Background (Set: 2 of 2 – Song: 2 of 8 – Show Gap: 2)
Ghost takes an important position coming from another fine rendition of “Carini.” This short but killer version of “Ghost” grabs hold of “Carini” and launches this set.
“Ghost” starts off punchy with a nice deliberate pace. Trey seems to have a bit more conviction with his rhythmic strums here. Page is strong in the solo section and Mike complements him with a fierce throwdown. Nothing mindblowing, but a touch above the average. The lead in is on point and the drop comes in nicely but then stumbles. It’s not a full on trainwreck, it’s more of something like this…
Sooo…What Do We Do? Bueller…..Bueller…..(3:07-4:45)
Fish tries a cymbal lead out to this jam and Trey goes with some wild whale-call-like tone. Page works the clav, but the beginning of this jam is a bit of a mess. Everyone is definitely trying to find a direction. Not my favorite opening section. At about the 4:24 mark Trey tries to give things a direction but it doesn’t take. More of the fumbling around… UNTIL…
TREY KNOWS THE WAY!!!! From Coal in Your Stocking to Kelly Kapowski Under the Tree (4:45-8:35)
And before you can say “Helmet’s aren’t cool,” Trey injects life into this jam! This lick is celebratory and powerful. It’s punchy, bluesy, and just badass. It’s like a Lebron James and a Anthony Hopkins lovechild. It takes only a couple of measures for the band to form around it. Fish, of course, is the first to respond and immediately picks up the pace. Within two measures, Page and Mike are completely on board and this sucker takes off.
This is the goods– from nowhere to a killer “Ghost” segment in about 40 seconds. Yeah,Phish is that good. Trey goes next level at the 5:15 mark, playing one of his more inventive leads. His tone has this cool echoey effect that gives it even more intrigue. This my friends is what they call “The Shit”.
Fish lets off the gas for just a moment and Trey starts to fade into the background a touch. Who steps up? My man crush, Page takes the opportunity during the lull around 6:05 to move to the grand piano and comes barreling to the forefront. It’s officially ON.
Trey quickly moves back to share the stage with Page and the interplay immediately becomes mind blowing. Every second is filled with glory. It’s the uplifting spectacular Phish that connects you to everyone else at the show and leaves you wanting a cigarette when it finishes. It’s the type of Phish that makes me forget how much I love dark jams, when I am blinded by the light. It’s the type of happy jam that I have yet to feel from any other band. It’s pretty good.
Trey kicks off some pretty badass triplets around the 7:00 mark, showing the chops we all love him for. Page, Fish, and Mike are all crushing behind them. Full-on band power!
Trey is throwing down some of his best work. This is not the defer-to-the-band-and-blend-in stuff we often see with Trey. This is “get on my back and I will carry you the promised land” Trey. This is not the “I wrote ‘Let Me Lie’” stuff, this is the “I wrote ‘Fluffhead’” stuff.
Fish is blistering his kit. I had to put down my ice cream and start running just to keep pace. Almost every measure he features a different beat. Yet they all work and all keep the jam running. Fish is good at drums.
At the 8:12 mark, Trey fires a screamer. He takes it up to the last notch before the eventual move downward.
This is one of my favorite all time “Ghost” sections. Incredible stuff.
Grab the Cigarette and Feel Like You are Heading to “Weekapaug” Before Putting it out in Your Ear Drums (8:46-10:47)
From the top of the mountain, the jam peels off and Fishman picks it up. It sounds for certain a move into “Weekapaug Groove” is likely but instead, it sits in this upbeat psychedelic horror groove. It’s kind of cool and you are left wondering which direction the band is going to go. That direction, unfortunately, turns out to be one of the worst segues ever into “Steam.” Can’t win ‘em all! The ugly segue only last a couple of seconds and when “Steam” finally emerges, it’s actually a great choice.
This is one of my favorite shorter versions of “Ghost”. It takes about 2 minutes to do anything, but when Trey finally figures things out, hot damn! The uplifting 4 minute celebratory jam is a thing of beauty and technical excellence. Put the MPP “Ghost” on and feel good about life.