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:

    I feel the love and can’t go away. Even when I thought I didn’t feel it I couldn’t go away. There is a band named Phish that unites very unique people. Thank you for the internet. Not sure how some of the older Dead fans dealt with it. It’s so nice to be able to share.
    Waste makes a lot of sense to me sometimes. Its hard to put my thoughts out of a page. I know they are unique thoughts that only few get. But when those few get IT at the same time I no longer feel any inhibitions to share. Bla Bla Bla. I could go on and on and on.
    Going outside now. Peace and love all.

  2. albert walker Says:

    laterz peeps. off for a run on the lake. try to get some of this butane out of my lungs and spin this show from last night

    rock it out tonight all in attendance. sunday night phish is fun.

  3. c0wfunk Says:

    sometimes I get the feeling that Trey went back and studied GD 80s setlist construction. The way that certain songs rotate together and segments of shows repeat in certain ways. it’s not as concrete as the Dead would do but there are some striking similarities.

  4. c0wfunk Says:

    It’s probably a tired, and certainly slightly dated, topic but I wonder what the general reaction to last week’s split open and melt was?

    The interior section got really out there in way rarely heard in set 1 these days. Trey’s loops and siren pileup was totally time bending. We had it rockin while driving out on the blue ridge parkway yesterday and things got quite dicey there for a bit.. The sudden return to the theme that Fishman almost stubbornly failed to get onboard with was a slight point subtraction on the flip out but they stuck the landing after the glitch. Suddenly 10 minutes had gone by and we were at our hike destination and my wife and I shared a ‘woah that was nuts’… How’d it come off in person?

  5. Robear Says:

    Cow, it was great. Best Split to my ears since return. By a mile. Or two.

    Like u said, I’m not going to be the Russian judge on the landing.

    Phism, I went through an ugly divorce too. So much better on the other side of that hole.

  6. albert walker Says:

    sick cow. I loved it. just spun it on the way out actually.

    we were all laughin they shouldn’t have even tried to crash it back it got so out there.

    but ya we all thought it was fairly abstract but also flowed nicely through the jam without gettin totally off the rails or anything.

    great SOAM IMO.

    now I’m really out.

  7. Gavinsdad Says:

    @cow – I just dl’d it so have to listen back. In person it was completely nasty but things were pretty interestingly deconstructed and reconstructed for me that nite (read: psychs ingested) so the re-entry to be seemed earnest and hopeful. Meaning I could hear/see them yearning to lock back up but even tho they missed it was a “nice job guys” moment for me…specially after all the previous minutes of having my mind fucked with in the exploratory section

  8. Robear Says:

    U cats have me thinking wake n bake now. By ‘u cats’ I mean ‘AW’.

  9. Gavinsdad Says:

    And @cow we haven’t really discussed that split that much so thanks for the convo starter

  10. shred Says:

    I couldve swarn my body almost melted from the heat in lakewood during a shredfest fluff antelope in 1995 but some of us saw Phish in the old days when no guitar solo in yem was sacreligious.

  11. ThePigSong Says:

    Not sure anything is worth going back to in the first set except for Maze. Wow that place blew up for Roses, to ba the same cant be said for the song.

  12. Gavinsdad Says:

    Good on you for getting a taste @pig

  13. Lycanthropist Says:

    what you tryin to say @aw?

  14. c0wfunk Says:

    agreed that the glitch somehow fit the madness. The way Fish and Trey are going back and forth and Just Missing the hits is slightly comical and could very well have been intentional. Should check the video for visual cues. Glad to hear it was a good moment, the recording bears that out. Just wrapping up the sf saturday night special, and as has been recorded by many, even the so called ‘off night’ of this tour still maintains a high level of itness, creativity, and general zest from the boys. Salivating a bit for tonight. All this talk of ‘sleeper show’ and the hope of Sunday.. but still waiting. tickticktick.

  15. poop goblin Says:

    Just ball bustin lycan. Lay off that spice pipe kid.

  16. [Not Tom] Says:

    I second Miner’s writeup. Golden Age was fantastic. Everything else just felt sort of flat. Both sets’ flow got interrupted.

    Looking forward to the best of this weekend’s shows tonight.

  17. Lycanthropist Says:

    Hehe yeh. Gotta get off the spice. Its what broke up the band. Lol

  18. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    finally a sick poster

  19. bobby weird Says:

    from (solid) stream, easily weakest show of ’12, by far. Same damn songs every freaking night (with a few very welcome exceptions like ya mar, CTB, etc.). Even light was boring. CDT and WTU were great but bw wholly unimpressed from stream. (yes, i am aware i did not attend and some may not care, but the fluff reviews from other streamers has me wondering whose lost their minds here, me or them?)

  20. plord Says:

    Add SPAC to the “Saturday night was weaker” list.

    Tonight goes large. Mark it.

  21. plord Says:

    Nice poster for tonight.

    Fishman shenanigans with a “Whip it” cover?

  22. bobby weird Says:

    and this (my prior post) coming from one known to be quite the fluffer myself.

  23. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Robear Says:
    August 26th, 2012 at 8:17 am
    WTF IS SPICE!?!?
    Are you posting from Planet Dune!?!
    i sprayed the pc with tea and spit, thnks!

  24. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    From the bottom of the deep end of a pool at raucous pool party with a hit tonne of beer, I phish sounded really tight last night and on fire.

    Oh, that was the stream? Nevermind.

  25. Robear Says:

    Spun Golden Age from last night.

    Ready for tonight.

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