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. phoammhead Says:

    aw = poop goblin = river trance = bouncin fan

    why the multiple presentations?

    how and when do you decide to switch up?

    are you working on another one?

  2. Selector J Says:

    “That race is out of the city.”-aw

    If you say so…

  3. bouncin fan Says:

    I think its in joliet

    It’s chicagoland motor speedway not Chicago

  4. voopa Says:

    True BTB. I think my little Central Valley town has more rednecks than Houston or Birmingham.

  5. voopa Says:

    At least more per capita, since it’s not really a city (20K)

  6. willowed Says:

    There is no NASCAR in CT.

    CT. is the class of the US……….and you know this! (said in that actor guys voice from the movie Friday)

  7. bouncin fan Says:

    Rivertrance was created to fuck with Cowsuck

    Albert walker is me

    Bouncin fan was a super custie alias but I fucked it up

    Poop is a shit eating duck walking bad ass

  8. voopa Says:

    Yeah, I love spending vacation in Bridgeport 😛

  9. willowed Says:

    Every state has a few Voopa

    B-Port isn’t even that bad. Don’t hate on us because we are better than you 😉

  10. Mr. Palmer Says:

    This place is one eclectic group of freakshows…….i love it!

  11. Admiral Ackbar Says:

    Admiral Ackbar is a trap-identifying freedom fighter

  12. bouncin fan Says:

    I have a very low tolerance for cats wearing clothing featuring the American flag

  13. Admiral Ackbar Says:

    Bridgeport is fuckin whack, yo.

    Islanders farm team there. Nuff said.

  14. willowed Says:

    and if I hear any of that West is best bull shit Poop, AW or whatever you are……I will puke. 😉

    I’m just having fun boys (if you haven’t noticed)

    We are better than you though….Willowed steps away from computer to taste my caviar with pinky raised in the air.

  15. gavinsdad Says:


  16. gavinsdad Says:

    jersey motherfuckers…we’re not part of anything…cept the trash pile.

  17. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Don’t mess with the Isles Ackbar. See what they did to those loser Penguins. That shit was classic. One of the better hockey fights i’ve seen in a long time.

  18. Selector J Says:

    llfa @ willowed.
    Which part of ‘Not Connecticut’ is Bristol located?

  19. William H. Bonney Says:

    @Willow New Hampshire gets two race a year for the NE. So that is your Nascar race. Yes AW all the tracks are out side of the major cities as getting 100,000 plus people in and out precludes a downtown track. Oh and California has two Nascar dates Fontana and Sonoma.

  20. willowed Says:

    Gdad, If you want to leave Jersey you can always come here to CT. and work for me.

    My lawn needs mowing and I have a few other odd jobs you would be perfect for. mmmwwwaaahhaaaaaahhhaaaa

  21. William H. Bonney Says:

    Bristol, Tenn is the ultimate Nascar short track…also known as the Bull Ring..

  22. William H. Bonney Says:

    thunder valley etc…..two dates spring and summer

  23. willowed Says:

    There is a race track or 2 but there is no Nascar. (Lime Rock and Stafford Springs) They have races up north and no one even goes to them.

    It’s like AA ball of nascar. For the toothless and the lost.

  24. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Robear. 7.9.03

    this is your show, no?

  25. willowed Says:

    I could enter my 4 Cylinder Jetta and give those boys a run.

    They race with El Caminos and old school Pontiac Leman’s and shit.

    Like I said, t’s for the lost and down trodden

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