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. bouncin fan Says:

    Mainiacs are a whole different beast sumo

  2. Guyute711 Says:

    As far as I know the south starts just below routes 5 & 20 in NYS. That’s where you find the real hicks.

  3. phoammhead Says:

    okay, let me see if i’ve got this straight

    aw = poop goblin = river trance = bouncin fan

    yes, no

  4. bigjig Says:

    Lw- in month or so we will have our NC licenses. You need one for every state you ship too. I’ll let people know as we obtain licenses for various states. IL,NY,CO,TX,IN and NC should be the first ones ready

  5. Leo Weaver Says:

    Word bigjig…thanks man. Always good to find a nice new wine.

  6. Lycanthropist Says:

    you are correct sir @phoamm

  7. willowed Says:


    That is the best story I have heard in some time.

    and yes, you are Aqua

  8. ThePigSong Says:

    but Aqua…. didn’t you preface that story by saying you both thought you were cousins still??

  9. Chuck sweD Says:

    i’m goin on lil wayne tour. i’ll be back in exactly 15 minutes.

  10. BTB Says:

    There are rednecks everywhere – has nothing to do with the South (which I would argue is country club just as much as it is redneck)

    Maine is redneck as all get out. You ever been to Bethel??? Fuck – everywhere is redneck. 10 minutes from my houee on Lake Erie is redneck.

  11. BTB Says:

    Oh, and Aqua, curious why you didn’t bring a banjo to BTB Fest 🙂

  12. sumodie Says:

    @bigjig: I too was stoked to hear about your vineyard!

    any northeast BBer’s wanna pool resources for some bigjig wine keep me in mind. Maybe someone from NY can receive the goods when the permits are in place

  13. Admiral Ackbar Says:


    Lemme know when you can get stuff out to the Outer Rim

  14. butterflyeffect Says:

    “Wham, Bam Thank You ma’am”, and like some feral mongrel/teenager, I give her a hairdo eerily similar to Cameron Diaz form Something ABout Mary. – Aqua

    Phuckin’ gold there, son +4.2

  15. butter Says:

    its raining cats and dogs here @bigjig

    can’t wait for some aloha myself, headed to the big island on Fri!

  16. butter Says:

    they gotta announce a leg 2 at the same time if those are the dates

    i’m ready to uproar that nobody is even in uproar at all

    we just expect nada now

    its like Phish doesn’t really tour west of the mississippi river

    FUCKING BUNK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Snigglebeach Says:

    You have to be a redneck to be sexual deviant??

    I say Step-Cousin, Game-on

  18. sumodie Says:

    @btb: you nailed it!

  19. Selector J Says:

    yes, @BTB… nowhere is safe from the redneck.
    Even Sonoma County hosts a NASCAR race.
    Chicago, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Watkins Glen(!), too.

  20. bouncin fan Says:

    Fuck west coast butter

    Didn’t you hear

    The south is the kind scene

  21. Snigglebeach Says:

    Then again, I think their is a sliding scale that measure’s Hottness vs. How actually Related??/

  22. BrandonKayda Says:

    It’s supposed to be 70 here on Friday.


    That’s a pretty wild story man, llfa.

    Strange day for BB lol.

  23. butter Says:

    its the curvy slow one, but its a big event

  24. bouncin fan Says:

    Can’t remember the last redneck I’ve seen in the city limits

    That race is out of the city

  25. Admiral Ackbar Says:

    No doubt

    Smokeshow cousin = trap

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