The Daily Ghost #68 02/15/2003 Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV
Background (Set: 2 of 2 – Song: 3 of 5 – Show Gap: 13)
The first Ghost in almost three years! This version is placed as the meat of the second set. The segues from Bug and into Free are not included.
Composed Section (0:00-3:44)
Ghost starts up without the Trey loops that “The Daily Ghost” loves so much. It is a sad day. Mike and Fish start things out and draw a massive roar from the crowd. You can tell Ghost has been missed. The intro section has an upbeat pace and some extra twang to it.
The solo section gets a nice applause from the crowd, and becomes funky once Mike enters. More cheering as the solo section ends.
The pause might be the shortest we have seen yet. So how about the drop in? Let me see…3 year layoff+First version of 2.0=
Whatever that was, it wasn’t right. I feel like that was Bieber on Guitar, Beyonce on drums, Timberlake on bass, and Dick Vitale on keyboard. The song almost ended right there. That was almost had a 3 minute Ghost long before UIC ’11 had ever happened. Wow was that sad.
On the plus side….the jam was in no way affected by that drop.
The Funk Party (3:45-9:33)
Gordon lays down a nice groove right from the beginning. No sectioned off jamming is needed. With Fish giving a nice slow beat the jam has direction from the start.
Page gets super crunchy and the jam works a nice minimalist groove. At 4:41, the crowd starts to show how much Ghost was missed. At 4:43, Trey responds with a loop and the crowd goes nuts. When the jam drops to almost nothing at 4:57 the crowd just gets louder. WE WANT THE GHOST!!! Truly awesome moment.
My friend @phisher told me there was a giant sign that said “Ghost has not been played in 700 (or whatever) days…” The next night after this Ghost another sign was made that said “Ghost has not been played in 1 day”. If you made that sign, I want to shake your hand. If anyone has a picture of that, I would love to see it.
It is easy to see that the crowd response gave the band plenty of energy. The band is pumped! They channel that energy into a super funky groove. They find a great space to bring the funk, led by Mike Gordon. His bass is the glue to this section. Some well controlled Trey soloing and super funky Page makes this extremely good.
Trey starts to play power licks, and then pulls off the gas. Fishman and Mike continue to drive this jam home. The crowd gives more love to this patient beast at 6:22. Trey is infusing an awesome lick, and he and Fish are working beautifully together. That lick from Trey has begun the dance party here at the “The Daily Ghost” review room. This is some quality stuff!
Around 6:50, Page brings some aliens into this funk dance party. Everyone is invited!!! It’s Las Vegas!! Time to party! Page releases the aliens from his tractor beam and gets onto the keys at 7:15. The combination of the funk licks from Trey, the outstanding rhythm section, and now Page’s keys just makes this even better. I am not the only one that thinks so…more love from the crowd.
The jam continues with more of this outstanding goodness. I can’t help myself. I have to take a break from typing on my laptop to do this.
The patience shown, and the balance in this groove is awesome. Trey is just one piece of this puzzle and mixes in beautifully. This is all of Phish grooving as one. Hard to believe this is going down after such a long layoff. This band was born to play together.
Around the 8:00 mark, you can hear Fish begin to push the tempo a bit. Trey starts to get after it, repeating a lick and letting it build. Fishman then begins to attack at 8:29. Page is laying down some funky piano as well. You can tell this Ghost is going to be a rocker.
Trey begins to play notes more frequently and it blends wonderfully. I am digging this! Anytime I can turn a Tuesday night into a dance party I am all for it. Can’t wait to turn your crappy Wednesday into a pants-less party at work!
Guy For…Bigger Dance Party!(9:35-15:00)
As Fish changes things up you can hear them start to play Guyyyyy Forgettttt. The jam picks up steam from that point. Fish begins to go into destruction mode as Trey expands on his tone.
Fishman is in full steam engine mode driving this jam. Trey finds a great higher pitched tone to rock from at 10:30. Mike is still on lock down mode, playing extremely well. In total control.
Around the 10:55 mark, the jam breaks down a bit to gather itself. Page makes an awesome piano entrance and crushes things at 11:10. The crowd gives the Chairman some love. Then Trey comes over the top and starts to solo. It feels like Big Red is going to take this jam over at that point. To his credit he doesn’t…and then….more….
Cactus takes this sucker over and the result is an even bigger funk dance party. Every note Mike plays is perfectly calculated and drives my feet to move faster. Fish provides a perfect runway for him to work with. Trey does one thing and one thing only, add to this jam. Page works his clav into this section beautifully providing an awesome level of thickness.
Fishman continues to become even more of a star. When Mike backs off the jam at 12:25, that is a giant signal for Fishman time. That brilliant move by Mike just gives an enormous amount of space for Fish. There are only a few times when a window like that is created where Fish does not take advantage.
Sure enough Fish, starting around 12:42, just lights up the stage. With an incredible variance in beats, he blows me away. Mike steps away again at 12:59, and Trey adds some outstanding playing to the space. Mike leaves once again at 13:26. This time though Mike returns with the fight bell at 13:37!!! LETS GET IT ON!!!
The whole band comes exploding in after the fight bell! Serious power from the band here!
Side note, I just saw a commercial with Erin Andrews trying to sell me some diet or supplement crap. Her title was “health and wellness enthusiast”. Can we give her, her real title? “Hot Blonde that will sell our product”. I am also a “health and wellness enthusiast”, I just don’t practice it. Pass the ice cream.
Woooooo now that I got that rant out of the way MORE DANCING! Mike pulls away at 13:56, and Fish takes about the closest thing to a drum solo that you will hear from him. The band comes flying back in, and man is this baby rocking! Page holds some notes from the organ around the 14:15 mark, that gives this jam even more power. Trey then repeats a number of different licks before….
A blast of the machine gun at the 14:43 marks gets a quick cheer from the crowd. Page is all over the place as well. Mike pulls away for the last time and Fishman takes the beat down. Time to catch a breather…THAT WAS SMOKING!
Get the Midgets! We need oxygen! (15:01-18:37)
The jam breaks down to almost nothing after some awesome crowd applause. Some basic organ from Page and a extremely slow beat from Fish. Time to go exploring the last morsels of this Ghost. Pretty sure a midget was supplying the band oxygen behind the scenes after that heater.
At 16:23, Trey lets a beautiful bird come visit Vegas. It is quiet in Sin City for this. Time to float away and take in everything around you. There is plenty to take in at Vegas. Fishman is the star and allows this blissful ending to happen. Without him, it most likely stops. The jam fades into nothing…ending this Ghost.
So 2.0? Hmmm….An atrocious composed section with one of the worst drops in Ghost history. Well, it wasn’t enough to kill this beast. The crowd wanted the story told early in the jam. That energy no doubt fed into the band. After taking their time patiently working together, they unleash a dance party fury. I love this version and it gets me moving every time I hear it. It doesn’t have the full wayyyy off the map magic to get the highest of scores, and the intro moves it a touch lower. It makes me dance and rock out though and gets a great score for that.
Special mention to what I thought was some incredible playing from Mike. He is a genius of knowing what the jam needs and this is an outstanding example of him doing just that.