Travelling Song

Originally Performed ByTrey Anastasio
MusicPeter Apfelbaum
Last Update2011-10-04


Fall Tour ‘02 was a strange period for TAB. The previous summer they embarked on a month-long tour, hitting most major U.S. markets. By all indications, the tour was a success both musically and commercially. Trey had continued to write new material and TAB was able to begin varying their setlists, while simultaneously plumbing the depths of songs like “Mr. Completely,” “Push On ‘Till the Day” and “Last Tube.” So it didn’t necessarily seem odd when the band announced a relatively short nine show east coast tour that largely eschewed the big cities. Perhaps the band wanted to take a step back and work out some new material without the pressure that accompanies shows at venues like Radio City or Bonnaroo. 

Whatever Trey’s plans were, they couldn’t help but be impacted by the announcement (in which he, of course, played a significant part) in August ‘02 that Phish’s hiatus had come to an end. The 12/31/02 show is rivaled only by 3/6/09 as the hardest ticket in Phish history. More than that, the return of Phish meant that Trey could play their entire tour naked in Times Square and still fly under the radar.

So maybe it’s not quite the paradox it seems that Trey would introduce six new originals on the brief Fall ‘02 tour, but nearly all of them would get lost in the shuffle. Among these debuts was “Travelling Song.” Written by Peter Apfelbaum, the song debuted on 10/24/02 and was dedicated “to anyone travelling on to the next show.” This instrumental consists of three basic sections. The first is a melancholy melody that seems like it could have been played at The Last Waltz. Then, the song shifts gears (travels, if you will) into an almost an almost “Mango”-esque, calypso groove before returning again to the initial theme. The song was played at four of nine Fall ‘02 shows, but has not been heard from since. Versions of “Travelling Song” offer minimal variation, so which version you prefer probably depends predominantly on its placement. Luckily, “Travelling Song” has appeared in the first set (10/28/02 and 11/2/02), closed the second set (10/26/02) and appeared as an encore (10/24/02). Pick your favorite!

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