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. Chuck sweD Says:

    where from snow? i thinks me needs.

  2. river trance Says:

    Guyforget +2 for use of the term queef

  3. neemor Says:

    I love the black background.
    Only reason I come here.

  4. neemor Says:

    I always wondered wtf bustle in your hedgerow meant.
    Now, thanks to the marvels of modern technology, I know.
    Thank you.

  5. GuyForget Says:

    Urban Dictionary describes it as:

    Windy disturbance in your ‘hedgerow’ or ‘intimate feminine area

  6. HarryHood Says:

    So, who’s joining BTB and I for the Pittsburgh Trey show? Hotel and car lined up, just get there.

  7. HarryHood Says:


    I might be down your way tomorrow night and Thursday night. Anything going down in the big city?

  8. snowbank Says:

    direct from the mfg…

    So I am getting the impression that the wick is firm… so that the burning end stays erect and doesn’t just fall to the ground…

    it’s odd that they don’t show it in action at all… that would help people less adventuresome than me.

  9. river trance Says:

    yeah snow

    the w a x on the hempline keeps it rigid

  10. BingosBrother Says:

    “I love the black background.”

    Fuckin right. School is in session 24/7 up in here. Bustle in your hedgerow is a queef. Learn something new erday on the blackboard.

  11. yematt Says:

    you make a really nice write up miner, thanks!

    wish I could play the jotd on my iphone.. stupid apple blocking flash player.

  12. Lycanthropist Says:

    so monday overslept yesterday and is making up for it today…

  13. fat bastard Says:

    then what is “a sprinkling from the may queen?”

  14. AintNoTele Says:

    Go see Bustle! Shit is sick as hell, there are some shows on archive you can stream

  15. BingosBrother Says:

    Quite possibly the best question I’ve ever heard FB. Kudos.

  16. kayatosh Says:

    ya wanna taste your bane – go vape.

  17. Guy Forget Says:

    I would actually recommend this Bustle show over the previously listed:

  18. EL Duderino Says:

    If you wanna taste your bane – clean your glass pipe

  19. river trance Says:

    the vape just doesn’t do it for me

    wish it did. love the burn.

  20. kayatosh Says:

    episode 8 on its way.

  21. ThePigSong Says:

    Yematt – you can play the JOTD on the iPhone, you just have to click on the link and open in a new page.

  22. KWL Says:

    15% off all flash drives on newegg, promo code EMCKHJE222

    and just picked up this 4 gig mp3 player that plays flac for $20 w/free shipping

    /advertising driveby over

  23. kayatosh Says:

    go bagless. get a hardcore pipe style vape. packs plenty o punch.

  24. Admiral Ackbar Says:


    Any idea if that plays A(dmira)LAC(kbar) files as well?

    Srsly that’s a real question.

  25. WorthlesSwampyFool Says:

    anyone think cheese’s “electric forest festival” says anything about watkins? they just announced it today, more bands to come on the 28th. “EFF” at JJ ranch (rothbury site) june 30-july 3rd. Hope this doesnt spell the end for watkins. i really want/need a phish only summer tour ending festy in the midwest/northeast.

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