Trey Anastasio Hult Center for the Performing Arts Monday, December 10th 2018

It was back in the spring of 1999 that Trey did hist last acoustic tour that I remember. He has toured extensively outside of Phish but I can’t remember the last time he did an acoustic set. In 1999 Trey was touring with a trio. He would play two sets, first was all acoustic and the second was with his trio. Unfortunately I missed this show when he came to the 9:30 Club that May.

Dec. 10th 2018 Hult Center

That show I was really excited to see and disappointed I missed. That entire tour has gone down in the book of legends because of what it was. Being almost 20 years that I know of since he last did this I wasn’t as excited the second time around. It would be great to see him perform live but the novelty of an acoustic show wore off. He did it before and in much smaller venues. This time around his fame and popularity allow him to upgrade the tour. He even referenced playing at the Hilton Ballroom in Eugene and staying at the hotel that night. Now he is playing the Hult Center for the Performing Arts down in Eugene. Quite a step up from the 9:30 Club.

I took a half day to make sure I could get down to Eugene in time for the performance. It is only 2 hours from my house so theoretically I could have left work and made the show but I thought better to not risk it. The half day allowed me to run a few errands and arrive in Eugene with plenty of time before the show.

The entrance is down an ally. I missed it the first time especially at night.

First stop was some food and beer at Falling Sky Brewing. A nice brewery that honestly is hard to find. I walked around the entire block looking for it. It is actually down the alley that splits the block. A small place. Lots of long benches and a few high top tables. Brewing operations are off to the right. They where definitely brewing beer that night. The whole place smelled of malt

A well rounded brewery but they certainly specialize in malt forward beers. They actually have a list of all the beers they have brewed each year, the batch number and totals for ingredients used. You can see the trend towards more hop and then a switch to more malts in the past couple of years. Balanced selection of beers but again, mostly favoring malts. They offer food as well but a limited menu. Its a seasonal menu and the burger I got that night was good. It went well with my brown ale.

After some food and beer sampling it was just a short walk to the venue. A large crowd had formed outside the venue and in the lobby. Phish fans had descended on the Hult Center and were taking it over. A really nice venue with comfortable seats and not a bad view in the house. Just a really beautiful space for a performance. It was a huge stage with just a single rug, chair, side table and two guitars.

The song selection was what I would call “typical” for an acoustic show. See Trey’s early ’99 work and the performance he and Mike did in 2010 in Broomfield, CO for the Fourmile Canyon fire relief fund. Not all songs will fit the acoustic formula so in actuality the song selection is pretty limited. Still a good performance and song selection with interesting takes.

One thing that I really enjoyed with this show was the intimacy and the banter. Since it was just Trey on stage he was relatively chatty compared to a typical Phish show. We got some insight into the songs or how they came to be or where they where created. Trey told a story from I believe it was from back in 1993 at the Hilton Ballroom. Apparently it was a good show and Trey made an announcement about an after party in Jon’s room 637. Jon was a good sport about it and they had a good after party that night. This kinda of banter you just don’t get with Phish in a large arena.

A great trip down to Eugene to see Trey. I wish the crowd was a little more respectful of the venue. They also talked constantly and everyone kept taking flash photos. But the beer was cold and the food good. The Hult Center is a great place to see a performance and I look forward to Phish coming back to Eugene one day….really anywhere in Oregon would be fine.

Set 1 (start time 8:57pm)
1. Waste
2. We are Come to Outlive our Brains
3. Limb by Limb
4. Brian and Robert
5. Lifeboy
6. Farmhouse
7. The Inlaw Josie Wales
8. Bliss
9. Billy Breaths
10. Sample in a Jar
11. The Wedge
12. Mercury
13. Mountains in the Mist
14. Cool Amber and Mercury
15. Back on the Train
16. Water in the Sky
17. Joy
18. Strange Design
19. Steam >
20. Backwards Down the Number Line >
21. Blaze On
22. Down with Disease
23. Chalkdust Torture >
24. Say it to Me S.A.N.T.O.S. >
25. Chalkdust Torture
set over at 9:44pm

Encore (starts at 9:46pm)
26. All of These Dreams
27. If I Could
28. Talk
29. The Horse >
30. Silent in the Morning
31. More
house lights at 10:05pm

Copyright Aren Vandenburgh 2018.