Background (Set: 2 of 3 – Song: 2 of 6 – Show Gap: 3)
So, “Ghost” goes from Halloween to NYE. “Ghost” found itself used to open the Halloween show, but here on New Year’s Eve, it gets one of the premier jam slots. A short “Birds of a Feather” kicks off this second set and “Ghost” gets a chance to live up to its potential.
A solid punchy beginning for this “Ghost”. Page digging deep on the clav.
The solo section continues with Page hammering away on the clav. Other than that, the band takes a low key approach and moves through everything, just of kind treading along.
The lead in gets an interesting build from Trey, and the drop is solid. Another decent, but certainly unspectacular composed section of “Ghost”.
Just Chilling in “Ghost” Groove (3:34-5:30)
You can feel the laid back approach to this “Ghost”. Situated in a prime jam slot, this jam takes it’s time to move in a different direction. Phish sits down in the initial “Ghost” groove and the band works that groove for a couple minutes.
Trey and Page (on the clav again) trade melodies back and forth. This typical opening “Ghost” jam is certainly not bad, but there isn’t anything spectacular happening either.
At 5:20, Page goes to the baby grand for one bar. It’s just the change the band needed. Listen close, or you might miss it. It’s right when the crowd begins to roar. Page quickly retreats, but Trey pivots and plays some rhythm. The jam finally starts to take shape.
Breaking Away and 40 seconds of Trey Bringing a Slice of Heaven to Miami (5:31-6:55)
Make no mistake, that rhythmic melody Trey drops at 5:30 is the most important part of this jam. The pocket forms around it and we’re off. Mike mixes in all types of goodness while still keeping this bassline go. It’s something Gordon does often. He can keep the groove going while mixing in the slightest variations that make all the difference. He’s a master.
Page returns to the baby grand at 6:03 and you know that means!?!?!? It’s time to get awesome. So many of my favorite sections in Phish history occur when Page gets on the gorgeous baby grand piano.
Only 10 seconds after Page hits the baby grand, Trey finds an absolutely stunning melody. These are the types of melodies that generate next level jams. It’s one of those melodies you’re singing the next day. It’s the one of those melodies you remember years later when you go back to listen to the jam. The tone is perfect, the pace is perfect, and it seems like an angel is hugging you while gazing at a dazzling sunset.
Ok, I need to come clean here. I am starting to use a thing called a “thesaurus”. I’m starting to realize I use “gorgeous” and “beautiful” too much. If you start to see some words you wouldn’t expect me to use in The Daily Ghost, there is a reason why. I’m cheating.
6:15-6:55 is probably my favorite part of this “Ghost”. I’m obsessed with Trey’s tone and style of lead.
Trey’s tone continues but he’s beginning to play longer notes, which gives the band a chance to build underneath him. You can hear Page take control starting at about 7:20. He lays down some particularly marvelous (thesaurus’d) melodies.
After Page plays a couple of those splendid leads, he starts to hammer down some chords. That starts at about the 7:30 mark and we’re officially in full on build the peak mode.
Longer held notes from Trey and Mike are now finding all kinds of room as well. Fishman rides the wave and you can feel that familiar feeling. That feeling you go to Phish for. That feeling that is present in so many of your favorite jams. That feeling that, when you are lucky enough to see it live, you look at the person you love next to you, and they look at you, and it’s the greatest feeling of joy you could ever express to someone.
I like a great peak as much as the next guy, but analyzing Phish as much as I have over the years has made me appreciate the build. How do we get to that peak? I am thrilled the moment I can hear and feel the jam move toward it. The second I recognize that movement it’s a colossal shift of emotion. I try to clear some dancing space, or get out of my chair cause I’m going to need that room to dance.
Triple Peak? This Is The Type of Threesome I’m Looking for…….WARNING YOU WILL FEEL AMAZING LISTENING TO THIS SECTION (8:05-10:10)
Trey does his little trill thing at 7:59 that he LOVES to do to build tension. It’s tried and true. There is a reason it’s tried and true because at…
Holy fucking shit. He holds the sustain on that note and its full on majesty. The peak people!
Ohhhhh baby that hits the spot….
An even biggggggggeerrrrr peak!!!!! Hot damn! Page throwing it down in this second peak as well. DAMN.
This peak is incredibly similar to “The Holy Ghost” (12/31/2011) which also took place on NYE. Page plays almost the exact thing underneath Trey’s sustain. It’s fucking breathtaking stuff. It’s the stuff that when you think about the thousands of dollars you spent on Phish, you realize it was sooooooooo worth it. If you’re sap like me, it leaves you in a heaping puddle of tears while fist pumping the entire time. It’s one of those moments where if you happen to be early in your Phish journey you later say to someone the Miami “Ghost” was my “it” moment.
This review is going to take me a long time to finish because I rewinded this section 20 times already.
The best part? It keeps going. The same “build” theme is raging post double peak. Phish crushes these sections like no other band. Re-wind a couple times. You can hear Trey, Page, and Mike absolutely killing it individually. Yet somehow it all works together to push and drive forward.
It sounds like they may just ride this section until…
Trey pivots from some elegant (thesaurus’d) leads to a repeated phrase at 9:17. Well you know what a Trey repeated phrase means in a jam like this right? Another build!!!! Oh shit, get your pacemaker ready. Trey, your fanbase is pretty damn old at this point! You sure we can take this???? No looking back now!!!! LETSSSSSSSSSSS GOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!
9:35 I can feel it….
9:50 Damn, he is REALLY building it!!!!!!
The third peak is the biggest yet!!!! WOW WOW WOW.
That was a Mike tyson jab, right hook, and then an uppercut. I feel like I just had an orgy (well what I imagine an orgy is like, I’m definitely not cool enough to be invited to one). I can’t believe we are only 10 minutes into this jam.
This “Ghost” went from chilling to full-fucking rage in like 4 minutes.
Riding the Wave Back to Shore (10:11-11:56)
How am I supposed to continue writing after that? Every endorphin I had just got released. The review must go on, Memo!
Off that ridiculous triple peak the band rides the wave back into shore. Nasty Miami reference, Memo!
Usually this is the end of “Ghost” and a return to the outro jam. But, this “Ghost” has more to give yet.
Return to “Ghost” Theme (11:57-13:05)
At 11:57, Fishman throws down the kick drum and the recent trend to finish with the “Ghost” theme continues. This one however is wayyyyyyy cooler.
A full return jam breaks out. Trey is soloing and Mike drops a couple bass bombs. Trey then shifts back to rhythm for a few measures before coming back with the “Ghost” theme. Cool stuff!
This is an uncommon move by Phish to break back away from the “Ghost” theme and go into a second jam!
Second “Ghost” Jam (13:06-16:35)
We are jamming again! A cool bluesy jam breaks out before Fishman kicks on the afterburners at 13:43. Hold on to your helmet.
Holy fuckballs!!! More peaking action!!!!
The second jam has more of a build than the full release we saw earlier. If Trey had fully peaked here, it probably would have collapsed the building.
The build is awesome stuff, but after the half peak, it finally starts to fizzle out.
Everyone in the band tries a couple things to revive this “Ghost” but none of it sticks. Fishman especially plays some crazy stuff as this “Ghost” finds its conclusion and moves into “Theme From the Bottom”.
If you like blissful Phish (that makes you feel amazing), then this version of “Ghost” has to rank among your favorites. The similarities between this Miami “Ghost” and the 12/31/2010 “Holy Ghost” are undeniable. Both forge ahead like a freight train to bliss town. It even takes them about the same amount of time to peak. Miami has a 3 mountain top approach where the “Holy Ghost” is more of a sustained marathon to one of the best peaks ever. Both versions are spectacular. The Miami version also features some gorgeous Trey work before the peak and cool second jam. I think as a general feeling the “Holy Ghost” just does it for me a bit more. Not by much though. This Miami “Ghost” is breathtaking. Put it on anytime you need to feel better. Three peaks can do wonders for the soul.