TREY ANASTASIO BAND at OGDEN THEATRE | 1/29/14, NIGHT TWO The line to get inside the Ogden was even longer last night than the previous evening for the second of two shows from the Trey Anastasio Band. The wait was worth it, though. Once we all made it inside, we were treated to another night of great music. Jennifer Hartswick's voice stood out as one of the best instruments on stage. Like the night before, new songs were debuted on the set list filled with covers and older, familiar material.
The show kicked off in high-tempo, Latin beat flavor with quick instrumental "Mozambique," and the crowd was raring to go. The confident groove of "Spin" came next, as Hartswick sang her heart out, and each repeated measure made the sound grow a bit more. Trey Anastasio played a slow, bluesy number next, and his guitar tone was crunchy and dirty as he tore into the short piece with soulful gusto that had seemed a little held back the night before.
That energy from Anastasio was brought again to "Ice & Snow," with the slower tempo song speeding up until it reached a gorgeous peak full of high-speed fretwork. New song "Leverboy" came next, and the clean honky tonk piano combined with a country-tinged bop to the rhythm creating a simple upbeat tune that garnered extra attention from Natalie Cressman's French poetry reading during it. Just as with the night before, various crowd members hooted and hollered and fell a little bit more in love with her.
The funky, stompy beat of "Land of Nod" got people dancing, which carried over into "Bounce," another new song that had a poppy, almost '60s variety hour feel to it. The crowd responded well to the new song, singing along and punching fists in the sky at every repetition of the word "bounce!" The first set ended with a rousing rendition of "Night Speaks to a Woman," with Anastasio and the horn section trading off screaming notes with each other until they reached their peak.
"Alive Again" kicked off the second set, and James Casey laid down some huge whale sounds from his bass saxophone (that thing is giant!). An unfamiliar about "skinny little legs" was next, and the clavinet got downright psychedelic near the end. Anastasio executed some gorgeous, smooth, jazzy lines in "Simple Twist Up Dave," and played some weird warped sounding "Fluff's Travels" like notes in the great composition "Goodbye Head." "Show of Life" was played with a faster-paced tempo than you see at a Phish show, giving the song a slightly less bittersweet feeling.
From here on, it was Hartswick's show. Throwing as much soul as Roberta Flack into the vocals of the Gorillaz number "Clint Eastwood," she instantly grabbed everyone's attention and held it through a very energetic "Push On Til The Day." As the band came out for encore, the familiar intro to Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" blew the roof off, and while Anastasio is always on fire playing Led Zeppelin, it was Hartswick's massive, goose-bump inducing voice that dominated and blew everyone away.
Personal Bias: My favorite few seconds of music were the ambient outro of "Simple Twist Up Dave". Random Detail: Some guy tried to bribe the lady that checks your ID to get in to the sold out show. She told him "You'd have to bribe me and the ticket scanner, son. I just put on the wristbands." By the Way: Anastasio and company lost the audience's attention during the slow songs, or as people were complaining at the show "the church songs."