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. angryjoggerz Says:

    I have a ridiculous amount of music, but most of it is obscure electronic stuff, hip hop, reggae and jazz. The rock stuff is sort of new to me, relatively speaking. Sort of came up on the beats.

  2. butterflyeffect Says:

    NN BB

  3. voopa Says:

    I downloaded nearly 2TB of music over the last year (mostly FLAC)…can’t wait to hear most of it (have heard a bunch actually)…now gonna spend about 2 hours checking out recent acquisitions til mrs v gets home…

  4. albert walker Says:

    Donald Byrd – Black Byrd

    so good. love that shit.

  5. William H. Bonney Says:

    “Of course you meant the Red Wings, right WHBonney? Although it is Bill Davidson who own the Lightning, yes? He’s a fellow Detroiter……”

    Um No…Blackhawks are current champs but yeah Red Wings have won it more recently than any Canada team.

    Bill Davidson died 2009 and them “Saw” Jack Ball bought the team and ruined us for couple seasons. Now the Bolts owner is Boston hedge fund manager..Jeffery Vinik Who has hired the right guys to get Bolts back….you may know him as the Captain Steve Yzerman.

    wow this guy made some serious $$$$

  6. Robear Says:

    aw, what’s up with the good folks in wisco? major crack down on public spending?

  7. Guyute711 Says:

    Huge Sabres shootout win. Still in the hunt.

  8. planetneutral Says:

    I was at the 8 Ft. Fluorescent Tubes show. Somewhere in a box in my crawl space is a sheet of paper on which are handwritten the lyrics to the song you call “In the Mood,” which I have labeled on my copy as “Wighat.”

    Honestly, I don’t remember whether the sheet of a paper has a song title on it or not. I suspect not. Too bad it’s not the lyrics to one of the songs that had legs with TAB or the boys.

  9. SillyWilly Says:


    Scott walker is a jackass. He’s cutting health care for teachers and university employees. And he’s limiting their right to organize. Called in the Natl Guard before he even got the bill passed.

    Natl Guard told him to fuck himself.

    Major demonstrations all day today in Madison. Tried to get me to sleep on the steps of the capital building, but I figured they’d still get my point if I just slept in my own bed and showed up early.

    Madison is looking like Vietnam style Madison. Curfews maybe.

    Could get crazy tomorrow

  10. Robear Says:

    timely de-lurking Silly! I thought of you listening to Dem. NOw. posed the question @ AW, figuring he was at least close.

    huge move by the governor, that could have ripple effects. did he propose to cut his own salary and benefits? as well as those of house and senate?

  11. mitch Says:

    Gdad throwing nightswimming out there. From another time in my life. Have some good nightswimming stories to go along with it. Can’t listen to that shit now tho. Almost wonder how I did.

  12. BrandonKayda Says:

    Does anybody know the trick to downloading the “streaming only” shows from I’m trying to grab 11-14-73 GD and it isn’t letting me. Please and thank you.

    How is everyone tonight?

  13. mitch Says:

    Good luck silly. Use your head.

  14. SillyWilly Says:

    Oh and one more thing:

    “If don’t like the way your kids come home talkin’, watch how you vote.”

    -tim obrien.

    Wisconsin youth forgot to show up last november and now people are throwing rocks through windows and shit.

    Could have been avoided I think. Like I said, could get crazy tomorrow.

  15. mitch Says:

    Open the activity window and stream the files.
    Find the links that are loading
    Click the link and hit command c (ctrl c on PC)
    Open your downloads window
    Click command v (ctrl v)

  16. BrandonKayda Says:

    Silly that sounds intense. Best of luck to you all man

  17. mitch Says:

    Bed time. Paz amigos

  18. BrandonKayda Says:

    Thanks @mitch!

  19. Lycanthropist Says:

    I’m pretty stoked about the new Radiohead album comin out.

  20. SillyWilly Says:


    Its the use of the natl guard that’s pissing me off

    If you’re so uncomfortable with how your bill will be received maybe it needs to be changed

    Of all the people to hit for budget cuts…teachers?

    Also, wisco can be backwards in culture but its been one of the most historically progressive states in the nation.

    I think that walker forgot that and a lot of people are reminding him. Kinda proud to be an adopted badger.

    Sorry for the politics

  21. SillyWilly Says:

    I’m gonna hit the hay

    Working myself up

    “On the ground in Madison giving you live coverage of the rallies all day tomorrow, For Channel BB, I’m Silly Willy, reminding all of you whatever you do to take care of your shoes!”

  22. BrandonKayda Says:

    Me too Lycan – will it be out in stores Sat. as well, or just online?

  23. Lycanthropist Says:

    just online i believe.

  24. William H. Bonney Says:

    @Silly Not sure about the Madison deal. Will do research before I chime in. But in general state budgets are busted and teachers unions and everybody else is going to have to be more compromising or they will get nothing when state’s start going belly up. In Florida we our having state employees pay 5% toward their retirement finally and they our going nuts. Ask the sheriff office to cut 3% and they act like they have to shut the doors. Lot of BS to the working men/women of the state whose taxes get jacked up so union crew can have automatic raise and 20 year retirement with full pension. While they have to try to save for their own retirement and don’t get automatic raises or bonuses. The tax base is shrinking still, pay roll taxes are down. State’s unemployment pools are already bankrupt. People might need to take a step back and see what they really have compared to the those trying to fund it. I for one was happy to see Feingold take his tired act down the road. Term limits for Senators is long over due. Every state is different but all having similar problems. Public employees do not need union’s IMO. We have EOE, Dept of Labor, and have passed laws that protect workers rights already.

  25. William H. Bonney Says:

    Brutality and hypocrisy in Iran
    Could Iran be the next Egypt?
    Clinton denounces Iranian ‘hypocrisy’

    * Iran
    * Mir Hossein Moussavi
    * Mehdi Karrubi

    Iranian leaders have praised Egypt’s revolution, but Monday when protesters in Iran took to the streets the government cracked down hard.

    Last week, the Iranian government rounded up activists after Karrubi and Moussavi called for supporters to gather at Azadi Square — the site of mass protests by Iran’s opposition movement after the disputed 2009 presidential elections.

    Despite the security crackdown, tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in Tehran Monday.

    Patrolling security forces battled protesters with batons and tear gas for much of the day.

    Don’t forget to pray for the people of Iran. We sure have it good compared to that backwards dark ages theocracy.

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