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. Leo Weaver Says:

    Thinking about butterbane and robane reminds me of that MSG show last year. I tried really hard to have a conversation with Butter at setbreak…I think all I did was drool, not sure if I completed a sentence. But by god I didn’t pass on a rotation. Well done butter and robear! Can’t wait to repay the favor boys.

  2. Gratefulcub Says:

    Louisville sucks huh? Allrighty then…..

    Dont tease me with a hometown Saturday show. But if it does happen…,

    Leo, I’ve got a room for you.

  3. river trance Says:

    seems like you got the south locked down LW. can’t wait to sit down for a session at a show.

    only problem know is el dude lives down there

    hey better your problem then ours up north

    laterz ya’ll

  4. kayatosh Says:

    dude: nice. indica dominant. and rivtrance is just playin; we all are. playin in the band.

  5. Lycanthropist Says:

    I gotta say it does suck to hail from the south, and be unable to refute any of those stereotypes.

    However, there are good pockets in the south.

    And say what you will bout the South, but the women don’t get any finer (in America anyway)

  6. river trance Says:

    damn now the Louisville residents are coming out of the wordwork

    my fault

  7. butterflyeffect Says:

    rofl @aqua

    here comes joan baez on the assist:

    everyone sing it with me: kumbaya my lord, kumbaya

    PHISH TER is teh awesome! DATES DATES DATEZ PLZZ!!

  8. EL Duderino Says:

    See you in ATL AW!!!

    Can’t wait buddy

  9. Guyute711 Says:

    C’mon Man!!

  10. river trance Says:

    remember your check book man. I think you owe me 2K

    I’ll try to figure out the interest

  11. butter Says:

    when i say custy tour about those dates

    its about the whole thing, shit the south has the only three night run

    its all the 1 night runs in one state, hopping thru states with tough laws every night…..

  12. EL Duderino Says:

    Best thing i ever did AW

    How many 1,000$$$ do you owe Jeff and Matt???

    lets just call it payment for putting up with your ass for 14 years…

  13. butterflyeffect Says:

    oh, and anyone who was at camden last year knows the nitrous situ was seriously effed up…can only imagine what will go down this year if they play at the tweeter center

  14. marcoesq Says:

    Yeah, Camden minus a police force=scary times fo sho

  15. kayatosh Says:

    oh, snap. 2K is a lot in this world. on the cactus train, it’s petty cash.

  16. river trance Says:

    el dude you were my custy. let’s call it what it is

    the idea of me ever being friends with your custy ass is comical

  17. Selector J Says:

    Y’all are tripping. These are the summer dates. They’ve been official for a while now, too.

    June 5 Kansas
    June 12 Pocono
    June 19 Michigan
    June 26 Sonoma
    July 2 Daytona
    July 9 Kentucky
    July 17 Loudon
    July 31 Indianapolis
    August 7 Pocono
    August 14 Watkins Glen
    August 21 Michigan
    August 27 Bristol
    September 4 Atlanta
    September 10 Richmond
    September 18 Chicago
    September 25 Loudon
    October 2 Dover
    October 9 Kansas
    October 15 Charlotte
    October 23 Talladega
    October 30 Martinsville
    November 6 Texas
    November 13 Phoenix
    November 20 Homestead

  18. Gratefulcub Says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I want Louisville to be true, but where would they play? It would have to indoors. Seems odd. And, I refuse to get excited yet. Yet.

  19. river trance Says:

    but this gets old. I’m bored.


  20. EL Duderino Says:

    coming from a dude who lost all his is the funniest cushy thing I ever heard.
    Your life is cushy AW.

    sold me shitty herbs for 1 year dude give me a break

  21. butter Says:


    river didn’t kick your dog, or even say YOU had bad weed

    he said he smelled brown and NASCAR is popular

    love you guys….hope you get lots of shows

  22. ThePigSong Says:

    there’s no way those dates are real tho, I just don’t see them rolling that many nights down here and leaving the east coast starved…

  23. kayatosh Says:

    I’ll be wearing chainmail to camden. and my lady will be wearing the same:

  24. phoammhead Says:

    faaack! i don’t feel good . . . . effin’ blows!

    ma, gimme the fackin’ dates!!!

    . . . . the dates!

    ::thinking “ma, the meatloaf!”::

  25. EL Duderino Says:


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