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. joe Says:

    I think the Trey song songs Steely Dan’sh at the beginning and Radiohead’sh at the end.

  2. ThePigSong Says:

    holy cow at worst of 2012! Add a six minutes to any of those jams and replace wading with Bug an that second set pops. Based on the second set only of course.

    I think the wife thinks What’s the Use is an extension of the CDT jam. I don’t think I’m doing her a disservice by letting her believe it.

  3. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    masthay would never spell anything wrong….

  4. joe Says:

    and Trey’sh in the middle.

  5. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    ha what’s the name of the b-side track bobby?

  6. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Didn’t get to listen back yet but I felt that the KDF was pretty special last night. Best I’ve heard since Bethel last summer.

  7. bobby weird Says:

    pigtail something or other. bubble gum pop. i’ll try to find and post link.

  8. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    palmer, cinci KDF was pretty sick too, but totally different from last night’s

  9. joe Says:

    it’s on the scabbard link already along with another version of Let Me Lie.

  10. bobby weird Says:

  11. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    thanks, you know phish has played that before, right bobby?

  12. jdub Says:

    SPAC KDF was tasty as well.

    Really love 3 jams from last night – KDF, GA, CDT. Man, if they just kept swimming with Light instead of wading…

    How shocking was that Chalkdust live? Given the bands habits of late set 2 coasting it must’ve floored folks.

  13. bobby weird Says:

    df, i was not aware of that. where/when prey tell? i suppose its catchy enough, but compared to scabbard…. ugh. also, i’m getting pretty worn by the continuing sober songs. (happy he’s sober mind you!)

  14. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    they played it worcester 2010. forget if they played it again after that but i know trey band has played it a bunch too

  15. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    sounds a lot better live

  16. poop goblin Says:

    Spun dcu

    If I could

    On my run. More like that troy. Just perfect.

  17. DaNcInG fOoL Says:


  18. Blakeson Says:

    Trey’s new tunes are neat and all, but I’m sure glad Phish waited until THIS fall to record the new record. Maybe we’ll get some unique Phish tunes not unlike Story of the Ghost rather than Trey’s sober happy tracks.

  19. kayatosh Says:

    second the love for BGCA wolfman’s and split. That whole sat. night set I was very solid w/ a couple lesser played gems — beauty of a broken heart and sug shack — thrown in for added goodness.

    haven’t spun a lick of last night, but it sounds like they were mere mortals last night.

    also feel phish falling into a tighter rotation ala the GD. but comon. where’s that Waves, SASS, Undermind?

    my friend says: flowers, hash, and ghee> wax. wax is cool as a vacation thing, but a little creeped out by the process (i know it all evaporates). wax has a hint of flavor, but not enough for his palate. very potent, heady THC high. prefers the full spectrum of cannabanoids.

    big salute to those catching the show tonight. get some.

  20. kayatosh Says:

    despite his old man preferences, he’s grateful for the dab generosity and exhibition.

  21. bobby weird Says:

    i was at that worcester show… oops. wow thats pretty bad…

  22. bobby weird Says:

    @ kaya, that’s my thing. the song catelogue is so vast. and kdf, velvet sea, possum, free, etc. every other night?? maybe they want to play every night super duper tight to impress and draw in new masses, so kept only a limited number of well reheasrsed songs on tap?

  23. MiA Says:

    Love me a CTB and the CDT. Think it’s time soon for a good it’s Ice.

    I liked Sat BGCA. Simple made the set. Rest was gravy.

  24. William H. Bonney Says:

    Chalk dust was highlight for me. @lycan right on. Was digging that tune I grabbed it for my que.

  25. MiA Says:

    Mike has been killing the opening bass part to each Weekapaug.

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