PARTICLE AND PHIL: FRIENDS INDEED

Particle :: 06.15.05 :: La Zona Rosa :: Austin, TX


Phil Lesh with Particle :: 06.15 :: TX by Austin Daze
With Particle rolling into Austin after a month of touring activity, we wondered if they could possibly have more tricks up their sleeve. The band has accomplished a lot in recent months including a month-long tour with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart billed as Hydra. They were handpicked to open on the Trey Anastasio Band tour, and Trey even joined the band for a version of "2001" in NYC. Most recently, Particle had a triumphant performance at this year's Bonnaroo Music Festival with a 12-piece Gospel Choir, which the New York Times declared "methodical and unstoppable." It left this fan thinking, what could possibly be next?

Upon the wall of La Zona Rosa, the marquee read, " w/ Special Guest." Everyone exuded anticipation because, with rumors flying around before the show, we all had our speculations about who the special guest was supposed to be. The crowd milled about the bar, drinking and talking, just waiting for the concert to begin. Then, all at once, we migrated to the stage as the show was about to start.


Phil Lesh with Particle :: 06.15 :: TX by Austin Daze
The band dawned their respective instruments (Eric Gould on bass, Charlie Hitchcock on guitar, Darren Pujalet on drums, and Steve Molitz on keyboards) and immediately dove into "Mind Over Matter," beginning an interactive art and space-porn jam session that sent the crowd moving wildly. Next, the band belted out Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" and then swooned the audience with the slow tempo groove of "Below Radar." Following the set peaking "Launchpad" the crowd went wild when out from behind the drums walked the special guest, bass guitar in tow. There he was, wristbands and all - the godfather, Phil Lesh playing with Particle in Austin, TX. Phil entered the groove perfectly and began to lead the music as well as the audience. The two styles of music intertwined perfectly. Particle closed out the first set with Phil by playing "The Golden Gator," which segued into a monster version of the Grateful Dead classic "The Other One," leaving the fans begging for more.

Set break was essential. We all needed to regroup after the intense, long, engrossing set of music. In fact, once Particle took the stage playing "Eye of the Storm," they didn't stop playing until the second set was over, leaving the crowd breathless and dripping with sweat. The highlights of the second set included local Austin hero Topaz making a cameo to blow sax during Pink Floyd's "Any Colour You Like" and Hitchcock strapping on the bass for "Sun Mar 11." As the band stepped off the stage after "Sun Mar 11," our ears were ringing and the atmosphere was electric. Fortunately, the crowd did not have to do much coaxing to get Particle back up on stage for the encore. Capping off the evening, Particle dropped us back into the moment with "The Golden Gator Reprise." And just like that, the evening ended as abruptly as it had begun. As the audience left the show and walked back into reality, battered and worn from a kick-ass show and a very special guest it seemed clear that even with so many impressive feats, Particle is always capable of wowing an audience.

Max Kerr
JamBase | Austin
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[Published on: 6/29/05]

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