Background (Ghost Position: Set 1 – Song 2 of 13)
The first Ghost of the European ’98 Tour, is placed right at the beginning of the first set, of the first show. The Story of the Ghost album finished recording in June of 1998. The new style of Ghost, which is similar to the album version, would be played from this point forward. This Ghost has some funny banter at the end and does not have any segues.
Composed Section (0:00-4:30)
The slower drawn out composed section of Ghost is showed for the first time. Fishman’s slow drum beat and Mike’s recognizable bass start this Ghost. You can tell nobody knows what to make of it, because at 1:43 when Trey starts the words the crowd responds with hoots and hollers. Trey has his loops going throughout. The solo section starts a bit slower but Mike gives it a lot more life towards the end. A long pause, leads to a botched drop in. You didn’t expect them to nail it after almost a three month layoff did you? The new composed section the first time out adds about a minute and a half before getting into the jam.
Slow Ghost Groove (4:30-7:03)
Thanks to the slower pace in the intro, the jam starts off a bit smoother. The sectioned off beginning of the jam, is no more. Mike and Fish carry their new “Ghost theme” sounds into the jam. Mike plays that bass line for the first 45 seconds or so.
At the 5:25 mark Trey starts to move a bit towards the front. He begins soloing very lightly and gradually carves himself a bigger space. Around the 6:00 mark, Page moves to the piano and the jam starts to balance very nicely. Fish locks down the beat while Mike starts to move around a bit. Page compliments Trey’s lead very nicely from 6:00-6:30.
At 6:30, Trey starts to repeat a riff while Page is given full freedom to play over top of him. Gordon also fills plenty of the space Trey’s repeated riff leaves.
Moving it up (7:04-8:00)
At about 7:04 both Fish and Trey start to push the pace. Fish moves things right along as Trey, Mike, and Page all start to play more notes. The Phish foursome begins to build the jam and also create some tension along they way.
A Fire is Lit in Copenhagen (8:01-10:55)
At 8:00 Trey moves into full fledged solo mode. Big Red finds that great tone and really rips into this section. Trey’s solo is great and within the context of this jam. Page backs him up on organ and Gordon moves within any empty space he finds. Later Page moves back to piano as the jam picks up even more.
At 8:30, Trey starts to repeat a lick to help build things up even more. Then at the 9:05 mark Trey starts repeating some notes very quickly. You know it is coming…
At 9:35, Trey lets the tension go every so slightly. The band continues to build and then at 9:55, Trey gets back to repeating some notes super fast.
At the 10:10, mark Trey starts to rip into his solo harder. It doesn’t last too long however, as Fish seems to direct him to drive the jam down.
This “almost” peak section is pretty cool but never lets the fire completely eat. This Ghost was the appetizer, as the next few versions will be the main course.
Funk Outro>Banter (10:56-11:49 Banter 11:50-14:13)
As Fish, and then Mike begin to break the jam down, Trey soon does the same. The jam goes to a very minimalist funk state, and gets very cool before stopping on a dime. I would have loved to see this part last a couple of minutes longer!
After the short funk outro, the jam stops and Trey says “I hope you enjoyed that Ghost as much as we did.” Some great banter (about banter) ensues and will definitely give you a laugh. It is Phish having fun on stage after recording a great album. Great times!
A great starting Ghost for the European ’98 tour. The intro is played well, some great grooving and a nice build with a decent peak. Great start-to-finish flow with this version. Nothing is really jaw dropping but make no mistake, this Ghost laid the foundation for our next Ghost in Copenhagen. Trust me, you won’t want to miss that one!