Background (Set: 2 of 2 – Song: 1 of 10 – Show Gap: 4)
“Ghost” finds its way into the 2015 Summer Tour opener and the opening slot of the second set. On the heels of the spectacular version in Miami for 2014 New Year’s, this “Ghost” had a lot to live up to. In a show featuring three song debuts, Phish brings out the old jamming standby to test their jamming legs in 2015.
Composed Section (0:00-4:50)
This version of “Ghost” starts out a little bit different! It starts extremely slow. About 1 minute in, Trey unleashes super cool solo work. He sounds extremely Hendrix-like and this is outstanding. It fits the flow of the intro perfectly and really adds a little extra something. I loved that, Trey! Someone tell him, if you know him, because I’m pretty sure he does not read The Daily Ghost.
I have to give props to this SBD as well. Damn, does it sound good! It sounds like Phish is my living room (which is something I imagine often, along with Scarlett Johansson in my bedroom, but that fantasy is way different.)
I am loving this pace of this “Ghost”, and the solo section continues the cool vibe. Trey gets back to the Hendrix soloing. The transition in and out of the solo section is smooth.
The lead is nice, and even the drop is decent. I’m a big fan of this entire intro section. Uniqueness is always welcome.
Jamming In The Box, Actually It’s Damn Good. Because ya know….Mike Gordon (4:51-7:42)
The first part of this “Ghost” begins with strong grooving and Mike Gordon leading the way. A nice laid back jam takes shape with Trey doing the majority of the solo work.
Page goes to the baby grand at the 5:50 mark, after not completely finding his way on the clav. I’m digging this airy space and my chair dancing begins. It’s amazing how my ears perk up when Page makes his way to the piano.
Nothing out of the ordinary is going on here, but this some solid in the box jamming. There is a place for that in my heart, and yes even in “Ghost”.
I just love pretty much every note Mike has hit in this section. He finds those slight openings where he punches through.
At 6:35, Trey holds down a sustain to make sure the band is fully underneath him and ready to support him. Shocker, but they are. Trey gets to play with the best “backing” band in the world.
Fish gives a slight nudge, but Phish decides to stay within the confines of this jamming box. Trey continues to solo, but Page begins to trade dueling leads with him.
This jam starts to float to a major key around the 7:43 mark, and taking shape to a traditional build.
We Have a Build, A Small Bunny Hill, and a Toy Machine Gun (7:44-10:50)
After a Fishman fill, he picks up the pace and we’re off. Page and Mike are doing construction work, as they do so often to help build these sections. Those guys are good at Phish.
Trey starts to repeat a phrase at 8:36 that I dig. Then he comes back with a child’s version of his old machine gun at 8:51. It’s a perfectly timed light machine gun and fits the flow of this jam well. This restrained machine gun usage is about the extent of this peak, however. It certainly doesn’t come anywhere the heights the previous version in Miami reached, but it fits the overall feel of this “Ghost”.
I just need to put this somewhere: I fucking hate I was taught my entire life to use two spaces after a period and now all of the sudden I have to use one. (Editor’s Note from Pauly: WE KNOW it’s hard to ‘teach an old dog new tricks’, so we erase said double and alcohol-induced triple spaces!)
Things wind down at 9:30 for a bit, before an attempt at going up the bunny hill for another peak. Trey just doesn’t find it. It’s kind of a shame, because Mike is crushing yet again and the spot for Trey to do damage was there.
This build/peak section is not bad by any means, it just doesn’t do anything to make it memorable.
Outro>Wheels Fall Off (10:51-12:24)
Fishman pushes after the peak for a solid 30 seconds before beginning to play lighter. Trey tries some effects that have more of that Hendrix sound. This section tries to find something to stick, but nothing does.
It’s like throwing ice cream at Tony Danza. I have no idea what that means, but that is the analogy that came to me.
It fizzles out and gets extremely disjointed, before Trey finally puts it out to pasture at the 12:24 mark by starting “Birds of a Feather”.
Most tour openers reveal a bit of rust and you can find plenty of that in this Bend “Ghost”. It’s got some good points for it. The intro section is fantastic and I actually dig the opening chill groovy jam. I can throw that on, get dancing in my chair, and sit back in awe of Mike Gordon. The build/peak section is nice as well. If I’m at a show, I’m rocking out hard. It just doesn’t stack up to “Ghosts” that build and peak ten times better. It’s a classic major key “Ghost” jam that we all love. It’s just not that memorable and a version most won’t revisit.