Golden Dust

8.25.12 Lakewood Amphitheatre (Ryan MacNeill)

Historically, Lakewood Amphitheatre has been the site of legendary Phish shows. From the band’s first visit in ’97, featuring a monumental “Ghost,” to July 4th’s instant classic in ’99, and from the underrated two-pack in 2000 to ‘03’s smoking stop, Atlanta’s south side shed has almost always hosted shows of gold throughout its past. But last night, not so much. With two solid but unspectacular sets, the show never really hit full stride, though its highlights were certainly significant. Steering clear of any long-form improvisation—a facet of the second set that has become almost a given over Leg Two—the band, instead, shone through two more compact jams in “Golden Age” and “Chalk Dust > What’s the Use?” Interestingly, both Saturday night shows of Leg Two have produced the band’s spottiest efforts, but even on the nights that don’t form a total package in 2012, Phish still manages to crank out spectacular nuggets of music.

Official Atlanta Print (M.Davis)

The band opened the second set with an extended and laid-back take on “Kill Devil Falls” that flirted with breaking form for a few minutes, but never made it outside the box. But when then band dropped “Golden Age” for the second time this tour, one of highlights of the show emerged. Slaughtering the dance floor with exercise in robo-funk, Phish launched into a hard-edged groove fiesta. With playing intricate yet driving rhythms that were textured yet thick as molasses, the band crafted one of their most impressive groove-based throw-downs of summer. Backed by tripped out loops and effects, and anchored by Mike’s envelope-filtered leads, this jam transcended rhythmic interplay, eventually entering a demented realm of storage-laced psychedelia. Certainly the best “Golden Age” we’ve heard since Jones Beach, it was nice to see the band bring an improvisational focus back to the song.

Landing in “Free,” the guys were sitting on the precipice of a huge set, and when “Light” started, it seemed like a forgone conclusion that we’d have another jam to write home about. But for the first time in 2012, “Light” fell completely flat. Disconnected and meandering throughout, the band never locked up in what has become a virtually bankable jam, thus when they dissolved into “Velvet Sea,” the combination created a discernible lull of creativity.

8.25.12 (Ryan MacNeill)

When the guys revved up a late-set “Chalkdust,” it seemed like an odd call for that point in the show, but once the jam got going, the second highlight of night blossomed out of nowhere. A fast-paced jam turned into something far more interesting when Mike, then Trey, started soloing in a more feel-good tone, and the whole band jumped on the idea immediately. Resembling the famous Camden “Chalk Dust” of 7.10.99, Trey took his playing into a completely uplifting feel as the band smashed through the boundaries of the song ‘s structure. Hitting a staccato melody that was so smooth it sounded composed, Trey let loose as Page stuck right with him the entire time. Nobody’s offerings’ went unappreciated in this one, as all four members assumed joint leadership of this stellar excursion. Slowing into an ambient ending, the band made a drone and washy transition into “What’s the Use?” Pairing two songs that couldn’t be more dissimilar, once again Phish showcased their modern proclivity to cover all sorts of ground in a short amount of time. A notably laid-back, though somewhat botched, version of “What’s the Use?” blanketed the amphitheatre with its post-apocalyptic soundscape.

8.25.12 (R.MacNeill)

Rounding out the set with “Joy” and a hotter-than-usual “Antelope,” the guys closed the night with a final bang. Some Phish shows elevate into a cohesive night of music, while others remain more disjointed and highlight-based. And though Lakewood’s performance was one of the latter, there are certainly two jams in the show that every fan must hear right away. Check ‘em out today, because I suspect tonight’s performance in Charlotte will jump right over Atlanta’s on everyone’s Monday morning playlist. Only time will tell…

First Set Notes: The first set started with a whale of momentum with quality versions of “Cars, Trucks, Buses,” “Wolfman’s,” “Runaway Jim” and “Ya Mar.” But when Trey called for a mid-set combo of “Alaska” and “My Soul,” he halted any energy the set had built on the front end. A hot “Maze” was the only notable piece for the rest of the set that fizzled significantly in song selection.

I: Cars Trucks Buses, Wolfman’s Brother, Runaway Jim, Ya Mar, Alaska, My Soul, Wilson, Maze, Roses Are Free, Backwards Down the Number Line, Character Zero

II: Kill Devil Falls, Golden Age > Free, Light > Wading in the Velvet Sea, Chalk Dust Torture > What’s the Use?, Joy, Run Like an Antelope

E: A Day in the Life

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428 Responses to “Golden Dust”

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  1. William H. Bonney Says:


  2. TheSloth Says:

    On point review. Day in the life was real tight as well.

  3. Phishm0610 Says:

    First time in a while that I don’t agree Miner. I’m very new to this blog and don’t want to step outside the box. I just feel like there was something more there. Even the flubs felt choreographed. Anyone else notice them playing BOAF instead of KDF when the jam began. Sorry if I typed that last night. I got a blank space right now.

  4. Lycanthropist Says:


    Sorry I bailed the other day in TT, my computer auto re-booted. Thanks for listening in any case.

  5. mike russo Says:

    I thought it was really good. I’ll take that show any day.

  6. Angryjoggerz Says:

    Boaf and kdf are pretty much the same jam and they default to this jam quite a bit.

  7. Tweezer Says:

    I was there, I thought Miner’s review was spot on. The show had its moments but was unspectacular. Always fun to be at a show but it wreaked of standard.

    It seems like the song selection and set lists are very predictable this leg 2. The same songs are popping up every 3-4 shows. What would we be saying today if they played Lifeboy in place Velvet Sea or even Gone in place of BDTNL.

    The bathrooms were packed during Alaska.

  8. c0wfunk Says:

    “interestingly, both Saturday night shows of Leg Two have produced the band’s spottiest efforts”

    Saturday Night locals party night effect? Just wrapped up Saturday SF this week and it sounds a bit like that to me.. Listening to audience tapes again is giving me a renewed perspective.. judging on a chatty to screamy spectrum they seemed a bit astray during the Piper jaunt and got really excited for the Mike’s scripted bits and Wilson. The vibe rules the moment..

  9. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Pig – sorry we missed you. We were at Front page from 3-5 or so.

    Review is pretty spot on. I enjoyed KDF a but more than most I think. Chalk dust wtu was a nice treat.

    Amazing night hanging with the southern crew. Great people down here. Loved the crowd vibe last night. Off to Charlotte.

    Charlotte ready to explode me thinks. Tweezer> ghost > waves

  10. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    “I just feel like there was something more there. Even the flubs felt choreographed. ”


  11. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Also had my first dab/ wax experience yesterday thanks to Revise..

    Wowzers! Shit zooted me good. Hardcore buzz. That is an indoor sport, as Duder said last night.

  12. thedayman Says:

    listening to the light now. lots of interesting playing from all four members, but it seems they were having a really tough time linking up until the last 3 minutes or so. the last few minutes are pretty great, and the jam totally fell prey to fish just dropping out, something that i thought had been worked through this leg. literally, mike, page, and trey are all playing very interesting stuff, and fish just refuses to drum for like the last minute of the jam. annoying.

  13. Robear Says:

    Didn’t listen. Hanging with the kids.

    Phishm, feel free to disagree with miner. I do it quite often. Sometimes I’m even wrong.

  14. SillyWilly Says:

    thanks for the review, Miner and thanks for the thoughts everyone

    I agree with Mr. P. Feels like tonight is going to be big.

    safe travels to charlotte, tourers.

  15. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I felt like the band was definitely playing some original music last night. Kdf> golden age got me lifted as fuck. First WTU since Nassau ’99.

    Southern girls know how to party. Atlanta is a weird city.

  16. albert walker Says:

    nice Palmer. Revise is my boy. one of the more down low BB’rs everyone should get the chance to chll with. representing D-town in style.

    I love Dabs too. about to hit my morning OG dabs and get into this show.

    have fun today kids
    girl already packing for Dicks’
    getting stoked

  17. thedayman Says:

    chalkdust>wtu is as excellent as advertised. it’s great that the bar has been raised sooo much higher this year than earlier years in 3.0, that even if you get a show that’s not top tier, there’s still blissful highlights, and tight playing. trey’s playing has been outstanding this year imo.

  18. dusty Says:

    Morning bb. Chilling on the porch watching the sun rise. Bacon, peach/plum/apple/beet smoothie and some og for breakfast of champs. Did 4000 plus vert hike with the dog yesterday and we both can feel it. He got 5 alpine lake dips in and looks quite content right now. Might spin so southern run today around the house getting ready for denver. Psyched, plus some camping/biking in Moab after Denver run has me pumped. Be well all!

  19. Phishm0610 Says:

    Thanks Robear. I disagreed with somoeone on here big time a few days back and felt like I pissed a lot of people off. I have no ability not to speak my mind. I’m just trying to be a bit constrained, at least until I can meet you all in person. Once you meet me you will understand. It’s all about the vibe. and yes, a little headspace’d and lovin every second of it. Keep playing the fire boys. I can feel it and appreciate you sharing.

  20. joe Says:

    Mike get a new toy he let out at the tail end of Golden Age?

  21. joe Says:

    sounded a bit different, more distorted than the regular filter style.

  22. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Skip set 1 AW. Nothing to see there sans a hot Maze.

    Glad Revise took it easy on me with the wax. On of the more intense full body high I’ve experienced in a while. Felt almost paralyzed at one point , mentally at least. Some good clean sweet tart made the secOnd set a little more interesting for me. Show doesn’t look like much , but I heard some originality which is all I can ask for. Who knows. Probably sweet tart’d

  23. Robear Says:

    Miner is an easier target Phism. He hardly reads the comments.

  24. albert walker Says:

    BGCA Simple!!!

    massive savior of a saturday night special set. so sick. new music.

  25. Gavinsdad Says:

    Charlotte may get the 20YL…they played a nice one there in ’10. Nite 3 of the Southern “3 pack” bodes well. Enjoy everyone who gets to be there!

    (ps total wax rookie here…don’t have a bubbler or bong much less an oil rig here at my house so all the wax weve had was on top of chronic. Impossible to build a tolerance and I don’t even puff daily so when the dabs hit my lungs I alsmost died. Trust me I love it and I love the results but that process is totally next levs)

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