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. Leo Weaver Says:

    @gdad…if those dates hold (or some version close to that) I’ll be flying into Philly then catching a ride up to Bethel and SPAC…then bum another ride into NYC. I think I can make that work…with a little help from my friends.

  2. gavinsdad Says:

    no load blowing in leg 1. patience grasshopper. wanna call in a good’un in Aug!

  3. verno329 Says:

    I had a great time at the Maker’s distillery (went there on a tour for our last Manager’s retreat) but it seriously out there in the hills. Fun time

  4. willowed Says:

    I know they drop the hammer in Camden so I guess I can deal.

    Camden is like Hartford – The place is a dump but they bring the frakin’ heat!

  5. gavinsdad Says:

    @leo – we’ll compare notes of course. mi casa es su. only rule is bane after kids are in bed or go take a walk 🙂

  6. gavinsdad Says:

    bowie opener set the tone down in camden last Summer. not an all timer but a fun ass 2 pack. cdt was balls deep as we’ve all noted

  7. Leo Weaver Says:

    for sure gdad. gonna have to get your Chris’s in the fold if I’m up there. tell ’em hey next time you talk.

  8. Leo Weaver Says:

    that Camden Chalkdust is phenomenal. That’s one leg-1 jam I keep going back to…over and over…

  9. sumodie Says:

    no load blowing in leg 1. patience grasshopper. wanna call in a good’un in Aug!


    Bethel Woods and Watkins would be unmissable for me but otherwise I may lay back in hopes of some sweet west of the mississippi dates

  10. jtran Says:

    Bethel would be real cool

  11. butter Says:

    is Hampton>Ntelos done. like Wrigley last year

  12. butter Says:

    i dont want to waste my room in Hampton, whats fun to do there for Memorial Day……oh yea the circus…..

  13. Selector J Says:

    @yematt All of my info is one of those friend’s-brother’s-girlfriend’s-cousin type of deal but the fact that it’s reached me twice from non-phanners is partly why I like to believe it. I really dug that venue, too, so the other part is me really wanting to believe it. Ferry ride sounds $$$.

    re: south
    Amen! @Mr. The Kid

    Upsetter Disco Dub is some serious bidness @Leo.

  14. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Don’t miss Bethel. That place will be the spot in the NE if those dates are true. Would love a 2 night stand there. Get on board in Bethel.

  15. Selector J Says:

    @butter my first visit to the mothership was when I was 8 to get my Ringling Bros on. it was awesome.

  16. William H. Bonney Says:

    “driving nascar and watching nascar are entirely different animals.”

    How so? Nascar drivers don’t come from another world. Drivers and their families grew up loving racing and everything that goes with it. Nascar is one of only sports that translates into your everyday live without you knowing. Many auto advancements are tested at and come from the track to your car. I am always amazed at the work, dedication, and sacrifice families make to be in the sport. Half the drivers families took out second mortages and risked everything for their kids to have a chance. Don’t want to be the guy who sticks up for Nascar on a site that has no intrest in it as a sport. In general racing is the purest form of sport in history of man. From the chariot race of Rome to the various forms of modern racing, as the south’s Jesus Ricky Bobby would say, “I wanna go fast”. Shake and Bake Phish Nascar tour is coming……….Yee Haw

  17. KWL Says:

    my memory says 09 leg I was announced before leg II (can’t recall how long in between)

    10 both legs were announced at the same time

    is that right?

  18. butter Says:

    i want to try to hit the Alpharetta run, i really hope it’s three nights

  19. jtran Says:

    09 leg 2 was definitely announced after leg 1announcement

  20. BTB Says:

    RE: Riverbend 2000 – snuck into the pav. had fun w/ lucy and my first BBFCMF as I had no idea what that was.

    School Night’d

  21. butter Says:

    formula un

  22. verno329 Says:

    I would love for those dates to be true cause my livin’-in-the-South ass would have plenty of opportunities for some shows. Charlotte would be oh so tempting for me to go back for, Atlanta run and a Birmingham show would be perfect for me. But I’m not getting hopes up yet.

  23. Guyute711 Says:

    Purest sport = Wrestling. Now you can all pile on me for a while. 😉

  24. gavinsdad Says:

    bethel was rad. i snuck into the area from the Southern roads to avoid the major highway backups when i saw PAF and GRAB in whatever year that was…2006? anyway….very blissful spot…decent lawn and a nice flat top of the hill to chill. back of the pav has fun dance nooks. cant remember seeing security. i was still clean and sob at that point so that type of thing doesn’t register. overall a great experience tho Joan Osborne sunk the china doll that nite.

  25. Aquaman Says:


    when I sometimes go away for a spell, do you feel a big post coming??


    P.S. Here it comes – Friends, Romans, BB’ers, lend me your ears! (eyes)

Leave a Reply