The National & Trey Anastasio @ The Beacon

The National just wrapped a five-night stand at the Beacon — maybe you livestreamed the final night — a run of shows which brings back memories to the Allman Brothers heyday. But it was a different jamband that’s been most associated with Berninger and friends lately: reports have been circulating that Phish’s Trey Anastasio is working on a solo album with members of the National (and Mates Of State). Those reports got a live component on Friday night.

According to, Trey joined the band on “Blood Buzz Ohio,” “Squalor Victoria,” and “Murder Me Rachel,” and again later on “Terrible Love” and “Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks” with Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry and the night’s opener, My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden. Berninger introduced Trey as “a hero of ours” and said “that’s the sound of faces melting” after Trey’s performance, awesomely referencing this timeless meme.

Watch and hear a bit of that “Terrible Love,” and respect that with just four repeated notes, Trey can make the National feel like they’re covering Billy Breathes-era Phish. (UPDATE: Also “Bloodbuzz Ohio.”)

Weirdly related: At right around the time this was happening, I was experiencing a relevant culture smash at Brooklyn Bowl, where a Phish cover band performed as accidental openers for a set by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (performing to raise funds for accident victim, NYC DJ Jonathan Toubin). Headiest YYYs openers ever. (The cover band was recreating a Phish show from ’91 featuring “Contact” and a “Tweezer (Reprise),” but this time the set featured many more distressed black leather jackets than last.)

And so the inevitable indie deification of Phish commences, not without dissent (see: these YouTube comments).

Comments (4)
  1. Shucks… I was hoping for “Harry Hood”


  3. people that have paid attention to Phish and Trey know that he’s long been into “indie rock.” he was promoting Pavement back in the day before all the posers came out to hop on the chic-to-like-pavement bandwagon. Phish covered the Velvet Underground’s “Loaded” front to back at a Halloween show many moons ago. Phish has a handful of staple covers they do from bands that the jam-hater would be surprised about.
    i’d be the first person to say that the last bunch of things to come out from Trey and Phish are poor but you gotta be excited for this upcoming collaboration with members of the National. Anyone on the Youtube comments saying Trey is playing easy stuff behind more talented players clearly doesn’t know their ass from their elbow. Conversely, any Trey or Phish fanboy that says they’re playing as good as they were in their heyday also has severe ass and elbow differenciation issues.

  4. Matt introduced Richard Reed Parry as a member of Kings of Leon. Aaron (or Bryce???) remarked that Matt would soon be leaving the band to resume his standup comedy career. Funny …

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