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. river trance Says:

    for me kaya it’s a buzz difference. I actually dig the volcano if I have to do it. it is my preferred vape.

    most my friends that use them admit they like to mix. I like the vape buzz but really not by itself. a puff from the tube and a bag works great. but just a bag and it feels lacking.

    I actually prefer the taste also.

    in my perfect psychotic world I would prefer the taste and high of puffing with the health benefits of the vape.

    mine def gets use when the lungs are cashed or I’m sick though. I would love to go full time vape but whenever I attempt it just ends miserably.

  2. Luther T. Justice Says:

    2 different states @WSF. Theres room for both and enough distance we won’t hear their crappy music.

  3. lastwaltzer Says:


  4. lastwaltzer Says:

    no really hahahahahahahahaha

  5. lastwaltzer Says:

    seriously hahahahahahaha

  6. lastwaltzer Says:

    The idea that the cheese whiz accident would have an impact on phish choosing to play a festival is hilarious. If anything electric forest might have its power cut.

  7. gavinsdad Says:

    i put out a feeler today to my dude about an announcement. waiting for reply and to corroborate what Miner had to say about next tues. would like to know so i can get some shit locked down.

  8. Lycanthropist Says:


    what are these episodes you speak of?

  9. WorthlesSwampyFool Says:

    well i guess “spell the end” was a horrible way to state that. what i really meant was the original question. “Does that say anything about watkins? ”

    Obviously there can be two festivals on the same weekend. What I was getting at is does Cheese know Watkins is off or at least rocky still, or do they just not care that they could potentially be throwing a useless party? Or do they know Watkins is a go and expect to get a more intimate festy setting with a majority of the midwest hitting watkins? or is it just a good place to throw a festy and they dont care about who else is playing at the same time. (p.s. it IS a GREAT place for a festy & I can see why it would be called “Electric Forest Festival”)

  10. voopa Says:

    High Sierra is the same weekend.

  11. lastwaltzer Says:

    EFF means one thing less wooks in upstate new york.

  12. kayatosh Says:

    lw: kaya’s 7 epsisode (8 is on its way) movie about a laid back party train on its way to a phish festival.

  13. kayatosh Says:

    there’s the youtube link.

  14. kayatosh Says:

    trying to make 8 my best, and phishiest yet. there’s a lot of elements to movie makin.

  15. Guyute711 Says:

    Less wooks? It’s a ……

  16. KWL Says:


    i do not believe so

  17. kayatosh Says:

    oh shit. this is gonna be number 9. number 9.

  18. river trance Says:

    I like to watch my shit complete like I did for Lost and recently Fringe.

    gonna wait till the season is done Kaya and watch them all in succession.

  19. Chuck sweD Says:

    Bustle In Your Hedgerow +1 wins again.

  20. kayatosh Says:

    right on, rivertrance. i might call it at 9.

  21. mitch Says:

    Guyforget, good to hear the rave reviews. Again bummed I won’t be here. I’ve seen all the dudes just not this group with these songs.

    Rivertrance, I cut off a long line and wrap it around a bottle cap. Easier for portability and also general use. You can shake it out like a match.

  22. mitch Says:

    Re: beeline that is

  23. mitch Says:

    I wish I didn’t know what bustle in your hedgerow meant.

    Hood, can’t hang wed night but we can go tear it up thurs. Give me a call.

    Re: direct from beeline, they send you a small travel pack too when you buy the spool and that’s what gave me the idea. I like it better on the cap than the lighter cause the w a x gets nasty on the lighter goin in and out of your pocket all day.

  24. river trance Says:

    I caught the bustle in Chicago once Mitch.

    the band not a queef. pretty fun shit.

    That’s a good idea Mitch. I dig the big spools over the little packets. Problem is when friends come by to puff I think they’ve been burning chunks off the spool to take home with them. fucking bee-line thiefs.

  25. joe Says:

    it’s times like these that I am reminded how much of a smoking amatuer I am.

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