Background (Set: 1 of 2 – Song: 1 of 12 – Show Gap: 6)
It has been a LONG time since “Ghost” has visited us in the first set. Not since the “Ghost->Spooky” from Halloween 2010. We have to go WAY back for the last time (Fillmore ’98) a show was lucky enough to have “Ghost” open. If you are curious, yes I was there, and yes friends around me had to administer CPR.
Composed Section (0:00-3:49)
I arrived in Denver on Wednesday before the show, for two nights of unbelievably fun times, before the show even started on Friday night. I recommend going to the 1up cafe, which has classic arcade games and great draft beer. So after all that excitement, and getting my roots down in Denver I was pretty amped up for Friday’s show, as I imagine many of you were as well.
It is full disclosure time….Me (The Writer of the previous 115 Ghost reviews) called this wrong. When Trey started warming up, I thought I heard him playing the riff from “Undermind.” Then when Trey played that first strum of “Ghost” I was in total shock.
I thought maybe my mind was playing tricks on me. Does everything just sound like “Ghost” in my head now? Nope…this was really happening!! GHOST OPENER!!! The “Ghopener” as my friend Maya was calling it!
Immediately every glow stick that was near me was thrown at my head. Luckily I wear a helmet and glasses, and was therefore unharmed. I received 38 text messages and even more tweets. Life is good at Dick’s!!!!
Trey EASES into the intro. “Ghost” develops an even pace, maybe a touch on the slower side. The intro is short before the lyrics kick in.
The solo section kicks in and Mike is more prominent than usual from the start. He of course kicks it up a notch toward the end as well. Nothing spectacular however from this solo section. Below average.
The lead in is well paced and smooth. The pause gets some space effects and gets…NAILED!!!!!!
We Love Dick’s, We Love Dick’s, We Love Dick’s! “Ghost” opener, and nailed drop? You can bet your ass I was pumped for the jam, and was dancing like a crazy person!
Finding a direction stat! (3:50-5:15)
The jam begins to look for a direction before Trey plays a couple of long notes at 4:14, giving plenty of space to his band mates. Fish starts to drive the pace, and Mike jumps on board and produces a good amount of notes. As the jam starts to take shape, Trey makes his move and starts to solo at the 4:40 mark.
This would be the start of a technique Trey would use quite a bit at Dick’s 2013. Playing some long notes to let the jam take shape around him. When he starts to play on top of the structure that was built by his band mates the jam flows so smooth.
Fishman is completely on top of his game right from the start. Every strike seems perfectly timed, and he is pushing things immediately. It is freakin “Ghost” opener, time to get the crowd PUMPED!
Probably at about this point, I was still trying to comprehend the fact that I was in the middle of a “Ghost” opener. I was dancing up a storm, while my brain was being decomposed. I felt something like this…
Getting things together (5:16-7:05)
At the 5:15 mark Page gets on the piano and the jam starts to find the goods. Gordon is providing an excellent, powerful back drop as Page works himself into a more prominent position. At 5:40, Page plays an excellent chord right before Fish drops a fill.
The band is completely in sync and tremendously balanced. I am moving my ear quickly around to each band member. Although Fish, as with many other “Ghost” builds and peaks, is getting the most of my attention. This three day run at Dick’s had some of my favorite Fishman shows in quite a long time, and he laid the groundwork here.
The great part about this build is that it is done as entire group. With the balanced playing, it sounds like one note emulating from the band, it makes it seem so much more powerful. There is fluidity and patience. This is my kind of opener!!
Guy Forget? Forget that!!! LETS GET THIS SHOW ON THE ROAD!!! (7:15-9:56)
Starting at the 7:05 mark, Trey starts to come awfully close to a “Guy Forget” tease but never quite gets there. That lick seems to step things up a notch and Trey gets after it. At 7:26, Trey builds some tension and Fishman begins his destruction of all things holy.
Trey reads his former roommate like a book and does the same thing at 7:49. Trey sets them up and Fish KNOCKS THEM DOWN!! The dark, dirty “Ghost” is nowhere to be found. Instead we have an opening, ass-kicking, dance party.
Then Trey takes it up another notch! At the 8:02 mark, there is officially a Trey machine gun sighting. The crowd loves it and it seems to be the dirt to Fishman’s vacuum as he destroys this last section. Page and Mike are providing a runaway for Fishman to drive down.
Despite Fishman’s attempts to add rocket fuel to this fire, it starts to fade a bit and Trey starts to play the “Ghost” theme around 8:57. Fishman won’t give up without a fight and continues to try and push. Eventually Trey drives the “Ghost” theme hard enough that our “Ghost” opener concludes.
The “Ghopener” does it’s job. Is it the greatest version ever? Of course not. Did it immediately send an incredible vibe into the crowd? HELL YES! Did it rock like an opener should? You bet! Only four Ghosts this summer, and nothing that really made its way into the excellent conversation. I think I like the SPAC “Ghost” based on the sweet staccato dance party section. I have a a feeling a dirty, dirty, Ghost lurks in the fall!! See you there!