You don't usually see dreadlocked dudes playing hackeysack before a performance at the Meyerhoff, but they were there last night, along with scalpers and enough one-hitters to win the Cy Young award, as Phish frontman Trey Anastasio joined the BSO for the East Coast debut of his orchestral piece, "Time Turns Elastic."
Orchestra members traded their usual tuxedos for black shirts and slacks, but despite this accomodation to the decidedly casual night at the symphony, the musicians were greeted with a shout of "Bring out Trey!" while they tuned their instruments.
Anastasio and the BSO did not disappoint, with a two-hour show that included not only the 28-minute “Time Turns Elastic,” but orchestral renditions of Phish classics like “If I Could,” “The Divided Sky,” and “Water in the Sky,” which the guitarist dedicated to his sister, who died three weeks ago after a long battle with cancer, and her son Jason, who was in the audience, along with Anastasio's parents.
Although the assembled had clearly been to more Phish shows than BSO concerts, they did ultimately show some respect for the local musicians. At one point, when Anastasio said "We all know that this is one of the best orchestras in the world," they erupted with hometown pride. And although there were five standing ovations over the course of the night, perhaps the loudest cheer came when Anastasio acknowledged the Orchestra. Maybe some audience members will even come back when Trey isn’t playing—but I wouldn’t count on it.
[photo courtesy James Curran]