The Daily Ghost #44 11/15/1998 Murphy Center, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN
Background (Ghost Position: Set 1 of 2 – Song 2 of 8-Show Gap: 3)
After closing in emphatic fashion at the Grand Rapids show, Ghost moves to the beginning of the first set. Preceded by only My Friend, My Friend this Ghost has no segues on either side.
Composed Section (0:00-4:31)
More Trey loops signal another 1998 Ghost. Fish starts coming in a bit before Mike, and then they sync up nicely together. The pace of this Ghost has a bit more sauce than the Grand Rapids version.
Trey’s vocals enter smoothly and Mike seems to have a bit more stank to his bass in this Ghost intro. A cool solo section, that even sees a cool funk riff from Trey. The band was smooth into and out of that solo section. The pause gets a nice cheer from the crowd, and then a not half bad drop in. Actually that was pretty good. The vocals after the drop in however are pretty rough.
A Balanced Attack (4:32-6:54)
When the jam starts the crowd gives a huge roar. Everyone likes an early show jam. Trey fires out a fantastic loop at 4:49, while Page lays down some fantastic melodies. Fish tries a couple different beats to figure out which way to take this jam.
Eventually at 5:05, he finds one that he likes. Fish latches on and begins lock down mode. Time for this groove to take shape. Right when Fish locks down on the beat, Mike starts exploring some different bass patterns. Trey then begins to carve out some space for himself. He takes things pretty easy, slowly working his way deeper into the jam.
The sound you hear from Mike in this section was very prevalent in a lot of Phish jams this summer. That delayed power sound, that you can clearly hear around the 6:00 mark and again at 6:19. That sound from Mike shaped a lot of jams in 2012.
This beginning jam section is well balanced. Page moves around beautifully supporting the jam and giving it direction. Listen around 6:20 to see how he balances, and then at about 6:45 to see him take more of a lead. Everyone is doing a lot of that in this initial jam section, which allows each member to step forward at any time.
Moving Time at MTSU (6:55-9:29)
Fish says it is time to move things along and Trey follows him. Trey finds a beat he likes and starts to repeat and build around it. Mike and Page quickly get on board and start to build as well. Mike is a stud in this section. He really plays some creative melodies and helps to move things towards a peak, all at the same time. Cactus is really locked in.
Mike lays into a cool bass climb at the 8:00 mark, and Trey responds. Trey finds a fantastic lick at 8:18 and you can feel things moving beautifully. At 8:35 Big Red finds an even more beautiful lick to bring this jam to the next level. A huge crowd response for the beauty that Trey has found.
As Trey starts to solo around that awesome tone, Page is in full support of this build. He is giving plenty of space for Trey and Mike to do their thing.
Before really moving on to the next section, Trey settles into a nice little jam and the patience of this build is really brilliant.
AHHHHHH YEAH (9:30-11:55)
At the 9:30 mark, we haven’t hit a full peak yet, but Trey finds himself a beauty. He lays into a power riff that ignites the crowd. I absolutely love this lick. Perfectly placed to bridge the gap between the build and the peak. This is the stuff that gives me goosebumps. Yup volume is at full blast again!
At 10:03 he annihilates that lick and blasts into machine gun mode. He rings in with just an awesome note at 10:10 and then solos like a rock star. Page is dropping chords and then runs all around this section. He blends in beautifully.
Mike is really on point also. Sure Trey is shredding all over the place but Mike is making this jam go. He is building this jam every chance he gets. Every time Trey rips into another solo, Mike is there to bring things to another level.
At 11:10, Trey starts to play a couple of power chords, before taking a moment to build up to another slaughter. He unleashes another machine gun lick at 11:23 before deciding to try something different. Trey plays a crazy amount of notes but he definitely throws off the momentum of this peak. Not my favorite Trey moment.
Funk Space Outro (11:55-15:49)
As much as I didn’t love that maneuver by Trey, boy does Phish recover nicely. As the jam breaks down the crowd gives plenty of applause. Trey plays an awesome lick at 11:55 as Mike lends some more power bass. Things get super funky at 12:26 when Fishman gets in a quick fill.
Trey moves to funk riff mode, and Mike and Page start to steal the show. Fish locks down this beat and LawnMemo is moving in the review chair. What an awesome follow to that peak. We certainly have not seen a Ghost outro like this.
Page gets into the clav at 13:30 mark and then Mike and Trey start to space things out. By 14:07 the spaceship is completely into orbit. Some crazy sounds from Mike’s bass. Love that! Fish continues to give them a track to run on and take this jam as deep as they want. Things begin to fade at the 15:00 mark as Fish’s kit (big applause) and the space sound takes us to the end. AWESOME outro!
I love how unique those last four minutes of this Ghost are. Funk, to space, to fade out. They took crazy chances during this outro, and completely nailed it my opinion. It is a really stunning example of how talented this band is.
Another fantastic version from a fantastic tour. This Ghost has a great balanced jam to start, a good build, very solid peak, and a stellar funk outro. So many Ghosts, so many awesome versions. Another version that barely every gets talked about, and one that I love very much. Huge points to Mike in this Ghost. He doesn’t utterly dominate like he does in many Ghosts but he plays a variety of roles to perfection.