The Daily Ghost

The Daily Ghost #114 07/21/2013 FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, Chicago, IL


Background (Set: 2 of 2 – Song: 2 of 5 – Show Gap: 9)

After a long nine show gap, “Ghost” is called upon at a crucial moment.  After a crazy two and a half shows, we find the song located in the money jam spot.  It followed an excellent version of “Energy” that came after a rain shortened first set.  After the plinko dance party affair at SPAC, how would “Ghost” respond?

The sweet segue into “The Lizards” has been included as well as the complete song.

Side note: Now that everyone calls me “The Ghost Guy” they like to throw glowsticks at my helmet when “Ghost” starts… which is exactly what happened in Chicago.

chi ticket stub

Composed Section (0:00-2:55)
“Ghost” begins with a slow pace after the awesome “Energy” jam.  A nice deliberate pace dominates this “Ghost” intro.  The solo section gets a heavy dose of Page’s clav, some funk licks from Trey, and a big bass delivery from Mike.  Nothing that crazy.

The lead in is pretty smooth and the pause gets some light Trey, and a bunch of different Fishman noises.  Then…

Wait…nine show gap and…

Heck of drop in guys!  I am very happy with that.  Jam time!

Rocking and floating (2:56-5:40)

Mike drops things down right at the onset of the jam, and Trey begins to lead out.  Page counters with a serious funky clav party and things get hot quickly.

The usual slow groovy breakdown, is nowhere to be found in this version. The rain has robbed the band over the last few nights in Chicago, and Phish is ready to rip into this “Ghost.”

Things break for just a bit around the 3:20 mark but Fishman jumps back on it and off we go.  Trey does a great job moving between some funk licks and sweet melodies.  Mike and Page layer on a bit of thickness to create a nice dense jam.

Trey inserts a cool melody at 3:50, exploring a new direction.  It takes the jam downward a touch and allows me to drift away.  At 4:10, Page gets on the grand and starts to infuse some well placed melodies behind Trey. Everyone gets locked in quickly and this section takes on a beautiful blissful tone.  Mike adds just enough cherry to this Manhattan, providing outstanding contrast.

This thing is starting to find that perfect spot…

By the 5:00 mark, things are so smooth and blissful, I feel outside my body. I am floating in a world of happiness and all I want to do is hug everyone I see. I would even hug another studio version of “Let me Lie” at this point.

I love when Page is on the grand and he lays down melodies that once again remind me why he is my favorite musician of all time.  Listen closely to him at 5:20.  Nothing overly complicated, but it is pure, simple, and perfectly timed.

The Seven Below Money Segment (5:41-9:03)

Mike starts to speed things up with a quick bass line.  Fish and Page quickly get on tempo and begin to try and increase the throttle of this jam.  After everyone lets off the gas for a bit, we get some exploratory chords.

Fishman tries to push the tempo at 6:30, and Trey plays some faster licks. The band walks a fine line between letting this jam explode and sticking around in the blissful/exploratory world.  Nobody really knows where to go until…

Gordon’s brilliance at 7:12 is in full display.  He expertly teases the unmistakable “Seven Below” bass line, and the jam settles in beautifully around it.

I love how everyone lets Gordon develop the “Seven Below” bass line and works it around slowly.  Trey just lightly touches on his guitar before using that Gordon melody to springboard from.

Page lays down some light melodies that only enhance Gordon’s bass.

At 7:48, Trey starts to work into this jam and finds a sweet, sweet lick.  Page and Gordon work beauty and power into the happy tone Trey has created. This is the money segment of this “Ghost”, and one that I love dearly.  The money segment is similar to the money….bacon!  Wait what did you think I was going to say there?

It starts to drift away around the 8:40 mark.  It is only about one minute long, but I truly dig that section.  I appreciate how they got there and how well the communication was to find that money segment.

As that segment starts to lose some steam, Trey finds himself close to “The Lizards.”  The band hears the same thing, and expertly segues with Trey into the song.

As is the case with many short “Ghosts,” the energy found during this jam, is unleashed with the track that follows.

Final Thoughts

A short “Ghost” but certainly an enjoyable one.  Some excellent blissful moments and a sweet “Seven Below” section are the highlights.  A great way to spend nine minutes, but this is “Ghost.”  The competition is too tough for it to get the highest of scores.

Score. 8.3