The Daily Ghost

The Daily Ghost #76 06/20/2004 Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY

(AUD Download @KernelForbin Remaster)

Background (Set: 2 of 2 – Song: 3 of 4 – Show Gap: 4)

Ghost is placed right in the heart of a monster second set at SPAC.  Placed after Seven Below and before Twist.  The segue from Seven Below and all of the outstanding Twist have been included.


Composed Section (0:15-4:11)

Ghost starts with Trey and then receives some Mike feedback.  It is not until Fish comes in that Ghost starts to truly take shape.  A dark dirty spacey tone from Mike makes things sound very cool before the vocals come in.

This version takes on an average pace.  The solo section gets another heavy dose of Page on the clav, and then some fantastic Mike.  The two play well off of each other and it makes for a great solo section.

The pause has more Trey playing during it.  The drop in lags behind a bit, and is certainly not perfect.  Not a train wreck but not a thing of beauty either.

Floating Away Noodling (4:12-10:27)

Mike lays down a thick groove early into the jam.  Trey starts to let some solo notes ring out and Page provides some piano melodies.  Fish is giving a slow beat and moving this towards a groove.

After a couple of sectioned off measure, things settle down and a full band groove takes shape.  Mike’s bass and Page’s piano grab most of my attention to start.  Mike’s bass has some oomph behind it during this jam.  Page plays a particularly nice passage at this point, and seems to gather steam from it.

Trey’s playing although he is soloing, is not the dominating factor in the beginning of this jam.  Instead at times, I feel he is providing background.  This is a good solid initial groove.

Around the 6:08, both Trey and Mike start to repeat some notes adding tension to this jam.  They both start moving up the scales, and the jam turns to more a floating style.  That is… when I hear this style of jamming I start to float from whatever I am doing.  My wind wanders all over the place. There is certainly some noodling going on after the 6:45 mark.

By the 7:30 mark, I am half in space, half wondering if this jam will take shape.  This is a jam you can sway to, but not one you will be clearing space for your funk dance party.   It doesn’t do a whole bunch for me.  I do appreciate a lot of the work from Mike and Fish, but Trey’s playing is nowhere near my favorite.

It reminds me of this…

It is has some good ideas but untimely falls flat on its face.  I am not saying this is the worst jam we have seen, just one that floats you away.  As Seinfeld would say “Not that there is anything wrong with that…”

Now We Have Something->Twist (10:28-12:30)

The jam breaks down around the 10:28 mark, as Fish slows things wayyy down.  Trey finds a great lick at the 10:42 mark, and Mike’s bass explodes around him.  Then at 10:48, Fish brilliantly picks the pace up at that exact moment.

The next part is the best part of this Ghost.  From 10:48-11:15, they bring the funk police.  Man is that a hot groove, but they move away from it WAY too soon.

What follows is actually very good.  I just crave more of that sick beat Mike and Fish were laying down.

The jam starts to fade out with more spaced out Trey playing.  Fish infuses parts of the Twist drum beat as early as the 11:30 mark.  The rest of this jam is used to set up the segue into Twist.  Things break down again around the 12:00 mark for a while.

Then at 12:24, Trey plays the lick for Twist and it takes full shape by the 12:30 mark.  Great segue and what follows is a legendary version of Twist.

Final Thoughts

In what is one of my favorite Phish sets, Ghost might actually be the weakest link.  It is important to understand its place in this set however.  After a smoking Seven Below, Ghost is actually used as the cool down portion of the set.  It continues the energy, while providing a launching pad for an exceptional Twist.  This version is a nice one to space out to, it just doesn’t do it for me on its own.  When you stack it up compared to the other 2.0 versions, it just doesn’t measure up well.

Score: 8.1