Selection: “Golden Age>Ghost”
Memo’s “Other Jams” Memo: A “Tweezer” that has a “Tweezer Reprise” in it, then gets crazy, “Walk Away” is blistering, and “Run Like an Antelope” explodes to close the set
From Dave Hood:
For a brief moment, I debated featuring this show’s “Piper > Waste > Antelope,” as I think it is a great demonstration of Phish’s musical dynamics of tension, release, furious tension. I appreciate KernelForbin’s patience in making multiple splices but in the end, I could not deny the “Golden Ghost.” And of course, a special thanks to LawnMemo for putting this together and for the opportunity to contribute!
After an enjoyable first set and an antic-filled “Meatstick,” the start of “Golden Age” builds from the anticipation and silence. Page and Fish hit hard through the first minute to get the group locked in. By the first “age of miracles” call, Phish is on-point. By 1:37, they’re ready to to groove with this “TV on the Radio” cover.
Around the six-minute mark, Trey lands from his blissful jump off the cliff after the verse. Page then takes the forefront, first on the keys then introduces the clav. This isn’t the funked out ’97 clav though. Instead, Page uses it to wobble the walls of sound while riffing on the keys for a bit, gingerly bouncing between the two. As was common throughout 2012, Fish does a magnificent job of locking the group in, maneuvering the snare and hi-hat cymbal gorgeously. Throughout this portion, Fish and Mike’s work almost have a “2001” feel to it, except in a bright blissful manner, as opposed to “2001’s” lost-in-space orbit.
Right around 7:25, Trey catches on to Page’s heavy vibrato tones, poignantly adding his own. Just before the 9:00 mark, he takes an abrupt turn from the typical dance funk/bliss mix, steering the group into deep storage-jam territory, with echos calling from the abyss.
Instantly, the other three join in, and by the 9:15 mark we are far away from any familiar “Golden Age” territory. Fish is delicately tapping, Mike is high up on his register, and by 9:50 we are completely lost. We are far from our typical “Golden Age” dance party. At one moment, it’s almost as if we’re in far off galaxies. Then in another, we could be in the deepest depths of the sea. This is not your 2011 “Golden Age.” No, sir!
Through 10:45, the group continues to drift aimlessly, letting the music direct itself. Around the 11:10 mark, you can begin to hear the bounce of the “Ghost” intro. Within seconds, just as quickly as we left “Golden Age,” we are now locked into “Ghost.”
Throughout the first segment of “Ghost,” Page lets one of his notes from their recent ambient journey hold, as the one reminder of where we had just been. Mike and Page take alternating jams between their pops through the 13th and 14th minutes. Around 15:00, Trey starts adding aggressive but precisely-placed chords along with Mike and Page. At 15:45, Trey can’t stand by any longer, and joins the fun. Your typical (not to say it wasn’t enjoyable) “Ghost” jam through 16:00-20:00, again with Trey exploring multiple phrases above Mike & Page. Fish, the ever-present glue, keeping them all locked in. Towards the 19:50 mark, Trey starts hitting the same repetitive notes and you can almost begin to feel the gravity pulling again. Mike and Fish catch on, slightly slowing it down. Around the 20:30 mark, Trey throws a shudder into the riff he was working on, suggesting a new path. Things begin to hint at “weird” approaching the 21:00 mark. They don’t go into orbit but instead, it feels like the moment in Inception when the dreamer realizes this might be a dream. Things are beginning to scatter. We gently land again, no harm done, with a peaceful transition into “Sweet Virginia.”
Parting shots: Blossom 2012’s “Golden Age” represented an area the boys had not taken this cover before, exploring it’s fragmented pieces through the cracks in the storage unit. While not necessarily the best rendition of 2012 (I personally love the Jones Beach take), any fan of the cover should listen to this version. “Ghost” is a blast, as it often is, and pairs very nicely as a 1-2 second set opener.
Dave (@Ghost_of_Hood) refers to himself as a born-again Phish head, having grown up with Phish since ’97, but only recently embraced the band. After learning the errors of his ways, it’s become impossible for him to listen to enough. Prior to #33in33 (thanks @LawnMemo!), Dave has been fortunate to contribute with Please Me Have No Regrets (Democracy, Explored by Phish), The Feeling I Forgot (First Show Friday: Ghost of Hood), as well as collaborate with some of the best minds within the community. Dave currently lives in Philadelphia and works in Digital Marketing.
Favorite Ghost: I have a damn hard time not choosing Prague ‘98’s. Appreciate @LawnMemo’s notes on it. No, it is not the broadest, most explored or developed take, but damn that moment beginning around the 9:50 mark always gets me.