The Daily Ghost

The Daily Ghost #132 10/31/2014 MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV

Background (Set: 1 of 3 – Song: 2 of 11 – Show Gap: 3)

“Ghost” on Halloween. It’s like peanut butter and jelly. The show opening combo of “Buried Alive” > “Ghost” is the stuff Memo dreams are made of. Although there are a whopping 11 songs in this first set, it has some nice highlights and set the tone for one of the most memorable nights in Phish history.

Intro (0:00-3:25)

I’m loving the AUD for this “Ghost.” Thank you to Chris King for your recording! I just love the cheers after “Buried Alive” and the fact that Phish is going into “Ghost”. I might have been the guy cheering the loudest. This composed section is brisk and benefits from the early slot energy. The band joins Trey quickly and we are off.

As opposed to the train wreck intro in the previous version in San Fran, this one is crisp and straightforward.

The solo section continues the tightness. Nothing crazy, but solid and played with conviction.

Even the lead-in and drop are pretty dang good! It’s not the most memorable intro section but this is a solid example of what everything is supposed to sound like. I enjoyed that and I’m ready for the jam!

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Sometimes unspectacular and to the point is good. At least that’s what I tell Ms. LawnMemo.

A Type 1, In-the-Box Jam… However, Mike Gordon Rules (3:26-9:41)

The jam starts out with more of the same. The pace is brisk and everyone is playing a decent amount of notes. The first attempt for the jam taking shape is a turn toward the dark but it doesn’t hold.

At the 5-minute mark, each member starts to back off while Fishman keeps a solid tempo. This jam begins to find it’s identity. Trey takes a more bluesy approach to this turn of events.

At 5:25, Mike Gordon does his thing. He finds that perfect tone that delivers a right hook into any empty space. Gordon matches Trey perfectly. He’s doing that thing he does with uneven rhythms yet still holding the groove. Mike is a damn genius. He can really make the rest of the band look good.

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At 6:13, Trey’s tone changes to an alpha whale. It’s strong and high-pitched. Mike pivots around him and times each note perfectly. Yet again, I’m sitting here blown away by Mike Gordon.

I mean, just listen to Mike at the 7:00 mark! He sneaks in notes that shouldn’t be there. I’m not in love with Trey’s playing here, but I’m in complete awe of how Gordon works around him carrying this jam.

Trey goes to the triplets at 7:50 and starts to hint at an incoming peak. Page goes to work in this section, switching to piano and just hammering down complimentary run after complimentary run.

Fishman is also very noticeable here. Crashes, rides, fills… you name it. He’s everywhere.

Trey’s best stretch is between 8:18 – 8:35. Although his ultra high-pitched tone hasn’t been my favorite throughout this jam, it pays off during that stretch. It pierces through all of the incredible work the rest of the band is doing. It’s simply stunning.

A nice peak, for sure.

Unfortunately, that is about the end of this “Ghost.” Shortly after this peak, “Ghost” returns back to the “Ghost” theme and this baby is dunzo. I will say that the return to the “Ghost” theme is one of the cleaner ones we will see. It worked nicely there.

A super short 9:41-long “Ghost.”

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Final Thoughts

This “Ghost” is pretty much the exact opposite of the previous version in San Fran. This composed section is tight and the jam is pretty low risk. It never stretches out into any real Type 2 territory. This “Ghost” was dropped in the 2 slot and it’s job was to take the energy from “Buried Alive” and keep it going. This “Ghost” takes that energy and builds it to a quick peak. Unfortunately, in terms of “Ghost” history, there just isn’t much here. It’s standard and nothing really memorable about it, just like date night with LawnMemo. One of the weaker versions.

Score: 6.8