Background (Set: 2 of 2 – Song 5 of 8 – Show Gap: 4)
“Ghost” rebounded from a sluggish and scarcely played Summer 2013 tour with three ferocious versions during the Fall 2013 tour. Had our beloved “Ghost” turned the corner and become the monster beauty which we all remember or would it trend back into mediocrity? Summer 2014 saw 8 versions (double the amount of Summer 2013) with many of them of the excellent variety. Let’s revisit Mansfield and see how the summer kicked off! Situated in the middle of a “Mike’s Groove”, “Ghost” came after “Waiting All Night” had slowed things down. “Ghost” had the responsibility of bringing the energy level back up and it certainly delivered.
Composed Section (0:00-3:24)
Trey starts things off quietly and eases into the familiar opening riff, something that would be starkly different later on in tour. A nice moderate tempo to get things going. Trey’s vocals have a nice spooky feel to them and everything seems right in the world. The solo section sends Page to the clav with Trey providing some melodic riffs. Mike enters a bit later but without his usual veracity. Nothing special here.
The lead in is smooth and the drop is is actually above average!
Even Page is loving life!
Pretty solid drop for having a couple months off. I am proud of the guys, and it definitely helps to jump start the “Ghost” jam.
Early Summer Tour Grooving (3:25-5:49)
Trey begins to lead in the first few moments of the jam, then decides to hold back just a touch and let Mike set the tone. With Page on the clav, the band quickly finds a nice easy jamming space and the groove machine is off. I love some of the early melodies Trey finds. Particularly the 4:05-4:25 mark, Trey is creative and blends into the jam nicely.
Trey then plays a couple of purposeful cringe-worthy notes to slow the jam and give it that familiar “Ghostly” feel. Mike responds with a bass line that he loves to throw into “Ghost” at around the 4:45 mark. The jam re-finds a nice space and things settle in nicely for an early summer groove. Page works from the organ and just adds a few little nuggets to give the jam some texture. At 5:35, Page drips some higher notes and helps to push the jam forward.
The Build, Thankfully Not by the Contractors of the Big Dig (5:50-7:44) Mass Area Joke
Around the 5:50 mark, everything starts to slow (except for Fishman, still beasting) and you can feel the build toward the “Ghost” peak. This version moves quicker than most, (like 17 year old me, not 34 year old me) and Trey starts to begin to hold some notes at the 6:56 mark. Mike puts on one of his cool effects providing the meat to this build. Nothing of note other than Fish with some interesting variations and Mike’s excellent tone. Trey is just biding his time…
Peaking on the First Date (7:45-9:40)
At the 7:45 mark, Trey releases all that tension and begins to launch a series of gorgeous twilling melodies that do nothing but give all of us goosebumps. It’s early summer, and Phish comes out and lays down this beauty of a section ensuring everything is going to be alright. Page is on piano floating perfect melody after perfect melody. I am not sure I have done anything perfect in my life, yet Page seems to play almost every “Ghost” that way. LawnMemo is happy, “Ghost” is good! It’s Phish doing what they do better than other bands, creating music where all four members seem to move as one and create an emotional response from us fans.
All those “Ghostly” sounds are quickly replaced by the sounds of the heavens. Many people love Phish for these kinds of peaks, and the first “Ghost” of summer tour delivers.
Have I ever mentioned that Page is a boss? Well guess what…..he is THE BOSS
It’s amazing the creativity he brings to peaks/jams when he isn’t even the lead.
At the 9:06 mark, Fish starts to push things faster and sets up one of my favorite segues of the year. The full on ->into Weekapaug is flat awesome, and if you don’t stand up and cheer for moments like this, your aren’t doing it right!
From the second this version was complete people were excited for the summer. Many told me it reminded me of the “Holy Ghost” of 10-31-10. I can’t quite get there, but it certainly hits a nice space in the last couple minutes. As its own entity this “Ghost” is solid but unspectacular. When viewed in context of this set, and with the amazing segue into “Weekapaug Groove” its gets a couple bonus points. Nice “Ghost”.