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”

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  1. bird Says:

    and good day to you, litteringand

  2. goat Says:

    chicken fucker

  3. neemor Says:

    Just some absolutely stellar footage, Miner…thanks for sharing.
    Days like this, I wonder what your collection must look like…the sheer scope of it.

  4. willowed Says:

    Sunday is getting closer and closer
    Yippee for live music

  5. Luther T. Justice Says:

    12 days and counting for this cat. Luv that fat Tony on the bass. The guitar player ain’t bad either.

  6. P.S.H.S Says:

    i was planning on going to the portland show, but i’m going to avoid solo acts. i going to need all of the leverage i can get if watkins happens. concentrate on the phish.

  7. Peter Hasenfuss Says:

    In the opening seconds of Ghost, Mike plays the opening notes for what becomes Sand at :09, sweet! Can’t wait for sunday, HOB not the best venue, but last Trey show was a good one in beantown!

  8. nonoyolker Says:

    You can download a SBD copy of the track Silicone Fairy on Trey’s site, here:

    Spun Simple > Catapult > Simple > Lizards from 12/8/94 on the dander to work. Very phishy segment in the first set. Show boast a near 20 min Reba as well. Great version. Going to spin the show again head to toe in few min

  9. Mike in Austin Says:

    Thanks Miner. My first show! Showed up to help the load in for a friend tending bar, and got to hear Harpua (and another bluesy jam) for soundcheck.

  10. BTB Says:

    Best of luck on that PSHS

    First tube is also called ‘A minor played kind of funny’ FWIW

  11. Luther T. Justice Says:

    Are you going to the C-Bus show??

  12. seif Says:

    Trey should bring back those glasses!

    On my way in today…Twist->Fukuoka Jam#1->Walk Away->Fukuoka Jam#2->2001………….AWESOME! (Live Phish #4)

  13. P.S.H.S Says:

    all of my eggs are in one basket

  14. joe Says:

    In for Sunday – just got my ga floor tickets. says standing room only – assume that means the regular floor and not some section on the side where I have to stand up straight and not dance a little. Was thinking of playing the ticket market on Sunday at the show, but then saw that they were available through the ticket bastard…Now I just need my lyric sheets for sing along and glitter for signs and I’m good to go.

  15. BTB Says:

    Luther – I did not get a tix in time for the Cbus show (sold out). However, I will be at the Pittsburgh show.

    If I could find a tix to cbus I would probably go, but money is tight this month as I’m getting a new apartment yadda yadda yadda

  16. lastwaltzer Says:

    Supposedly this is the roo lineup, they’ve hit damn near rock bottom this time:

    only important piece of that lineup:

    2011: Revenge of the Superjam
    Dr. John & the Original Meters performing Desitively Bonnaroo
    Superjam w/ Dan Auerbach and Dr. John

  17. Luther T. Justice Says:

    I’ll be on the look-out for ya. Esp. if they’re freebies.

  18. lastwaltzer Says:

    i love that WSP is billed above Buffalo Springfield, neil opening for anyone is just fucked.

  19. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    JOTD was a good time for me. That Ghost was like the Energizer Bunny and then the key shift. Wow! I liked it live.

  20. BTB Says:

    Thanks man. I just realized if you type WSP SUX in google a hit for my blog pops up (5th link). Maybe my google search is biased? Funny nonetheless.

  21. Guyute711 Says:

    There is a lot of garbage on that Roo lineup but there are some bands I would like to see as well. Doesn’t matter anyway I’ll be on Phish tour.

  22. willowed Says:

    Just confirmed. Sunday Trza Tickets are available on TM. GA Floor
    East Coasters. jump on it!!

    Nice work Joe

  23. nonoyolker Says:

    Bonnarro has lost any and all semblance of the original intention of the festival. I hope Lil Wayne and Neil Young do a duet.

  24. lastwaltzer Says:

    The good news in the Springfeild is going to do some dates. That would be a fun show.

  25. BingosBrother Says:

    There are a lot of bands at Bonnaroo that I would see over TAB. Including Weezy and Buffalo Springfield.

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