Download Link: 7-1-97 FTA Ghost
Quick Venue info…
From the Phish Companion:
“First of all, the Paradiso is an old church that has been converted into a performance space, replete with stained glass windows and an ornate double balcony, all in the confines of a building that holds no more than a thousand people. It was a very intimate place indeed, and the energy of the crowd was intense and intent.”
This Ghost recently received some publicity with the last installment of “From the Archives” by Kevin Shapiro (Phish archivist). A gorgeous soundboard for one of the truly fantastic Ghosts. We go from two show closing Ghosts, to a show opening Ghost! Hell yes!
Just like the previous version you can just tell the confidence they have with Ghost. I love the pace of the intro. Very deliberate, they just own the stage. Pure Funk! Page’s solo is very solid and does a great job with vibe they have created. A great overall intro section however they do butcher the drop in. Eek
We are jamming by 3:08. Gordon gets into a nice funk groove, then some slap. With Page and Gordon taking the lead and Fishman playing some groovy licks, we move quickly into a fantastic groove. Trey comes into this party with some gorgeous accompaniment. I love when he takes his time and plays with the band, not overpowering them. Fantastic space here, the lick he plays at 4:20 just sizzles.
4:38 and Trey begins to repeat a lick a couple times over. Page starts to do some crazy stuff on the synth. Trey’s repetitive lick allows the band to grow around him in the space he has created. Gordon really finds a nice spot and Page is free to make some wacky sounds. Groove city!
Funking Grooving>Back of the Worm
At 5:45 Trey moves things with some great soloing. Gordon responds with some bass hammering. Page is full into the clav, Fishman has picked up the pace a bit. We find the funk and we settle into full band Funk. All four really playing there part here and the playing is really balanced. Trey let’s go a dirty loop starting at 7:39. Fantastic sound to complement the great play by other three.
At 7:55 we are introduced to the “worm”. *(See end of the review for origin of “the worm”) We are on the back of this bad boy. Fishman knows where we are! They would repeat this theme throughout the night.
Bye Bye Worm, Hello Bliss.
At 8:35 Trey goes right into a shredding couple notes. When Phish says stuff during a jam, it is always a good sign. Trey is just shredding and pushes as the band backs off of him. The other three start to drop the tempo down on him. Page has moved into the piano and at 9:40 the whole jam changes.
Page plays a gorgeous run and Trey starts to play some grooves. It just works. I am such a sucker for jams with Page on the piano, the stuff just moves my soul. He is really the lead in this section and the others have found a great space around him. I could listen to this section over and over. Even the “worm” joins us and listens to how awesome the Chairman is.
Trey comes back in with a strong lick at 10:39 and moves to the front. Page starts to play around Trey using some beautiful chords. Gordon and Fishman continue to hold down this jam.
At 12:06 Trey finds a higher pitched riff that he plays a couple of times, then starts to solo around. This is a really great sound from Big Red. Everyone is just holding down their space. My ear moves back and forth to each member, yet it still hears everything going on. A tremendously balanced section. A+
Slowing it down…
At 14:15 they start to slow the pace down a bit. We see a bit more jazzier style from Fishman. Page kills another section! Trey backs off, takes a listen and heads back with killer sounds. At 15:23 Fishman picks up the pace and Trey starts that great sound. It is the perfect contrast between Gordon’s murky sounds and Page’s light hearted piano.
Alien Sex Funk
At 16:45 Trey starts to take the lead in this slowed down groove, and Page continues to just play beautiful note after beautiful note. At about 16:48 Gordon starts to get much louder. At 16:58 Trey is ready to do this, he plays a SERIOUS power lick. Gordo gladly suits up and begins to hammer away. Fishman is ready to really crush as well. Page stays on piano and hammers into some chords. All four start to destroy everything in their path. The sound is so powerful, this is certainly not Casper.
If the groove-Phish, with Page on piano is the stuff that moves my soul…this section is the Phish that makes my soul move in ways I didn’t think were possible. I want to break dance, flip a table, take a woman’s clothes off, and solve world peace all at the same time.
This could not be more 1997. They play this section with such power, it is one of my favorite sections in Phish history. What can I even say? I will say I couldn’t be more happy about Page staying on the piano. Those power piano chords provide such texture when the funk is going down. Gordon and Fishman are just funking brilliant and Trey is fantastic.
The crowd obviously Blows up!
Kevin Shapiro knows what he is doing. This Ghost is in my top tier. From groove brilliance to alien sex funk, it has it all. 20 minutes and not one second wasted. A True Gem
*The “worm was explained in a hightimes interview…
TA: I usually don’t talk about my drug use, because I feel it’s a private thing, but, whatever, I’ll tell you this one story. When we were in Amsterdam, me and a friend took a couple of hits of acid and a hit of Ecstasy later on that night. We were walking around and I started imagining I was riding on this giant sandworm, because the roads kind of go up and down. I was picturing these huge sandworms, diving up out of the canals.
That’s where that phrase, “Back of the Worm,” came from. The next night in the middle of this crazy jam–one of these jams that get out of control and you feel like you’re not really playing, it’s just playing for you–I think I was yelling that and people started saying, “Back of the worm!” Then I read about it on a T-shirt six months later and I’m laughing ’cause I was with my friend who was with me that night in Amsterdam. We were just laughing that some guy was wearing a T-shirt with “Back of the Worm” on it.
Credit to .net user @westbrook for sending this to me. Entire interview is at High Times Trey interview