Background (Ghost Position: Set 1 – Song 1 of 8-Show Gap: 2)
Taken from phish.net show notes:
“This “under the radar” show was never formally announced by Phish. San Francisco radio station KFOG leaked word of an upcoming “surprise announcement” two weeks before the show, telling Phish fans to tune in on Saturday morning for details. The 11:00 a.m. announcement was that tickets would be sold at noon the vacant Pier 32, prompting a mad rush of fans to the waterfront. Of the several thousand who arrived, roughly four hundred lucky people were able to buy vouchers entitling them to a pair of tickets. Brian and Robert was performed with a yellow spotlight on Fishman after Trey mentioned how much he hates the yellow lights. Page responded with a short tease of HYHU, also hated by Fishman. Reba did not have the whistling ending. Hood contained a tease of Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man. After the show, some fans were given a poster (later for sale from Phish Dry Goods) and a bumper sticker (saying: “We’ve just come from Phish at the Fillmore. It was nice.”).”
Ghost opens the show with a segue into Water in the Sky which is included in today’s clip.
Composed Section (0:00-4:49)
The familiar Trey loops begin the show at the Fillmore. After a lot of crowd noise, Mike’s bass comes knocking through the door. You can definitely hear the energy from the band as each note is struck with a lot of force. Not to mention there is a ton of crowd noise at the beginning of this version. A faster pace to this first Ghost, of the Fall tour. Much faster than what we saw in the summer.
Page brings the extra funk sauce in the solo section. A long pause and an O.K. drop in. Not nearly as bad as some of the summer drop ins but not perfect either. The end lyrics are a little over-sung for my tastes as well.
Ghost Storm (4:50-8:18)
Mike charges into the jam with huge powerful notes, he is throwing down with full force. Mike’s bass is thunderous and really makes you take notice. I love this take on the beginning Ghost jam. Very different, and unique.
At 5:20, Trey adds some space into the thunder and then starts to navigate through this Cactus storm. Trey finds a great tone that cuts through the loops and compliments the power from Mike. Fishman is providing a fantastic wind direction for this storm as well. Trey backs off a bit after he enters, and then the thunder from Mike becomes even more pronounced.
At 6:18, the rain starts to fall from Page’s piano. The storm shifts from the powerful Gordon thunder to lightning (Trey) and rain (Page). This Cactus inspired jam is really damn good. Trey, with wonderfully timed funk rifts, and Page cutting through the dark clouds, take this jam up a notch. Mike is still crashing some thunder but now more in line with the jam that has been formed. Fishman is on point and I love this section so much.
This storm certainly has one heck of a funky jazz tone to it. At the 7:15 mark, Page really starts to play some fantastic melodies. I can’t stop listening to this section. I should be continuing to write this review, but I just had to listen to this about 10 times. They are so locked in, and moving in such a beautiful Fishman created direction.
At the 8:00 mark, Fish switches gears and it sounds like the jam is about to start breaking down. Just the opposite however! This storm is just getting started…Hang onto your hats!
The Monsoon is Coming (8:18-10:44)
After what I thought was going to be a Ghost breakdown, they start to pick things up a bit. Just after that they start to pick things up…at the 8:30 mark they start to take it down again..then…they pick it right back up!! Phish is taking me on a emotional roller coaster! I love that little section!
Once Trey plays THAT note at 8:45, there is no going back. This storm is moving, and moving quickly. Page lays some great chord work down, and then Big Red moves out in front at 9:10, and starts to build some tension. He repeats a few super quick notes and Page just blisters in chord after chord around him. This weather system is quickly going from tropical storm to hurricane.
At 10:15 Trey begins the final assent to the peak, as he finds a great build melody to work around. The band builds wonderfully around him and every second grows stronger….and then….
THE MONSOON (10:45-13:27)
WOW! At 10:45 the air is let out, the band DESTROYS their instruments, and the crowd absolutely erupts. Good sign you are in a hose jam? When the crowd screams because they are loosing their minds. I swear Page hit those first couple of notes with the Hammer of Thor.
The lick Trey finds and the bombs dropped by Mike are no slouches either. Trey starts to rip into a solo and we are officially in the eye of this Monsoon! Fishman is crushing this beat, Trey is slaying note after note, and I am smiling from ear to ear.
Page hammers out a few more awesome chords starting at 11:35, before Trey starts to build some insane tension shortly after. While he builds the tension, Page continues to hammer right into in this jam.
At 12:10, Fish drops the hammer and Trey rips a quick solo, before he starts to settle it down a bit. The insanity of that peak starts to move toward a breakdown. It doesn’t do it right away but you can feel the air slowly being let out. The Monsoon is moving away as quickly as it came.
The jam stays strong for a while, and then at the 13:19 mark, really starts to fade. What the heck just happened? I don’t know but I want it to happen again! That was awesome!
The Calm after the Storm (13:28-16:30)
The wind of Fish, and the rain drops of Page, give the calming to the madness of that Monsoon. Soft playing by everyone gives the jam an entirely new direction and feel. The jam becomes extremely minimalist and very beautiful. You know I am a huge fan of these Ghosts that have a great peak, and then have these gorgeous outro sections.
Trey finds a tone that reminds me of the howling winds at the 15:00 mark. Page’s rig sounds like snowflakes dropping on the landscape. The outro then floats among the clouds before beginning to move towards Water in the Sky. You can hear the faintest bit of it beginning at 16:25. Cool segue.
This is exactly the reason that I decided to do this project. I think I have heard this Ghost maybe once before, but was barely paying attention. A show that is extremely unknown, and a Ghost that I barely knew. Then…magic in my ears, I love this Ghost so much. It has insane Cactus bombs, a funky jazz section, an awesome build, an insane drop in on the peak, and finished with a beautiful outro. This version puts it’s own spin on a formula that works so well for Ghost and executes it to perfection.