Phish returned to Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood tonight following two summers in which they made Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park in Alpharetta their Atlanta area stop. Before this evening Phish had played eight shows at the venue originally known as Lakewood Ampitheatre dating back to a June 15th, 1995 performance and including a memorable two-night stand in 1999.
Over the course of the tour’s first leg Phish played 208 distinct songs, but new-to-2012 tunes have been hard to come by on this second leg. Only one song was added to that total leading into tonight (The Ballad of Curtis Loew), but the counter nudged up immediately after the show started when Phish opened with the first Cars Trucks Buses of 2012. Wolfman’s Brother came next and gave guitarist Trey Anastasio a chance to burn up the fretboard and burn it up he did. The old school start to the show continued with standard, ripping takes on Runaway Jim and Ya Mar. Alaska, replete with its Grateful Dead-esque “jam,” broke a streak of 35 songs in a row from the 20th Century as the first song from the 2000′s since Backwards Down The Number Line back on Wednesday in Kansas City. Clifton Chenier’s My Soul was followed by a typically blazing Maze. When Roses Are Free began fans were hoping the quartet would jam ala the Worcester version earlier this summer, but it wasn’t to be as the Ween cover clocked in at five minutes and then segued into Backwards Down The Number Line. Another first set filled with heavy-rotation staples came to a close with Character Zero.
Encore: A Day in the Life
Notes: Chalk Dust was unfinished.
The quartet hinted at breaking from the structure of Kill Devil Falls, the second set opener, yet it was the Golden Age that followed which featured the evening’s initial burst of full-band improvisation. Bassist Mike Gordon kicked on his Lovetone Meatball envelope filter just as the jam was starting up and his band mates quickly followed his lead. Off Phish went on an exploratory journey with dark and ominous overtones. Keyboardist Page McConnell powered Light with delicate electric piano work, though this take on the improvisational springboard from 2009′s Joy LP didn’t quite reach the heights of the year’s previous versions and melted into Wading In The Velvet Sea fairly quickly. The 400th Chalk Dust Torture ever came after the ballad and saw McConnell and Anastasio connect on a divine major key pattern that they worked for a few wonderful minutes. From there, the band changed direction, and took their time exploring, a more evil territory making for one of the best versions of Chalk Dust in recent memory. The majestic Chalk Dust jam segued into What’s The Use? which was debuted at this venue back in 1999. Run Like An Antelope has been on a hot streak of late and tonight’s scorching second-set closer was no exception as Phish built the pace of the straight-forward but smoking jam with workman-like precision. An encore of The Beatles’ A Day In The Life capped off a memorable evening in Atlanta. Phish visits Charlotte tomorrow.
Here’s The Skinny from Phish’s return to Lakewood…
- Venue Capacity / Attendance / Type: 19,000 / 19,000 / Outdoor Ampitheatre
- Previous Shows at Venue: 8 Shows – 06/15/1995, 07/23/1997, 08/06/1998, 07/03/1999, 07/04/1999, 06/23/2000, 06/24/2000, 07/26/2003
- Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 11 / 7:46PM – 9:04 (78 Minutes)
- Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 10 / 9:31PM – 10:55PM (84 Minutes)
- Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 21 / 5 / 16
- Biggest Bustout: Cars Trucks Buses – 48 Shows [LTP - 06/18/2011]
- Average Song Vintage: 1998
- Debuts: N/A
- Weather: 80° and Partly Cloudy at Show Time
- Wardrobe: Trey – Green and Black Checkered Long-Sleeve Button-Down Shirt and Jeans / Mike – Black Short-Sleeve Polo and Slacks / Page – Blue Button-Down Short-Sleeve Shirt + Jeans / Fish – Dress
- Average Song Gap: 8.05
- The Spread: Lawn Boy – 1, Picture of Nectar – 1, Rift – 1, Hoist – 1, Billy Breathes – 3, Story of the Ghost – 1, Siket Disc – 1, Joy – 4, Misc. – 3, Covers – 5,
- Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Kill Devil Falls and Antelope 11:22 / Wilson 5:04
- Audio: Live Phish