On Nov. 13, Trey Anastasio returned to the Beacon Theatre in New York City for the sixth edition of his livestream series ‘The Beacon Jams.’ This week’s show was highlighted by an opening interpretation of Phish’s “You Enjoy Myself.”
The personnel for this week’s show consisted of The Beacon Jams’ core band: Anastasio, bassist Tony Markellis, keyboardist Ray Paczkowski, drummer Russ Lawton and percussionist Cyro Baptista. In addition, the entire show featured backup vocalists Jennifer Hartswick, Celisse Henderson and Jo Lampert, who appeared during last week’s Ghosts of the Forest performance (Anastasio referred to them as Angels 3). Finally, both pianist Jeff Tanski and the Rescue Squad string quartet (Anja Wood, Rachel Golub, Katie Kresek and Maxim Moston) also joined in for a few tunes.
The aforementioned “You Enjoy Myself” began with just Anastasio, Tanski and the strings on stage, with the rest of the band and backup singers joining as the song went on. At the arrival of the song’s signature funky “drop,” the lyrics were changed to “boy, woman, god, shit,” fitting as the three backup singers sang the lyrics the first time through. The jam featured deft playing by Anastasio, before he and the backup singers participated in a closing vocal jam with some strings underneath.
After “The Silver Light” from Lonely Trip and “Winterqueen,” Anastasio noted someone in the chat who suggested the backup singers would “rage” a “The Moma Dance.” The band obliged, with Anastasio singing the part typically belonging to Phish drummer Jon Fishman. “The Moma Dance,” along with the following “Kill Devil Falls” and “Twenty Years Later,” were all full TAB debuts. “Twenty Years Later” was dedicated to lyricist Tom Marshall. Prior to “Kill Devil Falls,” Anastasio noted that Carmel Dean provided a good portion of the arrangements for the vocalists, as well as Raab Stevenson.
Anastasio then debuted “Mercy,” a song which he wrote just two weeks ago, which featured Tanski and the Rescue Squad Strings. The strings remained for “Light,” performed by TAB for the first time since October 2008, which, as Jambase noted in their recap, predates the Phish debut of the song.
The show featured the TAB debuts of “Joy” and “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing.” Later in the set, Anastasio led the band through another TAB debut: a pulsing version of “Tube,” which saw Paczkowski leading the jam on his organ. Anastasio and the Angels 3 provided vocal flourishes during the jam, with the guitarist quoting “She Blinded Me with Science.” After “Tube,” the band delivered an emotional rendition of “Billy Breathes,” which featured a wonderful vocal arrangement by Dean.
Next, Anastasio asked Hartswick if they could play an “oldie:” “Every Story Ends in Stone.” The guitarist noted that the band had not rehearsed the song. This was the first time Anastasio had played “ESEIS” since 2018, and it was his first performance with Hartswick since 2003. The trumpeter/vocalist was sans trumpet, so she expertly simulated her horn line with her voice. Next came the TAB debut “Bouncing Around the Room,” which saw the band struggle a bit with the precise and oddly timed ending. The TAB debuts rolled on with “Wading in the Velvet Sea,” before Trey opted for the Lonely Trip cut “Are You There Colleen?” Finally, the show closed with “Rise/Come Together.”
Anastasio returns to the Beacon Theatre stage next Friday, Nov. 20. Check out the setlist from last night below, via Phish.net. He also shared a pro-shot video of the “You Enjoy Myself.” Watch that below!
Nov. 13, 2020
The Beacon Theatre, New York, N.Y.
Set 1: You Enjoy Myself , The Silver Light, Winterqueen , The Moma Dance , Kill Devil Falls, Twenty Years Later, Mercy , Light , Summer of ’89 , Joy , A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing, Farmhouse, Tube, Billy Breathes, Every Story Ends in Stone, Bouncing Around the Room, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Are You There Colleen?  > Rise/Come Together
 Full TAB debut. Began with just Trey with The Rescue Squad Strings and Jeff Tanski on piano with the rest of the band and Jennifer Hartswick, Celisse Henderson, Jo Lampert joining in on vocals later. Lyrics changed to “boy, woman, god, shit.”
 Trey on acoustic guitar with the full band and singers.
 Full TAB debut.
 Debut; with The Rescue Squad Strings and Jeff Tanski on piano.
 With The Rescue Squad Strings.
 With just Trey on acoustic guitar and The Rescue Squad Strings.
 Full TAB debut; with The Rescue Squad Strings.