonus track on the DVD release of the show. “The Way I Feel,” while not a regular in the rotation, continues to make occasional appearances in TAB setlists. Recent performances, though, are less Trey-focused, allowing more space for improvisation from the horn section.