The Daily Ghost #16 08/02/1997 Gorge Amphitheater, George, WA
Background (Ghost Position: Set: 1 of 1 – Song:3 of 8-Show Gap: 1)
At the next Phish show after Shoreline, and the first show ever at the Gorge, Ghost is played in a very early position. No segues are attached to this Ghost, and actually there were none throughout the first set. It is funny to me that just as this The Daily Ghost, falls on Halloween…Trey channels his inner Hendrix. At the bottom of the review is a YouTube video of Hendrix’s “Who Knows”. If you are unfamiliar with it, you might want to give it a quick listen so you know it when you hear it during this Ghost.
Composed Section (0:00-3:05)
After a bit of a rough start, the funk starts from the first note. A super slow funked out pace shows everyone they mean business. Page continues the slow funk in the solo section, and it is total groove city. Gordon provides some slapping to add to the groove. The pause is a good length, followed by a rough drop in. As with the Shoreline Ghost, the end vocals are becoming much more solid.
Intro to Funk (3:06-5:59)
The band takes the groove established from the intro section and carries it right through to the beginning of the jam. They are slow and patient with everyone carving out their own space. At 3:45 Trey lets loose into the darkness. At 3:50 we hear a fan say “It is going to be a good night” and talk about lighting one up. He is damn right, and Phish is about to shut him the funk up. Fish is setting the super slow pace, with Gordon and Page choosing their notes wisely.
At 4:43, Trey lets some funk riffs go and the maiden voyage at the Gorge turns into a dance party. Fish picks up the pace just a bit and the band settles into the groove. All four band members are really into their own space and playing very few notes. This section is thoughtful, patient, and damn sure funky.
Super Funk (6:00-7:54)
At about the 6:00 mark a combination of Trey, Mike, and Fish all start to play just a touch faster. Gordon has also moved into full slap mode, and things get taken up the Funk-a-Meter. Page is on piano, dropping well thought out notes, and he meshes with Trey’s evil funk licks. This section is killer!
By 6:45 they are locked in. All four band members making one. One member no more important than the other. Trey has really stepped his game up, playing in perfect harmony with the groove around him. My entire body is moving while typing this review. 6:00-7:54 is one smoooth groove, top notch.
Space Invaders Funk (7:55-9:44)
At the 7:55 Trey decides to bring some aliens to check out this beautiful Gorge Amphitheater. The other three band members want to make sure our new alien friends know what the funk is all about. The funk continues around the spaced out sounds Trey introduces.
At 8:33 Trey lets our alien friends have a seat as he changes his tone back into a more traditional funk machine. Big Red moves into the lead and plays a couple of measures and lets a beautiful solo go. 8:33-9:02 is great stuff from Trey.
At 9:03 Trey starts to play a bit more funk riffs and our alien friends start to find us again. The chairman has brought them to the party this time. Page drips them in as the other three carry the funk.
Greatness in the Gorge (9:44-11:30)
At 9:44 Trey signals to Page it is time to move away from the space. Big Red rockets into a solo and Page responds by moving to the piano. Some beautiful interplay between the two. Mike and Fish anchor down the rhythm section and allow the freedom for Trey and Page. Fantastic, fantastic stuff! I am really jamming at my keyboard now! Page on piano really moves my soul. At 10:33 Trey starts to play less notes and the Chairman comes hammering into the open space. No doubt about it, I love me some Page. 9:44-11:30 mmmmm.
Into the Ravine….(11:30-13:00)
At 11:30 Trey starts to change his tone to a darker one,
and lets his notes drift out to sea a bit.
At 12:20 it almost sounds like they could go into “Punch You in the Eye”. Instead, they decide to fire some space lasers. Trey then starts to play a high pitched softer tone while the space lasers are going on. At the 13:00 mark Trey starts to play a familiar lick…
Who Knows Jam!! (13:00-15:44)
(Thanks to @Doctor_Smarty for nailing this on the jam chart)
Trey starts playing the lick from Jimi Hendrix’s “Who Knows” over and over. First, he plays it it in the high pitched sound over some loops. At 13:45 he begins to lower the tone and at by about 14:00 mark he has brought it into his more normal range. At 14:22 Fish starts to pick up the pace a bit. Trey plays the “Who Knows” melody over and over, and then throws some dirt on it at the 14:30 mark. Big Red keeps playing the famous lick and keeps varying up the sound he plays it with. I love this soooo much.
Page and Gordon really provide some great backup sounds, but I can’t take my ears from Fish and Trey. Trey continues to change up his guitar sound and Fishman is playing some extremely creative stuff. This section is owned by the two former college roommates. It is crazy to me just how many times Trey has played the “Who Knows” melody. By 15:44 he has stopped after playing for almost three minutes. I loved every second of it!
The jam slowly fades away. It sounds like Gordon might start to play the intro to Ghost but does not. At 16:56 Fish takes the lead and plays a beautiful soft outro. Gordon lays some big notes for a couple of measures before letting Fish do his thing. After that rocking Hendrix jam, this outro is perfect.
A fantastic Ghost set to a beautiful backdrop. Another Ghost that flows wonderfully for then entire jam. Intense Funk, space, beautiful interplay from Trey and Page, and a killer Hendrix jam make this a standout version. As Mike has been the clear star of the two previous Ghosts, my highest grade goes to Trey for this classic.
Happy Halloween, and to all those recovering from the storm, best wishes and many prayers from The Daily Ghost. Below is Jimi Hendrix’s “Who knows”.