The Daily Ghost

The Daily Ghost #119 10/31/2013 Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ

Background (Set: 3 of 3 – Song: 1 of 6 – Show Gap: 4)

This sums up just how important “Ghost” was after the risk of “Wingsuit”

From @sufferingjuke

“The 10/31 “Ghost> Carini” is the sound of a massive weight being lifted off of Phish. For much of 2013 – no one knows exactly how long – the band carried around a secret waiting to be unveiled, live, in front of their fan base: Wingsuit. A burden that must have caused an incredible amount of artistic stress on the band, this jam segment was all the band needed to display how grateful they were for the open-mindedness of their fans to allow them such artistic freedom. Throughout the “Ghost” a sultry and sinister groove builds. The kind of deliberate and simple musical concept that had tracked their best improv of the year, this jam is the confident strut than can only follow a nailed risk.”

Well said.  Huge spot for “Ghost.”  Set three opener, after 12 song debuts, and Halloween!!  You knew we were in something substantial.

The Island of Misfit Toys

This has nothing to do with this “Ghost.”  It does help to paint a picture of what I experienced this Halloween in Atlantic City.  I decided to go as a UFO and pay homage to my second favorite song “2001.”  After a good five hours and a scary trip (really freakin scary) to Family Dollar in Atlantic City the costume ended up being pretty large.

Me and @KernelForbin

I had to make the costume slip off and turn it sideways in order to get into the venue, and through the gates.  I knew there was no chance in hell I was going to be able to sit in a normal section.  So I flew the UFO to the upper corner of the Page Side section, all the way behind the stage.  When I got there I wasn’t the only one looking for some space.

I was greeted by a Yellow Submarine, a Sumo Wrestler, Andre the Giant, some costume with a giant head, and someone dressed as a car.  I called our section the island of misfit toys.  Each one of us took our own row and had room to work our awesome big ass toy dances.  We were the anti rail riders. It was a great group of people and I made many friends that night.  You never know who or what you might run into at a Phish show.

The Yellow Submarine

Composed Section (0:31-3:49)

Trey is the one to get the much expected Halloween “Ghost” started.  Fish and Mike join in quickly and Page immediately goes to the clav.  The pace is pretty standard but it just feels a touch more eerie than usual.

The solo section gets attacked by Page’s clav.  He lays into the jam nicely and helps provide more force for Mike’s entry.  Nicely done, above average.

A nice lead in is greeted by some Trey notes during the pause.  The drop in is it’s usual ugly self.  We have heard worse but this is no prize either.  Here is me anticipating the “Ghost” drop…

The band takes a second to recover before getting things back on pace.

Some Confusion Before Making Atlantic City a Better Place(3:50-8:14)

The Jam starts out searching for a direction for about thirty seconds before Trey steps up and starts to lead.  His initial foray is nothing special.  Trey seems to be pushing a bit too hard early in this jam.  Right around the 5:00 minute mark, he calms himself down and holds a screeching note allowing Mike and Page to power into this jam.  The jam follows much more smoothly after this and the rest of the band become more in tune with what Trey is doing. Yet again, Trey holding a note improves a jam.  It is one of my favorite Trey tactics.

At right around the 6:00 minute mark the jam starts to take a softer shape. Page’s soft melodies are a guiding influence to this lighter jam.  The Chairman first sprinkles some light organ tones before smoothly switching to the piano.  I had two back to back S words in the previous sentence.  That has to be a Daily Ghost record.  Wow I just read that sentence out load and it was a tongue twister.  I think that means I am supposed to change it.  Nope this is a blog, all the poor grammar stays.  It makes it authentic.

At the 6:40 mark things click nicely with Page on piano and we take a blissful turn. Trey begins to repeat a melody and the rest of the band compliments him nicely.  This Stone Enjoy By 2/14/14 is complimenting this “Ghost” just as nicely.  Phish, me, and this beer are clicking!  Life is good!

By about the the 7:30 mark things are extremely blissful in….Atlantic City. Much more blissful than my stroll into Family Dollar earlier in the day to find LED lights for my costume…Note to my readers, not many hippies shop at Family Dollar in Atlantic City.

Fishman drops a series of fills and the pace naturally picks up.  At the 8:00 mark Trey finds that perfect spot.  He is leading yet not overplaying, with each note having a purpose.  Page lays into a series of gorgeous melodies and my soul has been elevated.  Beautiful stuff from the Phish from Vermont.

Smoothly and with me barely noticing as I break this down, we have moved into the peak build.  2013 Phish…effortless moving from section to section.

Flying in Atlantic City and not from the Boardwalk Drugs (8:15-10:20)

Trey starts to repeat a lick that becomes the anthem to this peak.  Its a very quick moving melody that provides plenty of room for the rest of the band. Having just started to learn guitar a couple weeks ago, my brain just exploded trying to think about how to play that.

Trey lets go of a screamer at the 8:50 mark and it’s hard for me to resist seeking out the nearest Phish fan for a giant hug.  I see a lot of music, and no other band finds these uplifting sections like Phish.  Thank God they are a huge part of my life.

I feel like flying

At about 9:50 Phish and I start to come back down to Earth.  I have to say Fishman was a rock-star in that section.  He really pushed the envelope there.

Gambling, Hookers, Destruction, Mike Gordon, Boardwalk Pizza, and Setting up a Killer Carini (10:21-14:27)

So that peak was nice and fluffy.  It made me feel all warm inside.  What a great feeling that was!  Well kiss that goodbye…

Fishman once again pushes things starting at 10:23 and everyone waits for someone to react.  Trey jumps to the forefront lightly and smartly playing easily on top of Fish.  Measure by measure the tempo picks up before the real moment of this jam takes place.

At 10:54 Mike shows us a sneak preview of the Ferrari F-16 (yes I am imagining a F-16 fighter jet created by Ferrari) he brought to Atlantic City.  He lays down a super nasty, venue eating tone, but quickly lays off. Fishman, the master of this jam, continues to push things.  Page jumps in next and helps move things faster.

At 11:33 Trey digs in and lays into this jam with a killer tone and repeats it as this bad ass section grows.  You better look out…


As a Bills (apologies are accepted) fan any time I can work a Dolphin F’ing up into a post I have to take it!

Angry Trey is digging into this section with everything he has.  These are the moments where you lose your mind in the show.  When you look around and everyone near you has that look of disbelief on their face.  The look that says “I can’t believe how awesome this.”

At the 11:56 mark Mike brings that kick ass tone back.  It reminds me of
the Albany ’09 “Ghost” quite a bit.  I hope to see it more in the future.  It makes me feel like my UFO costume is actually a real UFO with all of the power in the world at my disposal.  A great thought for me, a scary thought for the world.  If I had one symbol to describe this section it would be $$$$$$.

This is grade A ass kicking music.  What was that one song from the Wingsuit set?  Amidst the Peals of Phish Destruction?  That is what I hear in this section.

Note to other bands…this is how you open a set.

As quickly as this got evil, angry, and awesome it comes to a close.  No fear my friends it is quickly followed by the song Phish is currently playing the best…”Carini” and what a version this would be!

Final Thoughts

Fall 2013 “Ghosts” –  All three were excellent, especially the bookends.  This Atlantic City “Ghost” finds its softer side before revving up for the peak, and finally kicking all of us in the face.  Three distinct and great sections make this an outstanding version.  Add the pressure of following after the Wingsuit risk, and the band delivered in every way.  The last four minutes are the real deal.

Score 9.1