On the second Saturday night of the summer’s second leg, the stage was set, Phish was back in Hotlanta in the Lakewood hood instead of Alpharetta. It has been nine years since Phish last played at Lakewood (7/26/03).The Lakewood Amphitheatre has a history of producing some stellar Phish performances. Some of my personal favorite shows there include 7/23/97 and 7/4/99.
The second Saturday Night Special of leg two was filled with soulful southern playing, featuring songs that have been played several times on this leg. The song selection for this show would be a mixture of songs seen in SF on 8/17/12 and at this venue in previous years (6/15/95, 7/23/97, 8/6/98, 7/3/99, 7/4/99, 6/23/00, 6/24/00, 7/26/03).
Our journey began with a series of old Lakewood first set friends. “Cars Trucks Buses” gave the show a shot of adrenaline, appearing for the first time in 2012. Gordon leads the band to continue laying down some funk in “Wolfman’s Brother” in what turned out to be a highlight of the first set. “Runaway Jim” and “Ya Mar” continued the Lakewood classic set feel with all four members contributing at a high energy level. Trey screaming “Play it Leo, Play it Baby, Play it Leo!” offered a clear sense that the band was having a good time.
Direction and energy changed with the opening notes of “Alaska." Transported back into Lakewood classic land, a funky “My Soul” followed by an energizing “Wilson” got the crowd dancing again. The band decided to keep the Page theme going with a short but solid performance of “Maze."
Tonight’s official poster featured a Phish maze with snow capped mountains in the background. Perhaps they are excited about going to Dick’s? I know I am!
Ween’s “Roses Are Free” continued the Lakewood first set old friend trend, but was then quickly ended to begin Lakewood’s first “Backwards Down the Number Line.” I think I heard the crowd on the stream deflate. “Character Zero” rocks this set to a close.
Set II started out with a stellar version of “Kill Devil Falls” which contains an enjoyable type I jam. Mr. Mike Gordon takes the reins of leadership dropping bass bombs to the crowd’s delight during “Golden Age," likely the best version offered in 2012. Trey fires into a solid but short rocking “Free” which finds its way melding into “Light." Although this version is not on par with some of the recent versions (most notable 8/19/12) Page does some beautiful work at the end of this short jam.
Although the remainder of the set on paper looked mysteriously like 8/17/12, beginning with “Wading in the Velvet Sea,” do yourself a favor and don’t dismiss the “Chalk Dust Torture” > ”What’s the Use?" An intense happy 400th birthday to an unfinished type II version of “CDT!” Paired together like a fine wine and heady cheese, this was an excellent choice historically as “What’s the Use?” debuted at Lakewood on 7/4/99.
Prior to the encore, a Braves (and FSU) “tomahawk chop” chant erupted from the crowd.
Phish closed the night in Hotlanta with “A Day in the Life” encore. Definitely a solid fun Saturday night Phish show, with some extra mustard to celebrate “Chalk Dust’s” 400th birthday.
Hope Phish reconnect to the energy felt at 8/19 for tomorrow’s Charlotte show. See you there -> happy dancing!