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. Robear Says:

    WTF IS SPICE!?!?

    Are you posting from Planet Dune!?!

  2. Gavinsdad Says:

    And I don’t care what happens In the next year…if they play CO again I am going. Lived there for awhile and haven’t been there in almost 20 years! Totally ridiculous behavior.

  3. Phishm0610 Says:

    synthetic thc. Shit that is really not good for you, but put’s you in another world.

  4. Gavinsdad Says:

    Spice is bath salts cousin

  5. Gavinsdad Says:

    AW = Timer 3.0

  6. Albert walker Says:

    Def not synthetic

    Just concentrated. The thc is extracted.

  7. Robear Says:

    Gah!!!! Never again @phism! That is poison from a lab! Worse than these kids that desecrate the sacred flower with butane. Come on man. Consider yourself scolded and lectured by HuggieBear. Come visit. I can help get u back on the right path.

  8. Phunky58 Says:

    Leg1 trumps leg2 so far imo. Miner I have to disagree with ur reviews lately. KC and Pelham were two of the weakest shows of leg2 imo along with bgca2. The r&r that is being raved about in the article while good isn’t as special as made out to be. After that it was basically ripchord central in pelham with little to no improv. KC also contained little to no improv. Lakewood finally brought back the exploration we all love eventho it wasn’t in a big way it was still there. KDF was a good version that tried to leave the theme but never made it there yet is def worth a relisten imo. Then we have golden age which was very good but could of been stretched out longer. Nonetheless im happy with it and will be listening to it again. Then comes the highlight of the evening that was unexpected CDT–>WTU is a must listen from this show. Overall lakewood finally let some songs breath if only for a short time whereas the prior two shows did not. Look for charlotte to be the sleeper show of leg2.. onwards and upwaards

  9. Robear Says:

    Timer W, he means the ‘spice’ is synthetic. Not the wax.

  10. Albert walker Says:

    Thought he ment wax

    Ive smoked a shit ton of rock in my days but would never touch that shit

    Don’t puff that shit kid. Your not getting high. It’s your brain cells melting away.

  11. Robear Says:

    Phnky58, u kind of agreed with miners’ review whilst disagreeing. Well played.

  12. Albert walker Says:

    I got it now Robear

    Never met anyone that puffed that shit, that is fucked.

  13. Phishm0610 Says:

    I agree. Didn’t mean to bring it up. And I have quit that shit. It’s not bath salts from my understanding, but you live and learn. Not sure what else to say. I put myself out there without really thinking it through again. Like I said. I don’t smoke it anymore and haven’t in months.

  14. Lycanthropist Says:

    Spice is terrible.

    Not a fun high.
    Terrible for your body.
    And equally illegal (at least where I am from), so whats the point?

  15. ThePigSong Says:

    I think my lady is the harshest critic other than maybe a few seasoned pros on this board. She gets seriously upset at misplaced set two ballads. First thing she said this morning was “what the fuck was that with wading?”

    Bummin’ hard on no more Ph for me this year. Also bummed I missed some folks on here. Next year I guess.

  16. Robear Says:

    Phishm, the irony. Getting lectured on what to smoke. By a bunch of wax huffing stoner phucks!

  17. phoammhead Says:

    en route to wedding. . .2nd set still in our sights

    we had a good time last night. . .trey was on fire

  18. albert walker Says:

    crazy just noticed this show has wading and joy in set 2. talk about weird repeat. BGCA night 1 had the same thing.

  19. Robear Says:

    Wading and Joy in one set. Mushy

  20. ThePigSong Says:

    Second line out of my wifes mouth. “what kind of grown man sways and sings along to Joy, grow a pair dude.”

    Have to agree, I mean each to their own. At least it wasnt So89.

  21. albert walker Says:

    I smoked crack for years robear. no way I’m gonna let a little butane residue get in the way of getting high as shit. my lungs are fucked.

    my lungs actually feel better when I’m not smokin all the plant tars. long term damage. who knows. but short term less joints and plant actually makes me breath a bit lighter.

    I wish the CO2 process worked as good. that would be great.

  22. Phishm0610 Says:

    once again thanks Robear. Lesson learned. Had to learn it on my own. A good punch in the mouth is what I need every now and then. You hit hard. Thanks I needed that. Time to get off the computer and go outside with the kids. Just can’t get this unbelievable feeling out. And it’s not the spice. That has to be out of the system now. It feels way too good to be ill effects of that poison. (i know it was poison).
    Life’s lessons seem to come to me when I let go of the negativity I felt during that divorce (or something similar). Thanks for listening. I’m glad I met you all on here. Here’s to tonight. Enjoy.

  23. Gavinsdad Says:

    Phishm -we’re not trying to censor u into silence. Like I said…stick around and watch the ebb and flow. Everyone disagrees and we aren’t all Miner agreement robots. You should have seen this place only a month ago. Crazy w beefs. Like a steakhouse.

  24. albert walker Says:

    pretty sure band pimper also just admitted to puffin spice before. awesome.

  25. Gavinsdad Says:

    Phish playing well = pleasant BB
    Phish playing w/ ambivalence = knives start to come out
    Phish playing meh sets = life preservers for everyone
    Phish not touring = BB no hug zone

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