Last summer, Trey Anastasio tidied up his affairs with Phish and moved on after they played their last show in the farmlands of Vermont. Thursday night, he began his solo tour in Boston, revealing a song-based, deliberate side of his character rather than the madder and crazier jams with Phish.
Anastasio rocked a sold-out crowd of 5,000 at the
The songs have a more mainstream flavor than much of his Phish output, but there's nothing wrong with being more radio-friendly. Thursday night's show really felt like a whole new ballgame, unified by Anastasio's remarkably lyrical guitar picking, which is the one big carry-over.
And he received an ample boost from his band, 70 Volt Parade, which featured two strong, R&B-influenced female singers (Jennifer Hartswick and Christina Durfee) and was a fluid ensemble that could merge two keyboards or two guitars in a song alongside the durably funky bass of New Orleans great Tony Hall.
Anastasio also dipped into his earlier solo albums for such tracks as the easy-skanking ''Cayman Review," the trance-psychedelic ''Drifting," and the over-the-top ''Mr. Completely."
Opener Matisyahu is a Hasidic reggae singer who captivated with his ability to switch from roots vocals to dancehall rapping, while also displaying electric showmanship. He's definitely someone to catch next time around.