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. Phishm0610 Says:

    please4 esther for my little girl

  2. Phishm0610 Says:

    Nevermind. I get IT

  3. Ret4000 Says:


  4. PigSong Says:

    Wife also just walked back in the living room to propose a Denver trip. wtf? I thought I was the crazy obsessed one. She says she’s calling the midwife for a waiver to fly this late in her pregnancy tomorrow morning. Stay with a girlfriend of hers, hopefully find some reasonably priced tickets. I’m betting it won’t happen, but fingers crossed.

  5. robear Says:

    Fucking Crosseyed teases. Bah!


  6. robear Says:

    Pig, I’m goin with the Slf and my daughter. We will be the chill posse. U and wife will have WW home base if needed.

  7. negev79 Says:

    nice show!

  8. Phishm0610 Says:

    OK. Now what?

  9. Phishm0610 Says:

    have no ability to read the post. Just came out of a trance that made my dog’s do things that made sense at the time, but now seem a bit weird. Either way. I hope you all got that too. I could use a nap. Peace all.

  10. MiA Says:

    So happy the east coast got theirs.

  11. PigSong Says:

    awesome Robear, family Phish sounds like a huge incentive for my lady, although my track record of connecting with BBers is questionable at best.

    which reminds me of phoamer and BEK, who I’ve actually hung with a few times, hope they made set II tonight!

  12. PigSong Says:

    ur funny MiA, CLT doesn’t count as eastie though. Not in my book at least.

  13. PigSong Says:

    Lakewood 850379119444

  14. Phishm0610 Says:

    if anyone has a sanity check for me right now it would be appreciated. Not sure what else to say.

  15. plord Says:

    @Phishm You’re fine. Mild disorientation after that set is to be expected. Also mild whiplash, depending on your song preferences.

  16. Phishm0610 Says:

    I have no choice but to review this event. It was, for me, a religious experience of no other. If you also got hit by that then I feel like I know you already. My last few reviews have been sappy as shit. I just can’t help it. I just went through a cosmic realization of what reality could be if we all weren’t all so stupid. This was SF4 period. Look at the setlist’s. This was a message. A sign. Do you not think that the banter was a way for them to try and feel like a non glowing human’s of jubiliation for just a few moments. They emmersed themselves in the moment and played the air. Not sure what else3 to say. Love being defined on a nightly basis. Either grab on and share or get lost in the message.

  17. Phishm0610 Says:

    anyone mind if I share my review on

  18. MiA Says:

    I just went through a cosmic realization of what reality could be if we all weren’t all so stupid.

    Highli live how it turned plural mid sentence.

    Damn. Next Sunday is the last Sunday Phish for awhile.

    Glad I’m going but bummer. Kinda don’t like seeing the last show of summer.

  19. MiA Says:

    I love how …

  20. PigSong Says:

    Your review is yours Phishm, share where you please. I felt the same as you after BGCA3, still basking in that, with the addition of last night. It wasn’t perfect but I had been claiming to go in with no expectations. I just wanted a tight Phish show, and I got it.

    I was distracted for most of tonight, caught Gin through Bowie though and that shit was chronic. Praying stars align and we can hit one or two of the Dicks this weekend. It does go through Sunday, right? (I’ll look that up) (Do, I use, to many commas?)

    Weekly Chiropractic appt in the morning, desperately needed after busting so many dance moves last night.

  21. Phishm0610 Says:

    if it made 10% sense to you then you know where i’m coming from.l

  22. Phishm0610 Says:

    if it made 10% sense to you then you know where i’m coming from.l

  23. PigSong Says:

    Guess I don’t have to look up if there is a show next Sunday then. Cheers y’all. Be safe.

  24. Lycanthropist Says:

    Got another big hurricane movin in.

    Lets hope its not another Katrina.

    Don’t want to do that twice.

  25. Phishm0610 Says:

    man, PigSong you just spoke to me. This radiating basking feeling is so awesome. I need to listen to Gin again, but that was to me what IT should be defined in any dictionary or Wiki etc.
    and then they changed the entire human language with the 2nd set. OK. I need to go to bed.

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