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

Tags: , ,

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

  1. ThePigSong Says:

    oh wait, they’re starving the east because of the festi…

  2. yematt Says:

    @pigsong, re: jotd thanks for the iphone tip!

    the dates definitely look fishy to me..
    also i heard from what is supposedly a reliable source that there will be a 2 night stand in portsmouth this summer. which would be very cool, imo. loved that venue! wondering if that would replace the hampton dates.. all speculation
    of course we wait until says so

  3. Leo Weaver Says:

    Ya gotta have it on lockdown @AW…othewise it’s…well…brown outdoor city. We’ll def make that sesh happen. 8)

    Dude’s not a problem at all. I understand you guys have your disagreements, but it’s been nice getting to know him and LA…good peeps for sure. And the SLF and Mrs. Weaver have gotten pretty tight.

    Thanks @cub…was thinking about that one, on the radar for sure.

    @Lycan…you got it. Always gotta undo those stereotypes…but that comes with the territory. It’s always great seeing the look on the face of someone from the NE or Midwest the first time I meet them and talk a little bit. First time I met Mitch…he looks at me in amazement when I introduce myself and says “Daaaaaaaammmmn…you ARE from WAAAAY down south!” Priceless.

    And to undo one of those stereotypes (and speaking for all regular southern peeps)…just ’cause I have a thick accent doesn’t make me a dumbass, nascar loving, cousin kissing redneck. I enjoy poking fun at them just as much as the next guy.

  4. kayatosh Says:

    There are quality people in the South. no doubt.

  5. Gratefulcub Says:

    Riverbed has announced the 5th.

  6. Chuck sweD Says:

    The Thrilla in Vanilla!

  7. butter Says:

    can’t argue with your woman comment Lycan

    got myself a Georgia Peach 😉

    and hot damn, that would be a LARGE festi if those are the only NE….holy shit…… i see what they might do there

  8. Aquaman Says:

    @Grateful Cub

    You know, I would love it if they were able to pull off the river front like MMJ did two summers ago.

    I boy can dream, right?

    -Aqua “Loves Burgoo from Mark’s feed Store”-

  9. butter Says:

    Leo – i know exactly what it’s like to have to have it on lock

    i went to college in Indiana

  10. ThePigSong Says:

    “And to undo one of those stereotypes (and speaking for all regular southern peeps)…just ’cause I have a thick accent doesn’t make me a dumbass, nascar loving, cousin kissing redneck. I enjoy poking fun at them just as much as the next guy.

    lol – way to keep a level head Leo +1

    I have met tons of southerners just like Leo, hope to meet some BBers on this run!

  11. SillyWilly Says:

    god damn.

    I love Burgoo.

  12. butterflyeffect Says:

    looks like someone at riverbend must have thought the dates were going out today and screwed the pooch

    just a blank space where the dates should be when you click the link now

  13. lumpyhead Says:

    I like the south.

  14. butter Says:

    yea i was trippin out, cuz the page was blank for me

    what did it say? did it have a specific Phish date?

  15. Selector J Says:

    nTelos is pretty much on, I think. Through the grapevine but I’ve heard of two different non-phish sources say so.

    ::browses memorial day yacht rentals::

  16. SillyWilly Says:

    and yes I do believe the b in Burgoo should be capitalized

    because it’s that great of a creation.

  17. jtran Says:

    Weird dates. If they’re legit looks like no watkins. Still waiting

  18. Gratefulcub Says:

    MMJ on the river was tremendous. And I don’t really care for them all that much. Put they throwdown for the hometown.

  19. Aquaman Says:

    When it’s good it’s grand, Silly.

  20. Aquaman Says:


    That show is in bt.tree somewhere. You could hear the wind blowing in the mics, and the whole thing just sounded so airy and awesome.

  21. butter Says:

    why couldn’t their be the festi tacked on to the end of those dates?

    looks perfect, maybe those dates are close, like take away the 5 and 6 night runs, trim it down to 18 shows or so

    then leg 2 west

  22. SillyWilly Says:


    MoonLight Barbecue

    Owensboro, KY.

    Might be worth going out your way on the way back from southern run sometime.

  23. butterflyeffect Says:

    @butterz: yeah had them listed on June 5th, $60 pavs, $45 lawn

  24. SillyWilly Says:

    my dream of dreams would be a late august, september run up the west coast

    right after my student loan check disburses…

  25. Leo Weaver Says:

    Blank page for me too butter.

    Looks like I need to cancel that Hampton room…glad I got it before the no-refund policy kicked in.

Leave a Reply