Expectations Exceeded! when Trey Anastasio and his latest solo project catapulted into The Capitol Theatre. Blasting into "Cayman Review" and "Alive Again", Mr. Anastasio's precision, skill, passion, and musical savvy were present throughout 2 sets of original, invigorating arrangements.
A full band accompanied Mr. Anastasio, who appeared relaxed and genuinely enjoying the moment. His horn section with Russell Remington on sax, (Roy Paczkowski playing keyboards,) Jennifer Hartswick on trumpet, and Natalie Cressman rounding off things on trombone, provided a depth to what is already a musical force with momentum.
That is, tight, convoluted brass runs complimented and augmented Phish perennials such as "Sand" and "Alaska". Each song carried a fresh identity, a palpable energy not usually evident. In addition, "Heavy Things" segueing into "Sultans of Swing" cemented Mr. Anastasio's own virtuosity with the band burning blistering runs with an uncompromising rhythmic balance.
Again, newer material proved to be not only musically challenging, but "Scabbard" and "Magilla" gave the entire band ample opportunity to stretch and showcase individual talents. Ms. Hartswick commands the trumpet with assurance and crispness, also vocalizing heartfelt fire - being torched by her singeing range was indeed a pleasure.
Mr. Anastasio can afford to highlight his and his own solo band's talents in smaller, user friendly venues such as The Capitol Theatre. It is the perfect soundboard for a positive, intimate exchange between a musical master and his unwavering followers. If you missed this go round, be sure to be present next time he appears. Satisfying on all levels.