The Daily Ghost

The Daily Ghost #125 07/20/2014 FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island Chicago, IL

Background (Set: 2 of 2 – Song: 6 of 8 – Show Gap: 3)

Coming on the heels of maybe the best “The Wedge” ever, this “Ghost” is an awesome landing spot and subsequent launching pad for “Weekapaug Groove.”  This sucker gets out there and we here at The Daily Ghost love that.   

Intro (0:00-3:05)

“Ghost” is a touch more upbeat than usual and coming so late in the second set, this upbeat pace is most welcome.  The solo section is short but brings a bit of swank from the clav master.  The lead in is well executed and heck, even the drop in is pretty damn good!  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have a solid intro section!!!!

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My Bass Player Led All the Women from Tokyo (3:06-5:41)

Mike leads out with some deep, big bass as the rest of the band begins to find their footing.  Mike then starts to punch people in the face. For such a kind guy, he is a kind of a bad-ass with a bass in his hands.  Trey goes rhythm and lets the jam form around him.  A nice thick groove gets things started off.  

Trey decides to come with a power lick that he copies from Mike.  Mike starts it at 3:55 and plays it with two different tones.  Trey throws his version on top at exactly the 4 minute mark. It gets pretty funky and forces my chair dance immediately.  Yet again, lesson learned.  FOLLOW MIKE GORDON.  Bad ass little section.  

Mike goes high pitched at 4:40 and things pause for a few measures.  Mike then walks the band down.  He is killing and driving this jam.  Page is working his clav around the insanity Mike is throwing down.  The jam gets a touch convoluted for a bit as everyone tries to figure out how to blend around the bass player.  Trey takes a stab at about the 5:21 in a riff that sounds a bit like “My Woman From Tokyo”.  

That Cool Sci-Fi Hallway Page Happy Murder Scene Section(5:42-8:27)

At 5:42, Fishman downshifts the jam and the sounds begin to sort themselves out.  Trey starts to throw down some delays and Page really finds his niche on the grand. Great balance here! It reminds me of going down one of those cool sci-fi hallways where there are those cool rooms you can look into as you walk by. Think Matrix, but only the first one. The other two sucked.

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Whoa, so I completely spaced out in the cool ass hallway groove. Some wicked almost evil psychedelic shit going down here. I looked at my other screen and it read 8 minutes. I just teleported to someone’s space dream and then back here in front of my monitor in 3 minutes.  Mixed in perfectly during my teleportation is that boy Page. His piano is the only thing keeping me from never returning to Earth. His heavenly sounding grand piano gives me a sense of calm and tranquility (bet you never thought I could use a word as cool as tranquility) during this adventure.

Let me go back for a second and actually isolate Page instead of letting my mind wander.  He actually plays a melody that sounds like it could be used in a murder scene at about the 7:55 mark. Holy fuck. Yet on that piano, while pitted against the psychedelia from the rest of the band, it sounds happy. This is some next level stuff!  Go listen to Page from 8:00-8:30. Crazy.

Page has Left the Murder Scene and Trey Time Travels to 1999 (8:28-11:30)

Page takes off his latex gloves and begins replacing them with angel dust. (Whoops, that probably means something different than to a lot of my readers than the Catholic meaning I intended to mean).

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Page sprinkles some heavenly raindrops into this jam.

Trey unveils some whale calls at the 9:30 mark and more of this dreamy jam. And it keeps getting more dreamy!  I feel like someone has hypnotized me. This feels like “Ghosts” of the 99-00 variety.  In fact, just when you think things might switch gears and head toward a huge peak, it just gets even more out there. Trey makes some kind of sneaker on the hardwood sound at 10:40. I feel like one of the most gentle-looking hippies in Trey is going to jump through my monitor and stab me with that sound. WTF is going on? Needless to say, I love it.

After all that time traveling, bug outs, and Page insanity, a cool transition to “Weekapaug Groove” emerges and “Paug” explodes from it.  Killer move and killer set.  Later on in “Weekapaug Groove” the “Ghost” theme makes a return.  Cool stuff!

Final Thoughts

I like this “Ghost” a lot.  It has a uniqueness and overall “Ghostly” feel to it. Mike kills it early and Page crushes it late.  Meanwhile, Fish and Trey are solid throughout.   I dig the punchy early rocking section and the overall feeling of letting your mind wander that this “Ghost” provides. It’s not an all time version by any means but this one is a cool version. The patience level and improv mastery of Phish is on full display here.  You don’t hear jams like this from other bands.

Score: 8.7