Happy 15th Anniversary Trey Anastasio Band

Fifteen years ago tonight Trey Anastasio performed at a benefit concert held at Higher Ground in Winooski, VT for Very Special Arts Vermont, a local non-profit. While Anastasio played acoustic versions of Phish classics as the first set, the second set saw the debut of a trio featuring drummer Russ Lawton and bassist Tony Markellis that fans dubbed the "Trey Anastasio Band." Besides a forgettable 70 Volt Parade period, and a summer of GRAB (Gordon, Russo, Anastasio, Benevento), TAB has continued to be the Phish guitarist's focus as a solo band ever since. In fact, Lawton and Markellis are part of the ensemble backing Trey on his current tour.

[Photo via Trey.com]

Anastasio and his trio didn't have too much in the way of original material for that first show, so they played a number of covers in the set and encore including takes on Neil Young & Crazy Horse's "Come On Baby, Let's Go Downtown," "O-o-h Child" by The Five Stairsteps, Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now," Earl King's "Come On (Part One)," Clapton's "Bell Bottom Blues," Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos's "Aqui Como Alla" and "Row Jimmy" by the Grateful Dead. TAB's performance also featured “First Tube,” “Last Tube,” “Mozambique,” and "Sand," which were each debuted on April 17, 1998 by Eight Foot Florescent Tubes. In addition, the trio debuted a pair of new originals - "Gotta Jibboo" and "Tops Off." While "Tops Off" has subsequently disappeared, "Gotta Jibboo" went on to become a TAB (and Phish) staple.

Check out the setlist for the first TAB show via Phish.net:

Set 1: Dirt[1], Dogs Stole Things[1], Runaway Jim[1], Brian and Robert[1], Guyute[1], Driver[1], Chalk Dust Torture[1]

Set 2: Come On Baby, Let's Go Downtown[2], Gotta Jibboo[3], O-o-h Child[2], Tops Off[3], I Can See Clearly Now[2], Come On (Part One)[2], Mozambique, Bell Bottom Blues[2], Sand > Drums[4], Possum[2] > First Tube

Encore: Aqui Como Alla[2], Row Jimmy[2], Last Tube

[1] Trey solo acoustic; TAB debut.
[2] TAB debut.
[3] Debut.
[4] Trey on second drum kit.
Notes: This gig was a benefit for Very Special Arts of Vermont and was the first ever “Trey Anastasio”-billed performance. "Gotta Jibboo" and "Tops Off" were debuts. All other songs were TAB debuts, excepting “First Tube,” “Last Tube,” “Mozambique,” and “Sand” (that debuted on 4/17/98).

Listen to the first "Gotta Jibboo" and the TAB debut of "Row Jimmy":

[Published on: 2/15/14]

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