Originally Performed ByTrey Anastasio
Original AlbumTraveler (2012)
Appears On
Music/LyricsAnastasio, Pollak
Phish Debut2013-07-06
Last Played2013-07-31
Current Gap257
HistorianPhillip Zerbo (pzerbo)
Last Update2013-11-12


Trey Anastasio’s 2012 release, Traveler, is often described stylistically as “jamband meets indie,” owing to the collaboration with famed indie producer Peter Katis, Kori Gardner (Mates of State), Bryan Devendorf and Matt Berninger (The National). In contrast, “Architect” reaches for a different sensibility entirely and blends elements foreign to many Phish fans – a dash of adult contemporary, and a not so subtle nod to a “higher power” and specifically how that outlook manifests in twelve-step programs. Perhaps an equal-time counter-weight to “Bug,” “Architect” drips in higher power themes, an outlook that (among other things) suggests an individual’s control over the course of life’s events is nothing more than an illusion. The “Architect” in question needn’t be God, but rather any power greater than one’s self.

One needn’t have an affinity for such a life outlook to appreciate other elements of “Architect.” In an interview with Mike Greenhaus in Relix, Trey offered some additional insight: 

“Steve [Pollak, aka The Dude of Life] and I also wrote a song for the record. He works with autistic kids and there’s a line in “The Architect” that says a lot to me about Steve: “and if you get a chance, watch the young children dance, in a little while, you will see them smile.” When we were writing, he told me: “Seriously, as a grown-up, you get so hung up and you’re pacing down the street at a million miles an hour, looking at your iPhone. But I stand there and I watch these kids and they just start dancing. And after about two minutes they all start smiling and laughing – and everything seems really simple to me in that moment.”

TAB, “Architect” – 1/23/13, Port Chester, NY

“Architect” made its debut with TAB on 10/18/12 at The Fillmore Detroit and was performed in the vast majority of shows promoting Traveler in 2012 and 2013. The TAB version features a an extended percussion intro with Trey on his drum kit, followed by an assortment of keyboards before launching into a straight-forward ballad, followed by a short if engaging jam segment. The TAB lighting in particular reinforces the celestial nods with a star-scape background illuminating an otherwise darkened stage except for a solitary focus on Trey.

“Architect” made its first appearance with Phish on 7/6/13 at SPAC, a rare debut to emerge in a true segue out of a mid-second set “Carini” jam. “Architect” made four appearances on that summer 2013 tour, including 7/13/13 MPP, a surprise show-opener at The Gorge, and a slot on 7/31/13 at Lake Tahoe, famed for the Tahoe “Tweezer.”

Phish, “Architect” – 7/13/13, Columbia, MD

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