Ghost

, comment by Pinhead_Larry
Pinhead_Larry A much different beast than the Bathtub Gin-esque trill fests of some of the more recent Ghosts up until this point (with some glaring exceptions, the most notable being the grandiose Albany '09), this Ghost is a darker take on the jam in 3.0. It is as though Phish wanted to contrast Carini's effigy of spacious air with something of a midnight fog. This is not to say that this Ghost gets cacophonous (like 12/11/99's outro) or grimy (like 8/15/04), but relatively speaking, there are more dimensions within this Ghost than most feel-good Ghosts of 3.0.

Ghost's song-proper starts out more ominous than most, transitioning from the synth-filled ambiance of Taste to the opening chords being chugged at about half-speed (even the first verse being slightly slower than normal). The beginning of the jam is commenced by Trey repeating a riff based on a variation of the Ghost theme and Page filling in the empty, subatomic spaces with glimmering notes from the grand piano (I am reminded of that 2-note piano lick from Nas' "N.Y. State of Mind" for some reason). The jam seems to switch back-and-forth between an uplifting sense of melody and a bass heavy, chaotic syncopation, much like how medically inaccurate films portrayed schizophrenia in the 1940s and '50s.

One of the most beautiful moments in the jam has to be around 12 minutes in, in which Trey is [teasing?] Weekapaug and Page is accompanying harmonically before hopping on the moog for some melodic interplay with Mike. One the other hand, parts of the Ghost sound replicated from its 1997 summer European counterparts, particularly around the 9-minute mark in which Mike leads the jam into its next section with a simple dirty bass line. Additionally, Trey is half in and half out, and Page is the leader for when Trey is out, making for a more balanced jam that channels multiple musical perspectives. Mike is the hero of the jam in its final few minutes, giving the jam a breath of new life as he confidently funks up the jam. The epic "->"Boogie On speaks for itself.

Overall, you won't find this Ghost in a top 10 of any list, but you will find me recommending it if you're looking for something a little different, and that manages to pack a punch. But really, you should be digging into the entire second set of this show.
 
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