This show was part of the "Trey - Fare Thee Well"

Show Reviews

, attached to 2015-06-27

Review by ProfJibboo

ProfJibboo If you were looking for the band to come out and play a high octane dance fest where your feet don't stop moving as together they recreated the magic of the late 80's as if they music never stopped... - you were in for a disappointment no matter what.

But, if you came in expecting a heart felt tribute to a musical icon that paved the way for our favorite got that and more. Inspired by the Dead's tradition of constantly reinventing how they played their songs, the Fare thee Well crew followed in that spirit - allowing Trey to take those same songs in unique directions, with his distinct sound, and his distinct guitar and his distinct presence. It wasn't just a Dead cover band, It wasn't Phishy was Trey given the chance to embrace that I love as if they were own...resulting in a outstanding Viola Lee Blues and St. Stephen - not surprising the highlights of the show were the songs that allowed Trey's hands to shine.

The show was all I hoped it to be. Not a musical masterpiece, but a fitting tribute to the songs I've loved, the band that created them, and the beauty of what the Grateful Dead represented - different for each person but magical in each our own ways.

, attached to 2015-06-27

Review by CypressMikes

CypressMikes This was a special show. I am by no means a Dead aficionado. I'll be honest, I went to this show first and foremost to see Trey in one of the biggest moments of his career. I left appreciating the GD even more. Of course the respect was always there.

The first set opened with a nice spacey jam that oozed perfectly into Truckin'. Then game the classic UJB. Alligator > Cumberland Blues segue seemed to get a bit of flack for being sloppy. I have to check it out again because on the floor my ears did not catch it right away. The set ended with a bang with a fantastic Cream Puff War and Viola Lee Blues. In my opinion Trey was the absolute star on those tunes. I knew I was seeing something special.

Then there was the hour set break. I don't know if that is standard for the Dead's set breaks (the GD calls them intermissions for whatever reason. Anyway, way too long for my comfort.

Set II started with a song called Cryptical Envelopment, a tune that I had never heard of. I didn't think much of it to be honest. Dark Star broke in and it was a surreal experience for me. Even though i'm not a big deadhead, seeing Trey shine on this jam was one of the most special musical expereinces of my life. The jam was smooth and well played. When the next song began, St. Stephen, the crowd exploded. I realized that SS is a rare GD tune that they just decided to stop playing. I was shocked to see the last GD show it was played was in 1983! That song also included a lengthy jam.

The remainder of the set was just a filler for me. But regardless this was a special show in music history and I felt honored to be apart of it. I thought it was better than the second night by a lot. One of my gripes was that Trey was not really singing as much as I expected him to sing. Anyway, give it a listen or watch it since it is on YT.
, attached to 2015-06-27

Review by User_25940_

User_25940_ This show was a gift. There were highlights and some lowlights in the 1st set, but towards the end they started to sound like a real band. Viola was excellent.

Then came the second set. On paper it looks like some hardcore Deadhead's dream set, and that's kind of what it was. The band really got into motion about half-way through Dark Star, and never pulled back. Stephen was Trey's highlight of the night, not surprisingly. He has always been able to kill that song, but he was something special tonight. One of my top Trey performances ever see live. Everything else was gravy.
, attached to 2015-06-27

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw The first show of the entire run.

Typically the traditional strategy is to ease in, find your bearings, and tune up the machine the first show. Play the songs you feel the most confident about. And as time goes by you progress into more adventure and risk.

This is not the traditional strategy.

The first set started off feeling like a "Gratest Hits" set with Truckin' and Uncle Johns band. But with Alligator, Born X eyed, and Cream Puff War coming in things began to feel more nostalgic in the most original way. And of course you have Viola Lee Blues which I have noticed is one of Phil's favorite tunes, he loves to play it. But the surprise came with them stretching it out. I thought "They are already stretching their legs? What does the 2nd set hold?" well I came to find out that Viola Lee was going to be shorter then the jams I was about to witness.

Also it's important to note the rainbow and the emotion felt. After a set of old tunes that were short lived live and mostly played in this very area in the humble beginnings of this great band. It was truly unforgettable.

Cryptical Envelopment was a perfect set opener after the feel of the first set. I was sure they were going to play the complete "That's It For The Other One" it only made sense. But that was not the case and Phil proceeded into his Dark Star bass riff. The response from the audience was not the eruption I was expecting. Maybe because it was assumed by many it would be played at Santa Clara and Chicago, but that wasn't the case. They really went for it, taking all the risk of stretching it out for a massive 30 minutes which is how long they would play it in the early 70's when they were young and on top of their game. It was a worthy send off with the over-embellished ending by Bobby. And to be honest the Bay Area deserved the final Dark Star as so much of it's history is there.

The calm after was the perfect segue into St Stephen which was positively owned by Trey. It is the perfect song to showcase his playing style and how he pulls the strings. Another great jam out of it reminiscent of 77' style Stephens. A rarity in What Has Become Of The Baby? Which came out of St. Stephen with a serene psychedelia that was so transporting.

The Drums were one of my favorite of all 5 shows. I think the most rhythmic ideas were executed during this segment it felt inspired.

The Other One took its ideal slot after Space not much to say except Bobby sang it well.

Other One melted into Dew in the way most great Dew segues do. It was strong and it is one of the best Dead set closers. Trey did it justice and gave it the respect it needed.

Casey Jones was.....Well Casey Jones what can I say?

These guys came out hot and hungry. Defying age (and at times showing it) but showing they meant business and that they want this to be special.

They dug extremely deep for this show. Deeper then most Grateful Dead shows ever got. And none of the shows after even got close getting as deep. This was a gift to the adventurous native dead fans and Jam aficionados. It is a show I will never forget.
, attached to 2015-06-27

Review by lincolnfrog

lincolnfrog First set was really disjointed and very poorly mixed. It seemed like the band and crew needed to warm up and we weren't sure whether things would ever work at all at set break.

Then set 2 started and all of that immediately changed. Band suddenly sounds tight and connected - Trey's reverence for who he was playing with and the responsibility of shepherding these final shows was palpable - his face was full of focus and intensity while his fingers flew like we know they can. I have seen many phish shows and this is probably the best I have ever seen him play - impeccable tone and phrasing.

We were discussing before the show whether Trey would treat this like a musical costume and come as Jerry or whether he would just be himself. To my utter surprise, he seemed to be doing both simultaneously. I have been listening to the dead for a few weeks straight to get as familiar with the music as possible and I would be hearing elements of Jerry lines mixed in with Trey's signature stylings and phrasing. He has clearly been practicing and was just rock solid for the band.

They were improvisationally turning on dimes and transitioning into tunes with ease, led by Phil and Bobby with Trey and the other guests completely on the same page and propping up the transitions with the appropriate riffs. Dark Star into Saint Stephen back to Dark Star back to St Stephen, just heaps of treats with Trey's soaring leads being picked up by the keys and turned into Trey-like armies of melody. He was just completely on fire and connected to this aging monster of a band, breathing fresh life into its once great but now tired frame.

After 45 minutes of non-stop improve the likes of which we don't get at Phish shows anymore - seriously if Phish had dropped that section of jam we would be calling it the best show in ages - the majority of the band leaves the stage and the drum solo starts. I figured this would be a 3-5 minute thing and then the show would be over. 30 minutes later after being blown away by the most intense drum experience of my life - this was a seriously psychedelic experience, especially given that I was spun - the rest of the band reemerged and took us slowly back from the astal plane. The dead can clearly deliver on the trip music. So this is why our parents were obsessed with these guys...

When they started morning dew, I could feel the weight of the performance. Such reverence all around with Bobby doing a bit of a Jerry impression on vocals and Trey just dripping glorious tenderness from his axe in a way Jerry could never have accomplished. A combination of his tone and perfect phrasing pushed this one over the top and delivered the "classic dead song writing with accurate guitar perfection" that I was hoping for to juxtapose Jerry's sloppiness. Listen to these solos that he drops and look and the faces of the other band members as they gaze in awe at how ridiculously he is crushing it. What a beautiful performance all around.

This show was legendary. I wonder if they realize the weight of each note they play as they weave rock and roll history up there. I wonder if Trey will be more famous in 20 years for these shows than for his entire career in phish. This may all be hyperbole, but I do think Trey uplifted them in these shows. They were all clearly having a great time but Trey is there playing with his heroes and not only making himself but the entire phish community incredibly proud. The way he lead most of the heavy improvisation in these shows with a deftness and intensity not seen in many years brought chills down my spine. Easily my favorite show of all time. Miss Chicago at your peril.
, attached to 2015-06-27

Review by dpwilljr

dpwilljr My favorite of all five. I attended Santa Clara and watched the Chicago webcast.
Their were a few factors that made this the best show in my opinion.
It was the first show. The setlist was obviously handpicked for California.
It was part of the entire 50 year celebration. It had the early songs that established them in the Bay Area back in the sixties. The entire setlist is a Deadhead's dream come true and they obviously knew that.
Hearing Dark Star > St. Stephen and knowing after that I would never hear it again with everyone, including Phil.
Just magic in every way.....
, attached to 2015-06-27

Review by ontape

ontape We made it up for this and the next night but set II of this show was the ONE. The Dark Star / St. Stephen / The Eleven triad was trippy and fun. Watching Trey pay his respects to GD history was something special. We would have liked to see him take the reins a bit more but it was clear he was happy to contribute in whatever way the band wanted him to. His role grew a bit by Chicago, but it was magical to see him take a small piece of canvas and turn it into something beautiful and meaningful.

The music was flawed at times but the moment was not. So glad we made it!
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