Background (Set: 2 of 2 – Song: 2 of 7 – Show Gap: 4)
SEVEN MONTHS!!! It has been seven long months since we last had the pleasure of hearing the “Story of the Ghost.” MSG 12/31/2012 was a solid offering, capping a great year for “Ghost.” What would we get in Saratoga Springs? Some pure hotness, that’s what! Placed nicely between “Down With Disease” and “Piper,” “Ghost” has all the steam it needs, and when it gets going, it really moves. No segues have been included.
Composed Section (0:00-3:24)
Slowly coming out of the end of “Disease” Trey starts us on this beautiful ride. The band quickly joins in and we hit an upbeat pace.
The solo section starts off nice and easy. Then…
At 2:02, PAGE TALK BOX!!!! Talk about bringing a new dimension to the solo section. On a scale of 1-10, Page is “2001” cool. Different and unique. Just what I love! Trey gives a quick laugh, and the crowd gives a nice cheer.
During the leadup Trey plays a riff similar to “Woman From Tokyo” by Deep Purple, but not quite (thanks to @bizarchive for the help).
No “Ghost” for 7 months…You can pretty much expect how this drop is going to go. Hell they barely ever nail it when they play it every couple days. Sure enough, it is botched pretty bad. I wouldn’t say full on train wreck however.
The band recovers nicely and leads us into the jam. Trey plays some weird timed licks for some reason during the lead to the jam. Not sure why.
We are a bit rusty, but stick with it to see a Chuck Norris Roundhouse Kick (3:25-7:10)
The jam starts pretty rough. Things are a bit all over the place before Fishman starts to lay down the beat around the 3:45 mark. It takes a while for the band to connect and a good amount of exploring is going on. Nothing clicks until the 4:13 mark when Trey plays a nice easy lick. Page gathers steam on the clav and everyone is now nicely in line.
We are at least making music where the band is connecting, but the band isn’t exactly blowing the doors off either. After Page’s initial funk surge, things start to bog down, and Trey noodles a bit.
In fact 4:37-5:15 is kinda a whole lot of nothing.
Trey starts to attack a bit more at the 5:20 mark for a couple measures, before backing down.
Page is carrying the melody as Trey and Fish lay down a nice path for him to work. Mike then takes some of the open space and brings a drunken space alligator to SPAC at the 5:57 mark. Awesome texture to this jam as things have become blissful around Gordon.
Just before the 6:30 mark, Gordon unloads a bunch of notes, and Fish responds by pushing the pace. Things are starting to perk up. Page is laying down one fantastic melody after another, while Trey has found a nice soloing path…
Four Minutes of Orgasmic Dance Party, Price is Right, Juggernaut Rage (7:11-11:07)
Mr. Plinko? Paging Mr. Plinko…
At the 7:12 mark, on top of a fierce bass line from Mike, Page unleashes the first Plinko jam of 2013. Immediately this jam catches fire, and somewhere in the hell of SPAC lawn, I am dancing my ass off. Some people don’t really dig the Plinko/Staccato, but it gets me moving. In fact it gets me moving something like this…
This “Ghost” goes from snoozer to fantastic in the time it takes for you to max out your credit card buying beers at SPAC.
The band falls right in line IMMEDIATELY with Page and we have outstanding music. I have probably listened to the Plinko section of this “Ghost” about 100 times already. I can’t stop. Much like the ending of the “Light” during last year’s Star Lake “Mike’s Groove” this is the good stuff. These aren’t Plinko chips being thrown by Joan River’s old ass, these are being fired from 1997-2003 Pedro Martinez.
By far the hardest I danced all weekend was during this section. Little did I know things were about to go up a serious notch. At 8:27, Mike Gordon tries to make my heart explode. The Cactus is sly. He hangs back for a moment, lets Page work that filthy texture into this jam, then attacks with a fury.
This is the type of music superhero babies are made to. I feel like Phish could end the world’s problems by playing 8:30-10:15 on loop. My doctor just told me I didn’t need to exercise this week due the dancing I unleashed on SPAC during this.
So how about it Trey, not too much love from me so far in this “Ghost.” That changes at the 9:02 mark. Trey plays a perfectly paced, and textured lick that just adds to this German blitzkrieg. Well done Big Red! Meanwhile, the power of Gordon is in full force.
Trey unleashes an even better lick at 9:47. DAMN THAT IS HOT!!!!! In fact this calls for a new term I want to use for this kind of jamming. I am calling it “Ice Cream Jamming.” Type II jamming that is so awesome that if feels like you are crushing a Hot Fudge Sundae. 8:30-10:15 is total “Ice Cream Jamming.” Just wait for the cherry on top at 10:08, Fish says “Guy Forget.” You know that means he was feeling it.
As HOT as that got it cools just as fast. Trey starts to lead things down but it sounds at first like we might go an entire different direction within this “Ghost.” Maybe a sweet outro jam? It seemed like the rest of the band was heading there, but Trey fires into “Piper,” and the “Story of the Ghost” finishes.
I have listened to the Plinko section of this “Ghost” more than any other section of any jam in 2013. That has to count for something. There are better jams for sure, but the last 4:00 minutes of this are smoking. I throw it on to fire me up before I head out. The “Ghost” as a whole lacks, and certainly could have gone somewhere cool given another 5:00 minutes or so. But THOSE FOUR MINUTES!!! Overall, it is a solid first offering, and I can’t wait for the rest of 2013’s versions.