Trey’s current tour seems to be polarizing, with some fans loving the sing-along first set and pop-cover-heavy second, and others bemoaning the lack of much that feels new. This post isn’t about that debate–in fact, it’s not about the current TAB incarnation at all. It’s about when everything TAB was doing was new, in February 2001, the first horn tour.
The band was still finding its footing, learning the material, and figuring out which sounds worked for them and which didn’t. Truthfully, they’d continue to improve over the following two years, with their sound jelling as their repertoire grew, they logged more time together, and Trey’s skill as the leader of a larger ensemble were honed.
That said, in ’01 he was fulfilling a vision he’d had for some time, and his excitement comes through in the music. Nowhere is this more true than in the second set of the show from the Tower Theatre in Philadelphia on 2/24, ten years ago today. The jam out of Sand is outstanding, and well worth the 25 minutes of your day you’ll spend listening to it. But the Jibboo, also 25 minutes, is one of those special musical journeys where Trey’s flying while the rest of the band travels by land. His soloing is quite reminiscent of the snarling climax of the 9/14/00 post-Suzy jam, and for this one, he actually keeps it up for longer. In fact, though he’s probably rocked as hard in jams like that Suzy, the 12/2/95 Tweezer, and a small handful of other guitar-driven assaults, I don’t think he’s ever rocked for as long. Forgive the cliched sexual metaphor, but this jam is flat-out tantric.
As long as we’re going with the lewd thing, I should also mention the hilarious improvised “doin’ ya” lyrics in Ether Sunday. This set–and the encore, which features a lyric-less Radon Balloon and some great banter about Trey’s tuning heroes–does it to you in any number of positions. Check it out.