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. river trance Says:

    @ AJ

    Dude you really have no idea what the south is like

  2. river trance Says:


    actually it sounds like you do

  3. ThePigSong Says:

    so is the $45 ticket a plan to sell out each shed?

    45 bucks is a really good deal these days.

  4. marcoesq Says:

    Loves me some tiered pricing, keep em all on the lawn

  5. Leo Weaver Says:

    I like the locations, not the dates and how they match the locations. Can’t be outta town when they’re in the home state.

    Wish it were phamily @KWL.

    @AW/RT…it’s not all brown outdoor down here brah! Just gotta know where to look…more importantly, where NOT to look. In fact, the local stuff has been consistently outperforming what’s coming in from Cali. Just sayin’. +1 on the shitty beer comment though…plenty of that shit around here.

  6. ThePigSong Says:

    lol @ meth lab Merit Badge.

    I live in the South, pretty much hate everything about it except the fact it’s 65 and sunny outside right now.

  7. EL Duderino Says:

    it’s certainly clear from your ignorance + the almost un-stomachable arrogance that you clearly don’t!

    i’m not from here but there are plenty of people on the BB who are…. please insult someone else on here and put your foot in your mouth once again.

  8. butter Says:

    dude, stop your bullshit

    AW is chillin, having fun, and your flat out baiting him here

  9. river trance Says:


    cuz you know what’s up. I was in Atlanta for 2 shows and believe me the only thing remotely close to smelling good was the robane in my spliff. a lot of locals still puffin shitty local OD

    being close to Ashville and knowing some kids you are def in the minority

    I know plenty of kids down there that are constantly bitching about the lack of flow

  10. angryjoggerz Says:

    just joking around, plenty of things to poke fun of in any part of the county. all in fun, no harm intended.

  11. river trance Says:

    and your local outperforming Cali says more about what’s coming in from Cali

    believe me kids are still fucking shit up on the west coast

  12. kayatosh Says:

    Went to school in NC many moons ago and the flow was indeed low. did manage to secure a back door franklin county purps connec, though. the south is warm. i’ll give it that.

  13. Leo Weaver Says:

    True dat…we gotta keep wraps on the good stuff…called self preservation or something like that.

    Atl has some pretty fine herbs too…but again, gotta know where to look.

  14. Mr.Miner Says:

    6/8 Columbia, MD
    6/9 Columbia, MD
    6/10 Camden, NJ
    6/11 Bethel, NY
    6/12 Bethel, NY
    6/13 Saratoga Springs, NY

    ^ this is obv wrong

  15. Mr.Miner Says:

    6 night run? Not in this millenium.

  16. kayatosh Says:

    anyone familiar with the florida kyrpto? very unique bane. tight, moist muffins. and rich smell. haven’t seen it in a blue moon so the memory is fading.

  17. Guyute711 Says:

    maybe chop the middle two out of that equation

  18. Guyute711 Says:

    Camden will be one dangerous show this year if it happens

  19. EL Duderino Says:


    I have a friend from Titusville, FL. and went to UF… he sent that up to me in chicago ’94-’96 periodically

  20. DukeOfLizards Says:

    I’m confused – if they play a show that’s neither on the east coast or the west coast, how will they know whether to kick down sweet jams or not?

  21. Leo Weaver Says:

    I’m sure re: what’s coming in from Cali is their lower level commercial stuff. I’ve enjoyed some of the butterbane and robane in the past year or so and it’s certainly at a far different level…looking forward to our next meetings. But the real goods here are at their higher levels (see what I did there?)…although the strains tend to be far different in most cases, usually more old school stuff here with some new things mixed in now and then.

  22. Aquaman Says:

    Yeah, AW/PG/RT

    Why can’t you make fun of say…Chinese Acrobats or Philippine gang members and they way they…..

    1) Date their cousins
    2) Eat gator and nutria
    3) Fabricate meth
    4) Love cammo (even think it’s wedding appropriate)

    and finally

    5) Make juggaloo an actual lifestyle

    MMMMMmmmmm, ??


    Wait a minute…….I don’t think Chinese acrobats do any of these things!!

    -Aqua “smart-ass”-

  23. bhizzle Says:

    Loves me some tiered pricing, keep em all on the lawn

    As much as I’d hope that’s true I doubt it….just cheaper to get stubbed down

  24. Aquaman Says:


    Ahhh, ’twas all in good fun!

  25. mitch Says:

    i dont wanna do a full tour if its all out east. i can do that anyway. c’mon west coast love, i’m trying to do the whole thing!!

    are we hearing rumors of two legs if its all east?

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