The Spark of Trey’s Solo Career

2.16.10 - NYC (J.Orsillo)

I still remember getting the analog tape in the Spring of ’98. It was labeled “8 Foot Fluorescent Tubes,” the moniker of some local Burlington musicians Trey had assembled to play a single show at Higher Ground, a club in their home town. His band featured Russ Lawton on drums, Tony Markelis (formerly of The Unknown Blues Band) on bass, Tom Lawson of the punk outfit The Pants on a second guitar, and Heloise Williams of viperHouse on vocals. Together they ran through a stripped down set of Trey’s unplayed solo material before many more musicians joined them as The Burlington All-Stars for a second half filled with covers . But in that first set, Trey’s solo career was born.

The first two songs on the analog tape were labeled “Bing-Bong” and “Wee,” both referencing musical elements of the songs themselves. “Bing Bong” alluded to the climactic and repetitive chord change at the peak of the the song (words also sung by Williams)—a piece that would transform into “First Tube.” “Wee” alluded to Trey’s siren loops that started at the beginning a heavy groove, one of the strongest parts in the show, that would soon be known as “Sand.”Also performed in the set were the debuts of “Free Thought,” which would later appear as “Mozambique,” and a “jam” that would evolve into “Last Tube.” In between these songs, all that soon morphed into polished staples of Trey’s solo act in 1999, the band played four other pieces including the punk-inspired “Silicone Fairy” and a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground.”

Event Poster

The band’s sound that night in April 1998 was raw, as this was the one and only show The 8 Foot Fluorescent Tubes ever played together. But something was there. Trey liked what he heard so much that he plucked the band’s rhythm section of Markelis and Lawton and brought them into The Barn to jam, thus beginning the the power trio—the first incarnation of The Trey Anastasio Band. The trio soon made their debut at the Very Special Arts Vermont benefit at Higher Ground, but would come together in earnest a year later, hitting the road as The Trey Anastasio Band in May of ’99. Touring in the same acoustic/electric format of Trey’s upcoming winter run, the trio threw down extended second sets filled with sweltering dance fury, in what were, perhaps, the most spectacular shredding guitar showcases Trey has ever played. But a year before he ever hit the road as a solo act—a project that would balloon to an eleven-member ensemble before returning to a quartet in 2008—Trey’s solo career was sparked with one under-the-radar gig in Burlington, Vermont.

Here’s the original setlist:

I. Bing Bong, Wee, Free Thought, Mr. Green Man, Naturally to Blame, In the Mood, Silicone Fairy, Jam > Higher Ground

Here’s the translation:

I. First Tube, Sand, Mozambique, Meatman, Shame, In the Mood, Silicone Fairy, Last Tube > Higher Ground

4.17.98 – “First Tube” debut


Jam of the Day:

Ghost > She Caught the Katy” 7.21.98 II

Before Worcester’s recent bust-0ut, the last version of “She Caught the Katy” came out of Desert Sky Pavilion’s “Ghost” during the summer of ’98.




4.11.1991 The Cave, Carleton College – Northfield, Minnesota SBD

Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

Carleton College

Here’s another ’91 SBD, famous for Fishman’s telling of “The Prison Joke” during the encore, not to mention plenty of on point playing throughout.

I: Runaway Jim, Cavern, Paul and Silas, Tweezer, Magilla, Dinner and a Movie, Bouncing Around the Room, Foam, Carolina, You Enjoy Myself, The Squirming Coil, Chalk Dust Torture

II: My Sweet One, Reba, Llama, TMWSIY  > Avenu Malkenu > TMWSIY, The Lizards,Split Open and Melt, Lawn Boy, The Landlady > Destiny Unbound, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove

E: Fee, HYHU > The Prison Joke > HYHU, Possum

Source: SBD

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567 Responses to “The Spark of Trey’s Solo Career”

  1. poop goblin Says:

    what’s up jig

    puffin spliffs watching an amazing piece of cinema involving denzel and a fucking runaway train

    should be in Maui. fuck work in babylon.

  2. William H. Bonney Says:

    Aloha BB until next time…..I leave you with President Madison’s take.

    “If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare,and are the sole and supreme judges of the general welfare,
    they may take the care of religion into their own hands;
    they may appoint teachers in every State, county and parish
    and pay them out of their public treasury;
    they may take into their own hands the education of children,
    establishing in like manner schools throughout the Union;
    they may assume the provision of the poor;
    they may undertake the regulation of all roads other than post-roads;
    in short, every thing, from the highest object of state legislation
    down to the most minute object of police,
    would be thrown under the power of Congress…. Were the power
    of Congress to be established in the latitude contended for,
    it would subvert the very foundations, and transmute the very nature
    of the limited Government established by the people of America.”


    James Madison

  3. garretc Says:

    Ahh, now I see, it’s the Reprise of the 9/19 Playing… Duh…

    But wait… Setlists say the last song of 9/19 set II is Around And Around, But I’m definitely listening to Uncle John’s Band right now…

  4. garretc Says:

    Oh, duh… Switched the track names, as my UJB sounds like Around And Around… Carry on…

  5. garretc Says:

    Which explains the terrible transitions I noticed earlier! Ahhh, it’s all becoming clear now…

  6. garretc Says:

    And I guess it’s just as well, cause I’d really rather listen to an Uncle John’s Band right now than Around And Around…

  7. garretc Says:

    Because the board really needs a 5th post from me this page:

    I mention 11/14/73 here and all of a sudden I’m seeding it… Coincidence?

  8. garretc Says:

    Well, technically BK mentioned it, but I noted it’s presence on etree…

    (A sixth post, really? Excessive…)

  9. butter Says:

    6 in a row to start a page, nice G

  10. garretc Says:

    I just had a lot of things to say, all separated by about 20 seconds, enough time to pause and hit submit…

  11. garretc Says:

    Hey, an MSG Mighty Quinn… I’ve seen one of those!

    One could even say I’ve seen something like the Mighty Quinn, if one were so inclined…

  12. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Sorry to de-lurk at such a late hour, but someone has to stop garretc’s streak. Anyone check out the new Bright Eyes? I have mixed feelings myself.

  13. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    By the way garretc, those ’90 shows are hot. The 16th is a dick’s picks, but 19th and 20th are the best IMO.

  14. JeffieM Says:

    If I right the first sentence of a paper that is due on Thursday at 11:50 on Tuesday, that counts as starting before the first day, right?

  15. JeffieM Says:

    day before*

  16. JeffieM Says:

    day before it’s due*

    /fail at posting, mopes back to lurking…

  17. bigjig Says:

    Jeffe. What’s the paper about? Made a living off of mindless shit I diddnt know. Back then a hundred bucks got u passed till next deadline.

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