I don’t always post an update for a short string of shows like the 4-night TAB run in Colorado in August 2019, but Trey made major changes to his typical TAB rig for the Mission Ballroom shows. I managed to snap a few photos after the 2nd night encore and I thought it was worth taking note here because these changes reflect a significantly evolution in Trey’s approach to what equipment he brings on stage.
When I wrote up the Summer 2019 Phish tour, I noted that Trey was consolidating and simplifying certain aspects of his rig. The Leslie speakers were out and by the end of tour (Alpine) the McMillen 12-step samples were out. This Colorado run of TAB shows takes that consolidation and simplification instinct much further, to the point where Trey’s rig consisted of, essentially, his guitar, amps, and a small pedalboard. It’s the smallest rig we’ve seen with TAB in a decade or more and smaller than any of Trey’s Phish rigs in probably 25 years. The shows were played without such staples as the Boomerang Phrase Sampler, the Ibanez DM-2000, and the EHX POG2s — all more or less longtime staples of the rig. The rig got slightly simpler when TAB arrived in Vail for 2 nights at the Gerald Ford Amphitheater. More below.
Electric: Koa 1. Blonde No. 2 was on stage as backup.
• 2 x Tube Screamer (vintage TS-808)
• Digitech Whammy II
• CAE Wah
Time-Based (reverb and delay)
• 2 x Eventide Space Reverb (one in each Ambikab wet loop) (Note: There was only one Ambikab in Vail).
• 3 x Way Huge Supa Puss (all have the R79 removed from the printed circuit board, allowing for a smoother curve or more linear slope on the mix control. One is on the pedalboard; then there is one in each of the Ambikab wet loops)
• Drybell V2 UniVibe
The JRockett Audio Archer is an outstanding Klon substitute, and it saves room on the board since the original Klon is oversized. Trey has had the Archer in backup and off-stage rigs for some time. The Drybell is considered among the best replicas of the original Univibe, and takes up less than a quarter of the space of the original Shin-ei.
Because the Boomerang was out, there was not the typical chirping high G note during Heavy Things. Previously, Trey would sample that “chirp” to the Boomerang and tap a “ONCE” pedal in time with the beat to play back the sample throughout the song. Not at the Mission Ballroom. Similarly, the classic example of the DM-2000 is during First Tube, and that effect was simply absent at the Mission.
It’s worth noting that there is some overlap in Trey’s effects. For example, the POGs have been used as dedicated octave pedals. But for years before the POGs came in to use, Trey used the Whammy II for octave harmonies and octave-down/up effects. He simply reverted to that Whammy paradigm for these shows. Similarly, the Mu-Tron effect is really just a very specific example of how a wah can be used, and Trey was able to cover the Mu-Tron territory to some extent with the wah.