The Daily Ghost

The Daily Ghost #115 07/30/2013 Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harvey’s, Stateline, NV

Background (Set: 2 of 2 – Song: 4 of 9 – Song Gap: 4)

“Ghost” makes a return back to the middle part of set 2, which was particularly uptempo this night.  Tahoe’s version is the first Mike-driven “Ghost” in quite some time.

Thanks to @ShowCenter for the stub pic! Awesome background!

Composed Section (0:04-3:26)

“Ghost” starts up out of a “Boogie On” with a nice slow pace as Trey gets things started.  Mike is very pronounced in the early going and he seems to have some extra sauce.

Page lays down some clav funk but again it is Mike who shines during this short solo jam section.  Nothing spectacular.  The lead in is solid and features a pretty damn good drop!  The crazy part is they really went for that drop.  Trey is almost screaming when they come back in.  Nicely done, Phish!

Mike Gordon is a better bass player than any other band’s bass player (3:27-7:10)

The jam starts with a couple measures of the typical sectioned off jamming.  Trey starts to try different licks, but nothing sticks. Things are a bit disjointed for a while as the band searches for a direction. That direction comes from Cactus starting at the 4:40 mark.

Cactus lays the road map and says follow my lead…

It has been quite some time since the last Gordon-led “Ghost,” and is it ever refreshing!  By the 5:00 minute mark, this “Ghost” is all about Gordon.  He takes the reins, picks up the pace, and the rest of the band gets out of the way.

These upbeat Mike grooves get me moving.  No chair or living room carpet is safe from my dancing when Mike gets going like this.  We are in my favorite era of Mike Gordon, and this another great example why.

Trey does an outstanding job of clearing the way for Mike.  In fact, he even helps to feed the Cactus fire.  At 5:49, he holds a nooooooooooooooooote to give Mike even more space to hammer through.  Intelligent stuff from

Page and Fishman are doing a great job of providing texture and yet still making sure the main focus in on Michael Gordon.  The band is locked in and working together.

At around the 6:50 mark, Page starts to make his presence felt on the piano. Trey builds on that and increases his stake in this jam as well.  Fish begins picking things up around the 7:10 mark, and then Mike fades back just a touch.  His position is much more balanced between leading and supporting.

Using the Cactus Energy (7:11-11:00)

Gordon starts to lay down the motor boat bass line at 7:15 before laying down full pipe at 7:38.  Trey is doing some soloing but he is a bit premature yet.  Fish, Page, and Mike are providing all the landing strip needed for Trey to find that special climax.  Trey finally finds that G-spot at 8:11.  What a beautiful lick from Trey!

(The paragraph above is laced with sexual innuendos.  It is like a word search…)

Just found this and figured it was the perfect place to put it:

In all seriousness, things click the moment Trey plays that melody at 8:10. The jam uses all that energy built from Mike’s outstanding previous section. It is not a ferocious peak but one that fits extremely well with the flow of this “Ghost” as a whole.

At 8:55, Trey plays notes to build up tension with Page, holding some notes on the organ to help as well.  When Trey releases at 9:09, we get another rocking mini-peak.  Fishman responds with fury!  As the jam starts to take flight, the band pivots and begins to break things down.  The jam works down and finally Trey closes things back up by playing the lick that returns us to the “Ghost” theme.

Final Thoughts

Great to see a solid Mike-led “Ghost” again.  The middle section is excellent with him in the driver’s seat.  The end section has a couple of cool parts but untimely falls short of the greats.  Only three “Ghosts” this year.  All are short, yet each contains a few cool parts.

Score: 8.5