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. garretc Says:


    If that didn’t work I can get you my copy of 11/14/73, pulled it off etree after Mr. C had the highlights in his latest Dead comp…

    Wait… Don’t you torrent?

  2. William H. Bonney Says:

    These were the only ones I found. Any better articles out there…did not even outline the plan in either one.

  3. bigjig Says:

    Hey. Just chiming in from Maui. But you guys are the shit. Really every time I come back to my room to shit I catch up on the banter on tis board and it puts a smile on my face. For those of you that know me you know I get caught up in the real world real easily, but for some fucking reason I lmao every few posts I read and reminds me of who I really am. Fact. So fuck you fuckers for making me feel me

  4. bigjig Says:

    And me feels good. Fact

  5. William H. Bonney Says:

    Aloha, Hombre

  6. garretc Says:

    Woah woah woah bijig, ain’t nobody here ever told you to “feel yourself” while reading the black board…

    In fact, I’m going to go ahead and ask that you don’t “feel yourself” while reading my comments, it makes me feel uncomfortable and objectified! My posted thoughts are not pieces of meat!

  7. Robear Says:

    aloha bigjig! heading to maui in april. need some tips. where to stay? where to find beginner surfing?

    good stuff Will H.

  8. bigjig Says:

    O but meat they are! Haha again why efi. Love this place. Specially u garretec

  9. bigjig Says:

    Robear we got this place on lock. they love them some nocal. Call butter or I before you go.

  10. bigjig Says:

    Actually we should have awards for best posters in certain categories. The bbamyys

  11. garretc Says:

    Awww, gee bigjig…

    Ok, I forgive you, my posts are fair game! I just don’t want to hear about it…

  12. bigjig Says:

    Aw is a douche Js Have you seen him?

  13. William H. Bonney Says:

    I hate that it pit’s us against each other. Will all want the best education for our kids. But, we can have no scared cows when facing these questions. There is also no doubt that everybody from the Governor’s office down should be taking cuts. I did read in Wisconsin he was going to exempt Police and Fire. So we just found his scared cow. Not sure what the budget hole in Wisconsin is. In Florida we our looking at a 3 billion dollar gap this year. Governor Scott is doing a good job getting ours back to a manageable level. They way I can tell when a politician is doing well, is when his own party is getting mad at him.

  14. garretc Says:


    Hahaha, awards… That would be awesome! We could make up categories, submit candidates, then Miner could post ’em and we could vote on the winners!

  15. bigjig Says:

    Damn take that back aw. I was trying to fillbthe void with useless banter in the hopes of posting seven in a row

  16. William H. Bonney Says:

    Got me reading budget articles at 11:47. Thanks Silly. 🙂 Give em hell any way, nothing better than exercising our rights. That are all too often taken for granted. See Iran.

  17. bigjig Says:

    Miner couldnt vote. Not objective enough. That was a joke. Mr m. No we should have voting post of the day. Aqua wins today. Quadruple fact for cousin mating

  18. garretc Says:

    Also, 9/19/90 is a pretty kick-ass Dead show! Which is great because, to be frank, I didn’t have high hopes…

    Gotta blow up the Garden I guess, eh?

  19. voopa Says:

    Can not we all get along?

  20. voopa Says:

    9/20 may be better, garretc

  21. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Total Dead barge-in: working through my first spin of 9/19/70 (Fillmore East).

    Uh, holy shit.


    As you were.

  22. Robear Says:

    where you at jig?

  23. garretc Says:


    You don’t say? Well shit, guess I better go pull that too… *SIGH* I just really hate getting new music, is all… Especially good music…

  24. garretc Says:

    Wait… How does 9/20/90 have a Playing Reprise w/o a Playing? Wouldn’t that just be a Playing Jam?

  25. voopa Says:

    Yeah, you’ll realize what a drag it is after getting after getting that show. And get Duke’s rec above as well. That’s the shit right thee.

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