LawnMemo

The Daily Ghost

The Daily Ghost #131 10/27/2014 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA

Background (Set: 2 of 2 – Song: 4 of 10 – Show Gap: 2)

“Ghost” is officially starting to get played a lot in Fall 2014. Second straight time with a 2 show gap. This one comes in the middle of the second set. Stumbling in from a normal “Waiting All Night”, “Ghost” has plenty of time to shine.

Intro (0:00-4:22)

WHAT IN THE FUCK IS GOING ON? I mean, WHAT IN THE FUCK IS GOING ON?

I think maybe they tried to make the intro extra funky? Well, it failed miserably and they just keep going with it.

HOLY SHIT… THIS IS BAD!

It sounds like Donald Trump giving a speech. It also sounds like Joe Biden giving a speech. It sounds like the sound I make when I read about people going out into mass gatherings. It sounds like the sound I make when I look in the mirror and see my pathetic attempt at a beard.

This might be worse than the disastrous Coventry “Ghost” intro. At 1:56, Trey laughs about it. This man can literally laugh about anything. A full blow train wreck is going down, and Trey laughs it up.

Well, laughing doesn’t help. In fact, at 2:50 during the solo section, IT GETS WORSE!.

And yup, the drop isn’t much better. My thoughts on possibly the worst intro in “Ghost” history…

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The unprecedented 3 car crash gif! It’s never been done! Uncharted wreckage!

You Think More of that Horse Shit is a Good Idea? (4:23-5:39)

What’s even more F’d up, not only is the intro an all-time worst… Trey thinks he should recall the “Ghost” theme to start the jam. The next minute is more of the same damn wreck. Not even Page on the clav can save this mess. Wow. Let’s move along. Nothing more to see here.

Thank God for Jon Fishman, He Just Gave You the Gift of “Ghost”>The Abyss of Awesome (5:40-9:30)

Just when I want to punch myself, everything in my house, and everyone I’ve ever met in the face… enter Jon Fishman… to calm me down. The Master. I listened to Alpine Ruby Waves today and it’s breathtaking what Fish gets done in that jam. What he does here is literally the opposite.

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At the 5:40 mark he stops playing.

Fish literally played nothing to SAVE this “Ghost”. He stopped that trainwreck dead in its tracks before it did even more damage. He put the fire out with silence.

And almost immediately, the “Ghost” jam takes shape.

Trey plays a cool lick and immediately finds his chops. This jam evolves from garbage to cool as fuck in 2 seconds. This is a reminder, yet again. The best jam drummer of all-time plays in the band Phish. The band is named after him for a reason. Don’t ever forget it!

Make sure you focus on Fish during your listening session. He keeps up a soft feel with minimalist drumming throughout this section. What results is one of the cooler and most unique jam sections. There are very few Phish jams that sound like the Ghost Salvage Wreck. Even on the recording, you can hear each note echo through Bill Graham. It’s stunning just how much of everything you can hear.

I love this section. It’s slinky, it’s slanky, and you can hear every single note by each band member.

Trey’s little repeating lick at 6:45 is fucking cool as shit. Right after that, Page switches tones at 7:00. Careful you might miss it. It’s only one bar but it’s sooooo awesome. It gives me chills.

I am in a much better mood than I was 4 minutes ago.

At 7:25, Fishman comes in with a booming sound and incredibly pushes the jam forward while not disrupting everything else going on. Good lord, Fish. Ladies and Gentlemen, when you hear Fishman practices for 3+ hours a day, his skills are on full display here. Nobody develops that kind of feel and imagination without an insane amount of practice. Try drumming along at home and see if you come up with anything like Fish does here.

This cool space that has been rolling around continues and it’s soooo damn cool. At 8:30, it sounds like the jam might rocket forward, but Mike switches to this sick laser beam effect. From there, we dig deeper into the Abyss. At the 9:00 mark, Page drips the dreamiest of sounds from the heavens.

Trey gets a damn cool riff going and leads us out of Abyss. With each bar, we swim closer to the surface.

A Moment of Perfection>Locked In Groove (9:31-11:59)

The band, from 9:30 to 10:15, works to find the correct timing for something magical. Everyone does their own thing, and somehow it kind of works. Still, they’re searching for a true moment of magic.

At 10:13, it happens. One of my favorite single bars of jamming. Blink and you might miss it, but fuck is it good.

How does it happen? Among all the incredibly complex beats Fishman has been weaving, he just sits on the ride cymbal. Well, Trey throws down a quick rhythm lick, and Page pounces on it about a millisecond. Mike waits 2 beats, and then comes in once he hears Page.

The perfection specifically peaks around 10:13-10:23. Page’s melody is what I live for. It’s hard for me to finish these “Ghost” reviews because I rewind sections like this 100 times.

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But, this jam isn’t done. Not even close….

In fact, they take that moment of perfection and continue to build upon it. Trey rocks that lick, which becomes the centerpiece for this section. Page on the baby grand is absolutely sublime.

By 10:45, Fishman mixes in stupid crazy fills while just riding this jam. This is how you push.

Trey responds by taking this awesome lick to the next level at the 11 min mark.

This is my shit right here, people! By the 11:11 mark, after another Fishman fill, the band is fully locked in. I’m dancing my ass off right now…. this is so unique, so groovy, and for me….this is what I love to dance to.

Anyone remember the intro? Me either. LETS FUCKING GO!!!! What a band.

A Trey Pay Off Like Few Others, Complete Unicorn Bald Eagle Tuxedo Majesty (12:00-15:00)

At about the 12 min mark, the jam shifts ever so slightly. Page takes over at 12:13. My goodness has he been good the last couple of minutes. Fishman just glides the band forward and Trey finds another gorgeous lick at 12:30.

Trey laughing about how bad the intro was has been replaced by his true inner Icculus spirit. Nothing gets me more emotional than Trey playing the perfect lick at the perfect time. And this… this is one of these moments. 12:30-12:55 is locked in perfection.

Trey peels off that lick and starts to go for the glory at 13:10. He begins a solo and the intensity picks up.

Another shout out to Page, who drops another perfect melody at 13:36, and another at 13:46. The latter which, I’m convinced inspires Trey to play what he plays at 13:51.

And Holy Shit, what an inspiration Page gave Trey. That lick at 13:51 with THAT angelic tone. GOOD LORD is that thing gorgeous. It sounds like it belongs in a “Slave To the Traffic Light” jam. It sounds like an angel came down from Heaven and played the Languedoc. It sounds like the night I turned 21. It sounds like the night I got away with having sex with my ex-girlfiend on a trampoline in her back yard. It sounds like the sound I made when Pornhub announced Pornhub Premium was free.

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It’s these moments from Trey that made Phish go from just a jam band to a full-blown obsession for all of us.

I needed to hear this absolutely positively the moment of greatness while sitting in this second/third week quarantine. I will always love you, Trey. Thank you for the 13:50-14:15 of the 10/27/2014 “Ghost”.

After that breathtaking stretch, Trey goes into some triplets while Page just hammers underneath. The emotion of Trey’s majesty rides out from there and that is the “peak” of this “Ghost”.

Wow.

Ourto (15:01-16:36)

Trey plays what sounds like a very “Piper”-like riff and Fish pushes super fast. It sounds like something might leap out and take shape, but eventually it fizzles out. It quiets down measure by measure around the 16:00 mark with some pretty little moments. Eventually they scale all the way down to nothing, before the band moves on to “Bug”.

What a journey.

Final Thoughts

Anyone else feel like they just run a marathon? It’s crazy to think how good this “Ghost” is considering the wreck where it came from. Possibly the worst composed section since Coventry ever gives birth to a true Type 2 masterpiece. The speed at which Phish can turn it on is on display once again. Intros don’t factor into the score. They only get mentioned.

When you take the intro out of the equation, what are we left with here?

This is among one of the most unique “Ghost” jams of all time. In fact, it’s one of the most unique jams… period! The speed at which it goes true Type 2 is incredible. From the moment Fishman stops playing at 5:40, I love everything about the rest of this “Ghost”. Fishman and Page put in top top tier performances. I love the incredible space and echoey-feel of 5:40-9:30. I love how the jam moves forward before really locking in and grooving after that. To cap off Trey’s brilliance from 13:50-14:15, they throw a powerful Mike Tyson right cross to finish off this “Ghost” and secure its place in history. It’s not among the top of the top tiers, but I fucking LOVE this “Ghost”. It gets an A.

Score: 9.0

P.S. Make sure you spin another re-listen just listening to Fishman only. Then do one focusing on Page. You will thank me.

P.S.S Spin the “2001” that comes later in this set.  It’s 7 minutes of pure fire.

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