LawnMemo

The Daily Ghost

The Daily Ghost #139 08/14/2015, Walnut Creek Amphitheater, Raleigh, NC

Background (Set: 2 of 2 – Song: 5 of 8 – Show Gap: 2)

“Ghost” is back on tap only two shows after the Philly Mann version. This “Ghost” gets the most unusual placement. Smack dab in the middle of a “Mike’s Groove”.  The entire Mike’s > Ghost > Groove has been included to give you the full effect. 


Composed Section (7:13-11:24)

So…

Now this is interesting!  

Beeps/sirens start right after the ending in “Mike’s Song” and I can’t imagine anyone saw “Ghost” coming.  This is the second straight version of “Ghost” with a completely unique start.  There is even some start/stop as the sirens ring in the background. 

It’s a cool idea but it’s also not a full success. This intro is kind of cool and a kind of a train wreck at the same time. I’m all about trying new things and being different, so kudos! 

The pace is upbeat once the full “Ghost” composed section kicks in.

The solo section features Trey echoes and a heavy dose of Page’s clav. I’m digging it, even though it’s ever so slightly above average.

More clav on the lead in before Trey unleashes super cool echo stuff right before the drop. 

The drop isn’t half bad either.  

Phish took some risks which certainly made for a fun composed section. It also clocks in about 40 seconds longer than most “Ghost” composed sections as well. 

Kiss Your Fluffy Uplifting Ghost Goodbye. This is More Evil than Watching The New York Jets (11:25-14:59)

The jam kicks off with an echo evil tone from Trey and more from Page’s clav.

The jam almost immediately breaks down around the 12:10 mark. It’s mostly a collection of open space and evil noises. 

It’s evident that this “Ghost” is not of the friendly Casper variety. This “Ghost” is angry. 

Things get evil right after the breakdown.. The band joins evil Trey, before each find their own freighting tone.

By the 13:00 mark, I’m starting to have nightmares. 

I used to dream every night that the symbol of the USPS would land on my window and tell me he was going to kill me. This jam induced flashbacks. Maybe that is why I wear the helmet?

We’ve heard so many “Ghosts” in 2014/2015 simply rush to the peak. This version rushes to the demented. 

Safe to say this demented version is unique. The intro was a sign. That night Walnut Creek, there would be no second “Mike’s” jam. Instead, “Ghost” morphed into “Mike’s” alien step cousin anal probe uncle sister. (Another LawnMemo original musical term.)  They don’t teach that in music theory class.

Things that are less evil than this “Ghost”… hangnails, crumpled up bed sheets when you crawl into bed, static cling, getting shocked on a doorknob after walking across the carpet, locking your keys in your car, getting fresh lemon juice in an open cut, and Bill Belichick.

Yeah, this thing is EVIL.

There is a lot of interesting playing going on beyond conjuring up the dead going  Fishman shows off his true talent. From one bar to the next, Fish plays something completely different. Yet another reason why he is the most unique drummer in all the land. 

Take a rewind, tune out the madness, and just focus on Fishman. It’s absurd. He’s almost playing lead here. What a savant!

Somehow with all the craziness Fishman throwing down, Mike Gordon remains perfectly in sync with him. Mike carries the rhythm and pulsing life into this jam. 

Page turns the Rhodes and Baby Grand into a soggy 5 month old sandwich.  

Around the 15:00 mark, Trey changes tones and playstyle ever so slightly.

Page’s Halo in the Gloom>Demented Quasi Peak>No Quarter (15:01-18:04)

Page responds to Trey’s slight tone shift by jumping on the Baby Grand and he gives a single ray of sunshine to brighten up this demented journey.

Page is shining in both sound and substance. Trey moves toward a more traditional “Ghost” build. 

Mike and Fish continue to keep the ominous feel going, while Trey and Page build. Cool dichotomy going on here. 

Okay.

Time to listen to Fishman again. MY GOODNESS. Spin 15:35-16:25. Then explain to me how somebody can have that many musical ideas and still keep the beat. Fish is a freakshow. 

Trey gives a good go at the peak at 15:23, and again at 15:53.  Much like the rest of this jam, this peak as a bit of a different feel. This Walnut Creek peak kept its dark roots and brought them to the end. 

It’s not my favorite peak by any stretch, but it feels appropriate for this version.

The jam begins to wind down at the 16:30 mark. 

Page sprinkles some more creativity into this outro and the rest of the band slowly lets the outro die out, before moving into “No Quarter”.

Final Thoughts

This “Ghost” is one that is pretty hard to score. It’s just a shade over 11 min but it does some cool stuff. It’s also has an interesting placement. “Ghost” coming out of a “Mike’s” song sprung a new direction for my favorite song. 

The jam is one of the more unique in “Ghost” history.  This is about as evil sounding jam in “Ghost” as you will find. I like evil. I like evil Phish even more.  

I did not recollect this version when I sat down to write about it, but I am glad that this project forced me to revisit it. For those of us that like to hear something completely off the grid, this is a must. 

However the holiness of this evil lasts about only 3 minutes. From there, Phish moves toward a familiar build and peak that’s fine, yet nothing special.

What is special is Jon Fishman throughout this jam. I was mesmerized listening to him. 

Let’s keep this simple. This “Ghost” gets major points for 3 minutes of dirty, evil, unique jamming. As a whole, this version cannot stand with the best, even though it found a little dark magic for a brief moment.

Score: 7.9