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”

  1. Lycanthropist Says:

    holy shite!

  2. plord Says:


  3. Phishm0610 Says:

    OK. that was fun. Try this one on for size.

  4. uncle eb Says:

    foam tease in the tweez?

    see you suckas in st louis.

  5. robear Says:

    Sumo, this is way better.

    Amazing Tweezer I need to respin 12 times.

    Perfect tune after the Tweeze.

  6. bobby weird Says:

    yeah this set is becoming special. tweez ridic. never saw hood coming!

  7. uncle ebenezer Says:

    foam tease in the tweez?

    see you suckas in st louis

  8. sumodie Says:

    yup, Robear, drop the webcast vid crew, audio them all instead

  9. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    That’ll do, pig, that’ll do

  10. jtran Says:

    CEP > Mcgrupp, Mikes Bouncin Tweezer Hood

    is setlist so far?

    Woah, if so

  11. uncle ebenezer Says:

    the drop into the week jam out of this hood space will be magnificent, helluva set so far

  12. sumodie Says:

    find out tmrw if phish inc will refund my asshat webcast qual from Pelham

  13. bobby weird Says:

    from phishtwit:

    secretcabdriver: Only other Tweezer > Hood 5-15-90 Clinton NY

  14. plord Says:

    jtran there was an Axilla after the Bouncin.

    This set is all about wresting the train back on to the tracks. Apparently without sacrificing one ounce of momentum.

  15. negev79 Says:

    yep Jtran
    woah indeed

  16. negev79 Says:

    oops I missed Axilla too.

  17. BingosBrother Says:

    Helluva sandwich, eh? Not gonna lie, i’m pissed about Tweezer. listening to the show before your show makes you into a total prick. Now fucking Hood? Fuckers.

  18. @Phishm Says:

    very off topic, but…wondering if anyone has listened to/bought/attended the 10/26/10 show – offered on live phish.

    worthwhile purchase? about to buy the Chicago ’94, and might tack this on…

  19. negev79 Says:

    Well if it makes you feel better @Bingos, you won’t get a Mike’s -> Bouncin’..or will you? 😉

  20. jtran Says:

    tuned into stream now, for a quick second before dinner. Tweezer melodic style (judging by all your comments)? Can’t wait to hear it.

  21. BingosBrother Says:

    Thank god. 😉

  22. bobby weird Says:


  23. negev79 Says:

    lol at the guy psyched for horse->silent. heh

  24. plord Says:

    @Phishm 10/26/10 is Manchester and it is still a hot fucking show on playback. From the After Midnight bustout straight through to the redonk second frame. If you’re gonna drop coin on a show, that one doesn’t suck at all.

  25. bobby weird Says:

    yeah: “WHOOOAA!!”

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