Background (Ghost Position: Set 2 – Song 2 of 6-Show Gap: 8)
Ghost is placed in the beginning of a six song set with full room to grow. The segue from the end of Possum, and the segue into a full version of Lifeboy is included.
Composed Section (0:11-4:55)
After the end of Possum, Trey creates a loopy landscape, and Mike comes marching through. Bum, bum, bum, bum…here comes another bad ass Ghost. Trey gets really funky when he comes in and another great slow paced intro begins.
The solo section continues the smooth funk, and sees Trey get involved heavily for one of the first times. An extremely long pause, that goes completely silent (save for a couple Trey loops). The long pause leads to a drop in that is not perfect, but certainly an improvement over the last couple.
A Pocket of Groove (4:56-7:00)
Another jam that begins with a groove that the band takes its time with. Mike create the backbone of this jam with powerful blasts of bass. He is extremely loud and many notes make my headphones shake. Mike’s playing is calculated and provides a map and a road for the the jam to move.
Fish has a nice slower beat working that he latches onto and does not let go. Trey moves out in front a bit, but is very controlled in his playing. Big Red’s notes are purposeful and to the point.
At the 6:25 mark, you can hear Page try and carve some space for his piano. He has been very quiet while Mike and Trey lead things early. Trey at this point starts to repeat a lick and build the jam. Page starts to jump in more and more.
At the 7:00 mark, Fish and Mike start to push the tempo, but it doesn’t take right away. The boys want to groove, and groove they do. We have time man! It is the beginning of the second set..
Smooth Side of the Building (7:01-10:45)
The jam continues to be fluid and a serious groove party. This is yet another example of the band being locked in. My ear constantly is changing between all four band members. Fishman has the perfect tempo, and Mike’s bass walks a beautiful balance between power and support. Trey is soloing the entire time, but at no point does he push it to the next level. Page’s piano is there to fill any gaps and compliment the play of Trey. Whoa, that just rhymed…
These sections no matter where I am, make me sit back and smile. Few bands ever achieve such harmony with each other. These sections make Phish what they are. Phish is the sum of its parts and all four parts are as equal as any band that has lived.
At the 9:45 mark, things pick up as Trey repeats a lick, and Page starts to play more and more chords to back him up. Fish is subtly picking up the pace as well.
Safe to say I am a huge fan of this section and the previous one. The jam builds, but at such a slow pace it is hard to even notice. Instead, my ear and soul are completely locked in on how locked in Phish is. The beautiful piano of Page, the deep rocking bass of Mike, Fishman keeping the beat to my body, and Trey giving the perfect amount of life to the jam. Well done fellas.
Ahhhhhh Yeah! (10:46-14:39)
At about the 10:45 Fish picks up the pace and Page gets on the funky church organ. Yup, it is a full on dance party in the LawnMemo review room. Mike hammers a bass line into the party and Trey chugs along. Hard to not get up and move with this party in my ears that is being thrown down.
We are certainly deep in the Ghost now. This section is super funky, yet it is definitely laying the ground work for the peak. Whatever you want to call this section, my laptop is shaking to the movements coming from my body. This build is hot and at 12:07 Page…comes….in….on….the…piano….Uh oh!
From the minute the piano enters the dance party, The Chairman shows you why it is called the rage side. Someone get me my straight jacket. This part is a mixture of disco, funk, and Page fire bolts. My volume is officially at full blast. A nuclear bomb could go off next door to me right now and I wouldn’t hear.
Starting at about the 12:24 mark Page owns this sucker. Every note/chord just powers through. I just smile and take another mental note as to why he is my favorite piano player. Fishman is also doing some serious work, and varying up the tempo and his method of attack.
High marks to Trey in this section as well. Red is very workmanlike in his approach to this section. He gives the perfect hoops for Page and Fish to blast through. He balances long ringing notes, repetitive sections, and a bit of murky tones. All these things let Page’s piano ring true. His time will most certainly come!!
Deer Peak (14:36-16:07)
At 14:36, workmanlike Trey is taking a break. Ass kicking machine gun Trey is here. He comes roaring into this section. He doesn’t completely take over though. Mike’s is throwing monster bass notes, Fishman is blasting away.
At 15:03 Page comes firing back on the church organ sound and starts to take more and more space. He is ripping power chord after chord, while Trey solos around him. Trey starts to repeat lick after lick, and you can feel something awesome coming. At 15:30 Mike unleashes some monster bass bombs…the bombs must have exploded because what comes next…Damn!
At 15:39, Pure Type 2 magic is created! Page plays one of his coolest melodies after Fish rips a fill. Trey twangs it out and Mike moves all over the place. Fishman finds his spot and pushes the pace while the Chairman drops church funk note after church funk note. This is why AUDs sometimes are the vehicle of choice. You can hear the crowd going nuts. I love it!
A raging peak that finishes off with some crazy Type 2 magic? My kind of Ghost. 1998, you complete me!
Slow Down>Outro>Lifeboy (16:08-19:35)
Trey starts to slow things down by repeating a riff. Page soon does the same, and shortly after, Fish slows things down. The jam begins to break down as Trey repeats his riff.
By about the 17:00 mark, the jam has broken down almost completely. Page continues to create some awesome sounds. He could not be more on top of his game during this Ghost.
At 17:45, Trey breaks out of the mold and starts to play a spacey tone that is really cool in this outro section. Then, at 18:30 it is Fish’s turn to step outside the box. He starts hitting some cymbals and it almost sounds like he may go into David Bowie for a second.
The jam then goes into deep, deep into outer space. It sounds like the biggest intergalactic spaceship ever might land. Then, Lifeboy emerges. Such a curve ball, yet so fantastic. I love unpredictably in segues. Great work.
1998 people! This is how Ghost is done. Another great smooth beginning jam section, with a great build, and a blistering peak. This Ghost also gets bonus points for a super cool Type 2 moment inside of the peak, and a great outro, and cool segue. Another freaking awesome Ghost. My mind is going to explode trying to rate all of these.