Tonight (May 12th), Phish will webcast their August 3rd, 2018 performance at Alpharetta, GA’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park as the eighth episode of their ongoing archival webcast/cooking series, Dinner and a Movie. You can tune in below starting at 8:30 p.m. ET and scroll down to follow along with our 8/3/18 stream companion.
Phish ‘Dinner and a Movie’ Ep. 8 – 8/3/18 – Alpharetta, GA – Full Show
The eighth episode of Phish’s Dinner and a Movie follows the 8/31/12 “F— You Face” show, the 7/27/14 Merriweather “Tweezerfest”, the 7/25/17’s Baker’s Dozen “Jam-Filled” night, Magnaball night two (8/22/15), last year’s first night at Mohegan Sun (7/19/19), the first night of the band’s 2016 Halloween run in Las Vegas (10/28/16), and the final night of 2017’s Mexican destination event (1/15/17).
The August 3rd, 2018 performance kicked off a three-night run at the Georgia amphitheater. Coming in the middle of Phish’s first full summer tour since 2016 (summer 2017 was mostly spent at Madison Square Garden in New York City for the Baker’s Dozen), this whole run showcased some of the best live Phish of the year.
Tonight! ⚡️🍑 Dinner And A Movie: August 3, 2018 Alpharetta, GA. The full show will play for free at 8:30PM ET at https://t.co/0OYhocBJZw.
📸s from the show by Rene Huemer pic.twitter.com/NY8e7VPavH
— Phish: From The Road (@Phish_FTR) May 12, 2020
Bassist Mike Gordon was just as enamored as the fans with the band’s playing in Alpharetta in August 2018. When he released a playlist of his favorite jams of the 2018 summer tour on LivePhish later that year, four of his six picks came from that sweltering weekend in Georgia and two of them were plucked from this very show—the behemoth first-set “Ghost” and relatively short but undoubtedly sweet “Blaze On” from set two. As Mike noted in a tweet about the list, he had picked those jams because they evoked “a feeling of effortless musical adventuring.”
This show was so packed with top-notch jams, in fact, that even Mike’s picks were met with disagreement from many fans (i.e. “How do you pick ‘Blaze On’ when that same set also included 17 minutes worth of ‘Tweezer’ and a 20-minute ‘Carini’ jam?”). 8/3/18 is a monster from start to finish, and we can’t wait to relive the adventure tonight.
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Fans in attendance on 8/3/18 quickly learned that they were in for something special when the band opened the show with “First Tube” for the first time in five years. “No Men In No Man’s Land” kept the water at a boil, forecasting a band determined to create some early-show magic thanks in large part to Gordon’s excellent playing. “No Man’s” was just the primer, however, as Phish moved from there into a “Ghost” of massive proportions.
Initially carried by drummer Jon Fishman, the jam quickly drifted into improvisational territory and, in turn, into the cosmos. Page McConnell set off on an ethereal journey that begged the question, ‘is this still first set?’ and as the groove picked up, Trey Anastasio unleashed his inner David Gilmour on a mesmerized Alpharetta crowd. By the time the dust settled and the band moved back into the song’s composed structure, they were nearly twenty minutes deep—making this the longest “Ghost” jam since 11/28/09 in Albany. And yes, just in case you were starting to wonder, we are still just three songs into set one.
A brief “All of These Dreams” followed, marking just the second rendition of the Round Room track since October 2010. “Back On The Train” picked the momentum back up, and the band rode that wave through energetic renditions of “Free”, “Martian Monster”, and “Tube”. After a standard “555”, “Walls of the Cave” made its characteristic appearance as the set closer, allowing Chris Kuroda to cast some serious shadows on the satisfied crowd. On a tour with several strong first sets, this one took the cake (and all the candles) as the hottest to that point.
Any time Phish opens set two with “Tweezer”, it’s a good sign. That adage held true on 8/3/18, when the band returned from set break ready to take the classic jam vehicle for a ride. Page sounded like he was delivering his message live from inside of a sewer as the synth bounced back and forth around the amphitheater. Fishman’s smooth operating set up a nice groove for Gordon to chisel away at before the entire band went on a mission to one-up the first set “Ghost”. Whether or not they succeeded is a matter of taste, but the fact that a 17-minute “Tweezer” set-opener isn’t even the consensus second-best jam of the show tells you all you need to know about this performance.
After reaching a soaring peak and returning briefly to the “Tweezer” theme, the nearly-17-minute jam slid into “Blaze On”. While among the shorter jams of the show, this “Blaze On” got hot quickly and stayed that way. Percolating on a light-footed Gordon/Fishman groove, Trey layered in sparse, effects-laden leads. This “Blaze”—one of Mike’s favorite jams of the tour—is a prime example of top-notch Type 1 Phish improv. While it never left the chord progression it started on, the band managed to pack this rendition with an impressive level of energy and range of sounds throughout its sub-10-minute runtime.
As the “Blaze On” continued to bubble, Trey steered the ship into “Prince Caspian”. This “Caspian”, however, never truly got a chance to set sail before getting swallowed whole by the lurking deep-sea monster known as “Carini”. The dark and dank thunderstorm transformed into a light and airy merry-go-round Type II expedition. Mike rode along as Trey nailed yet another highlight to this picture-perfect Friday night masterpiece. From shades of evil to bursts of sunshine, this “Carini” left no sonic stone unturned.
“Carini” wound down to Trey loops and ambient darkness before what fans understandably might have assumed to be a “breather” song. In short, they were wrong, as blasts of “Simple” rose from “Carini”‘s lumpy ashes. When “Simple” slipped into “Winterqueen” after less than seven minutes, bowlegged fans sprinted off to the facilities for their delayed piss break. If you were part of that camp, though, you know you chose wrong: the airy “Winterqueen” wound up being the highlight of the show’s proverbial “fourth quarter” as Kuroda delicately transformed the venue into a summer snow globe.
With time running low, the band segued into an always-welcome “Harry Hood” to close out the seamless, no-stop set. The band hit this “Hood” with the same focus and intensity as the rest of the show, adding some joyous Trey hose to cap a standout gig.
Even the “More” encore was unusually telling, as was the absence of the “Tweezer Reprise” fans were due after the “Tweezer” in set two. It’s as if Phish was saying, “There is, indeed, something more than this—but you’ll have to come back the next two nights to find it.” The “Tweeprise” wouldn’t come until the run’s final night—in the highly-unusual second slot of the first set—following a show-opening and theme-defining “You Sexy Thing” opener. Weird, I know. It was just one of those weekends. The whole 2018 Alpharetta run holds up against any post-Baker’s Dozen Phish run, and the 8/3/18 show is the best of the bunch.
Tune in at 8:30 p.m. to relive that wonderful Friday night in Georgia for episode 8 of Phish ‘Dinner and a Movie’.
Below, check out a gallery of photos from the performance courtesy of photographer Christian Stewart.
Setlist: Phish | Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park| Alpharetta, GA | 8/3/18
Set One: First Tube, No Men In No Man’s Land, Ghost, All of These Dreams > Back on the Train, Free > Martian Monster, Tube > 555, Walls of the Cave
Set Two: Tweezer > Blaze On > Prince Caspian > Carini > Simple > Winterqueen > Harry Hood
Trey teased No Men In No Man’s Land in Back on the Train. Carini contained Chest Fever teases.
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Our next installment of Dinner And A Movie features the band’s August 3, 2018 show from Verizon Amphitheatre in Alpharetta, GA. The full show will play for free this Tuesday at 8:30PM ET at webcast.livephish.com or Phish’s Facebook page. Jon and Briar Fishman present another three-course repast from the staff of the Lincolnville General Store in Maine – kale salad, fish cakes and blueberry crisp! The recipes can be found at phish.com (link In profile) and whatever you decide to make, tag us at #phishdinnerandamovie. We have selected @FeedingAmerica as our beneficiary for this webcast. Donate any time at phish.com/waterwheel. For more than 40 years, Feeding America has responded to the needs of individuals struggling with food insecurity in this country through its national network of food banks. During the COVID-19 crisis, food banks are doing what they do best – feeding people in need, with staff and volunteers woking overtime to support their communities. For more info, visit feedingamerica.org #phishdinnerandamovie #phish #feedingamerica #fishcakes