08.01.2015 – Lakewood Amphitheater – Atlanta, GA
“Wait, they played Tweezer?” – Joel aka Joelalope
“Uhhh yeah dude it was like F**$**G 25 minutes of amazingness, what the hell were you doing?” – Me
“Bro, I was out, I had to take a nap on the lawn” – Joelalope
To be exact, “Tweezer” clocked in at 26:01 and the Joelalope missed every single second of it and then some. The Joelalope was running out of control, and then he wasn’t. The “Atlanta Tweezer”, and every subsequent “Tweezer” will now and forevermore be called the “Joelalope takes a nap song” amongst our friends. If you happen to see a 6’3, 230 lb. Joelalope sleeping on the lawn during “Tweezer” – PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB THE JOELALOPE – he’s in his natural habitat.
To be fair, the Joelalope is most comfortable in the moderate climate of Upstate New York. It was night two of the Atlanta shows and we were running on fumes after a wild and rollicking night one at Lakewood Amphitheatre. The previous night we had climbed aboard the Monster Martian spaceship and inter-planetary exploration lasted well into the next day. After returning to planet earth just in time for the second show at Lakewood, we were a bit wobbly and disoriented. None the less the show must go on!
Our traveling crew consisted of yours truly, Joelalope and my wife aka Badger. Badger has been to a handful of Phish shows, but we were especially excited to have scored some very good pavilion tickets for this show. The sound on the lawn at Lakewood is mehh at best, so pavilion tickets were a game changer for sure. Usually we are lawn creatures so I was particularly excited to have Badger experience all of the Phish glory up close and personal. The Badger is from Wisconsin naturally, and a big Green Bay Packers fan – I summed up our ticket situation to her by saying, “This is like being in the front row to see Aaron Rodgers throw a touchdown pass!” Trey is the Aaron Rodgers of the music world, except better.
As the show began, and out of natural instinct, we headed to the lawn for the first set to gain our bearings. We were soaking it all in before trying to dive into the mass of humanity that is pavilion seating at Lakewood. Fittingly the boys played “Blaze On” as the temperature on this first day of August was well into the 90’s. Next, as if the band was speaking directly to us, they played “Halfway to the Moon”. It sure felt like we were still halfway (or further) to the moon. You see, the thing about heading to outer space is – you don’t really know you are there at the time, you just know when you return.
Still a bit unsure of our exact status in the solar system, the first set came to a close with the always crowd pleasing “Run Like an Antelope”. Following specific instructions from his kin, the Joelalope set his gearshift to the high gear to his soul. Oh boy did he ever.
After participating in standard set break obligations, the Badger and I were chomping at the bit to finally make it down to our seats in the pavilion. The Joelalope had other plans however. After much caJOEL-ing, he convinced us to leave him on the lawn and to enjoy the 2nd set from our seats. So the Badger and I headed down to our seats. Little did we know at the time, the Joelalope wanted us to leave so he could go to sleep.
Lights down and its “TWEEZER” TIME! Mike dropping bass bombs and Fishman is firing away on the drums as if he has 1000 arms. Oh it is glorious indeed. I look over at the Badger and she is grinning from ear to ear….life is good. Lakewood Amphitheatre is grooving and singing along, well save for the Joelalope that is. The first five minutes or so was classic “Tweezer,” phans took turns stepping into the freezer and pleasing her with a “Tweezer,” hell some even did both at the same time! Uncle Ebenezer was doing his thing as well, he never disappoints.
At about the six minute mark, it starts to get a bit spacey as Trey and Mike trade licks while Fish carefully keeps both hands on the wheel. We are in full on jam mode folks, and it is a beautiful thing. At about the 9:45 minute mark the song begins to take a lighter tone as the band has some excellent interplay. It seems they are deciding where to take the space probe next. Perhaps we have all discovered a never before galactic formation? Let’s go check it out! The anticipation builds through the middle portion of the jam, steadily building momentum and excitement.
Sixteen minutes, the galactic formation is becoming a bit clearer now, and the pace starts to pick up. Trey is leading the charge, with his beautiful guitar licks. He is the pied piper and everyone is glad to follow his lead, to infinity and beyond. At the nineteen minute mark, the jam turns a bit darker, with a quasi-Simpsons tease by Trey. The pace picks up again, and the jamming continues as if it will never end and why would you want it to?! The Badger and I are in space funk heaven as Gordo starts laying down the beat yet again at around 22 minutes. Gordo has his turn at the helm, playing some dark and dirty bass licks. The band closes out this amazing “Tweezer” with some ambient type jamming as the band and phans catch their collective breaths. Everyone is looking around at each other like “WOW did that just happen?” Well everyone except the Joelalope of course, he will have to dig deep into his cranial vortex to recall this splendid version of “Tweezer.”
The Badger and I rock out to the rest of the 2nd set which included “Carini,” Sand and of course a :Tweezer Reprise.” “Tweeprise” is the greatest 4:30 in all of music bar none. Before the encore, Badger and I return to the lawn to find a now standing Joelalope. We briefly discuss the second set, as discussed at the intro. His only defense was “Well, at least I didn’t spend any money because I was unconscious.” Well, that’s one way to look at it. May all your “Tweezers” be 26 minutes, and for you to be awake during the entire song. Rock On!
Thanks to LawnMemo for his hard work, and safe travels to all, and “Be Kind”.
About the Author:
Transplant Western NYer living in Atlanta, GA. You can catch me on Twitter @PDpie10. When not reading lawnmemo.com, I also write about all things baseball as contributing staff writer for Calltothepen.com and BaseballEssential.com. Favorite Ghost = Prague ’98.