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. William H. Bonney Says:

    -1 Florida ran over the dalai’s nephew…opps

  2. BingosBrother Says:

    Aqua is the fucking man. $$$$ story.

    I admire Billy the Kids open love of Nascar. Hard to seriously make fun of anyone when you spend half the day on a nerd bands website. Although I still do.

  3. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I went to Lime Rock once for a friends bachelor party. The best part was the party bus to the track and the ride leaving the track.

  4. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Fucking Jersey stand up.

    / drive by
    // literally

  5. willowed Says:

    I actually don’t mind Nascar. It’s a money maker.

    We like money in CT.

  6. phoammhead Says:

    okay aw.

  7. William H. Bonney Says:

    of course might want to walk away from the road at nite

  8. phoammhead Says:

    not everyone who’s from and lives in the south digs nascar

    i think it’s safe to say we phishheads are in a minority

    all fine with me

  9. Selector J Says:

    major selfage…
    llfa @selector

    Which part of ‘Not Connecticut’ is Bristol located?
    Correct answer = Virginia

    Apologies to Willowed.
    My home state, too.
    :hangs head:

  10. Selector J Says:

    ^to be clear :hangs head: for the selfage…
    Not for the home-state NASCAR track.

    which may be piling on the selfage but whatevs…

  11. William H. Bonney Says:

    I hated it for years but starting make money handicapping races and found myself to the sport that way…

    Was the fasting growing sport in US for about decade but have been unable to sustain the growth, as it is a bit of niche sport, started getting to pricey, and ownership foolishly put it’s up aganist the NFL from Sept-Nov…..too many races…too many commericals…

    Is really just a three day party for the fans…bring the RV’s park on the infield, have three days of partying and racing…is worse ways to spend a weekend. Sound alot like something we all like to do sans the racing…

  12. phoammhead Says:

    which state is king/father to nascar?


  13. Selector J Says:

    And the hits keep coming… Bristol is in… TN.. At least, I hope that’s right.

    Just got an email:

    You have been evicted from the South.
    Effective immediately.

    I’m going to shut up now…
    for several weeks, minimum.

  14. phoammhead Says:

    interesting analogy w.h.b.

    maybe kinda like nfl, too . . . college football, too

  15. William H. Bonney Says:

    North Carolina is the Nascar state….every major team house’s their racing shop’s there…

  16. poop goblin Says:

    interesting NASCAR article in the journal the other day WB about how they started letting drivers bump more and people bring in more beers to the races cuz the slow economy has been hurting sales to the races

    sorry if I offended any southerners. besides el doucherino. you still suck.

    I just hate red necks and racists and like others have said they can be found anywhere. but as many of you know I have a dark, sometimes mean sense of humor so there you go.

    time to hit this treadmill and continue summer 96 in succession

  17. phoammhead Says:

    bristol is in va and tn

    state line runs down through the middle of town – it’s called state street

    for a north carolinian who’s not into nascar, that’s not a very flattering distinction, but i knew it to be true 😳

  18. William H. Bonney Says:

    NFL has way over priced their product…for me..I dropped my Buc’s season tickets two years ago after 6 years of price increases and 4 years of declining pay roll….Glazers have been robbing the community blind since they conned the city to fund and bulid them a stadium…They were the first bastards to start the seat license fee…now their main concern is Man U….

  19. verno329 Says:

    Lift off for video of Utica starts now. This is gonna be fun

  20. P.S.H.S Says:

    I live about 30 min from the racetrack in loudon nh, what a clusterfuck come racedays. The only thing more annoying than NASCAR is bike week. Nh can rival any state in the nation for “good ole boys” weird place I live 50% gun crazy republicans 50% liberal pot smokin hippies
    live free or die!

  21. willowed Says:

    Hey Selecta

    There is also a Bristol in CT. and in R.I. I think there is a Bristol in every state.

    Keep your head up kid. Even though you’re still a dumb ass. Kidding

    What is with me tonight? I’m not usualy like this.

    Now fuck off…all of you.

  22. Aquaman Says:

    @My BB peeps,

    Much love being felt by the Aqua. I am glad you all liked the story. It is 100% honest injun true. I posted it and went down to the gym in my building for a quick workout. I came back to all this Aqua and NASCAR talk.

    @BTB – Shit, bane-joe requires book lernin’. I much prefer the Jaw Harp.

    And to whomever asked the question, we worked it out long before “doctor” that we were NOT indeed blood relatives. But my, how hill-jack and naughty it would have been had the opposite been true!


    P.S. Off to work now. Yes, I said work. I still have two more hours in this 12 + hour day. NOTE: I.T. Operations is great for $$$ crappy for life.

  23. William H. Bonney Says:

    AW You are one of my favorite posters and enjoy taking flack from my Northern brothers. Just gets me when people down here are bitching about it…I run into few folks like that in my line of work. One of my favorites was a couple from Maryland moved down bought house. My company put a pool in for them…Two months later house is for sale, moving back north. The miss came home and found a scorpion and freaked. South ain’t for everybody, oppresive summer heat, good ole boy network, and going muddin is consider a great weekend…(sorry muddin crew just don’t get it).. Which bring me too…I hope the boys don’t play outside that late in our summer…with stanley cup finals over at that point should be able to use the Forum in Tampa………..Oh and Canada if you need to visit the Stanley Cup let us know one of the U.S teams will let you check it out sometime…

  24. Aquaman Says:

    I know.

    Punchy today, right Willowed?

    Now, F.U.

  25. P.S.H.S Says:

    Althought, if I were to pick a racetrack for a 3 day festi, NH motor speedway is considerably more convenient than Watkins.

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