A Ghost Encounter

3.7.08 (D.Pecoraro)

3.7.08 (D.Pecoraro)

Phish jams provide so much more than mere music- they are experiences.  When the “Tweezer” lick or “Mike’s” riff drops, that adrenaline we feel isn’t due to the audio stimuli we are about to receive, but rather the all-encompassing life experience we are about to notch into our belt.  The experience of a Phish jam moves beyond “listening” into the realm of “living.”  These jams bring us inspiration, fear, introspection, catharsis, and revelation- this is the fabric of life.  This contributes to the humor when parents or non-Phishies ask us why we would want to attend four straight shows.  Always a difficult question to answer to those who haven’t experienced IT, we often find ourselves stuck- or talking for ten minutes- trying to explain.  It all comes down to the live experience- experience– those moments where nothing else matters; this was one of those moments.

It was Saturday night in Hampton, and Phish had just finished their best segment of music to that point.  “Rock and Roll > Limb” gave us an initial taste of 3.0’s improv.  After a ripping ride, one might have predicted a more mellow song waiting in the wings- but there wasn’t.  Lurking right around the corner was one of those experiences.


3.7.09 (D.Pecoraro)

As the peak of “Limb” ended, many needing a quick breather, but Phish would not allow it, easing their way into the opening grooves of “Ghost.”  Simply hearing this beginning after a five year absence, and knowing all the crazy rides the song had taken us on, was enough to send our energy directly through the roof.  Echoes of yesteryear came flooding into the Coliseum, hearkening back to the colossal Hampton “Ghost” of 1997.  As soon as the rhythmic patterns started oozing from the stage, that feeling returned.  That eager anticipation you feel when you couldn’t be more excited for the moment- we were about to live a “Ghost” jam for the first time in half a decade- and my brain was overdosing with adrenaline.

Hampton (D.Pecoraro)

Hampton (D.Pecoraro)

Without any noodling, Trey got right down to business, offering edgy, uncompressed lines over a methodical groove.  Soon the band joined the improvisation, crafting a communicative pattern around a three-note phrase by Trey.  Following the beginning of the jam, the music opened up quite a bit more, allowing space for Mike, Page, and Trey to play shorter, staccato melodies that fit in and around each other like an intricate jigsaw puzzle.  With no one member overpowering this segment of music, the band’s collaborative effort stood out- especially with their new live mix.

Hampton (D.Pecoraro)

Hampton (D.Pecoraro)

Coming to a natural transition, the band shifted back into a more traditional “Ghost” story, with Trey playing sustained wails over the band’s soundscape rather than focusing on dance rhythms.  The music began to ascend- chasing Trey’s emotive offerings, and before we knew it, the band latched onto his melodic geyser, following his lead into one of the most spiritual releases of the weekend.  This was the first time that Trey stopped thinking and just played what was in his heart- and it was so, so obvious.  The previously calculative Jedi had lost himself in his music, inviting us to come along, rediscovering the unbridled joy in the organic peak of a beautiful Phish jam.

3.8.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

"AC/ DC Bag" 3.8.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

The emotions evoked within myself, as I’m sure many others, were awing.  There we were again- merged with the band in the middle of IT- dancing our hearts out because nothing else mattered.  It was a powerful moment; rediscovering the experience of Phish as the band grew more comfortable on stage once again.  Soon after the climactic peak, the band slid down the jam’s denouement and right into “Piper.”  This “Ghost” authoritatively completed the message whose delivery had started with “Rock and Roll > Limb”- Phish’s emotional improv was back.  While much of the first three sets carried the vibe of a recital, it was this second set that announced the band’s creative return.  And it wasn’t until “Ghost” that we caught a glimpse into the soul of the band that will inspire us through the next part of our lives.

LISTEN TO 3.7’s “GHOST” NOW! < LINK (Roll over link and press play)


“The Mothership” – Photo: Dave Pecoraro



8.6.96 Red Rocks < LINK

8.6.96 Red Rocks < TORRENT LINK

8.4.96 (J.Richter)

8.4.96 Red Rocks (J.Richter)

Moving right along, here we have night three of 1996’s famed stint at Red Rocks.  If you are following along, we will go though every show the band has played at the legendary venue this week. The no-brainer highlights of this show are the first set-ending “Antelope” and a sublime “Tweezer” that is one of my personal favorites.  Look for the gorgeous “Hood” that concluded the night’s jamming.  This one is a keeper.

I: Makisupa Policeman, Rift*, Suzy Greenberg, Simple, Theme From the Bottom, Lizards, Dinner and a Movie, Horn, Run Like An Antelope

II: The Curtainb> Tweezer**, Prince Caspian, A Day in the Life, Big Black Furry Creature From Mars, Purple Rain, Harry Hood#, Tweezer Reprise

E: Johnny B. Goode

*Contained “This is Red Rocks, This is the Edge” (referring to U2’s live album “Under a Blood Red Sky”), by Trey. **With “Norwegian Wood” jam. #First appearance of the “Hood!” chant after the band sings “Harry,” which was initiated by flyers passed out at the show.

Source: FOB > DFC/9th row > Sonic Studios Dsm6’/Pa6lc3s (w/60khz bass rolloff) > D7 @48k > Clone

Taper: J.P.

Tags: , ,

438 Responses to “A Ghost Encounter”

  1. wizzle1986 Says:

    they released 4-day passes early (week ago) and then canceled orders

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    @wizzle: there are several major artists who control large blocks of tickets for their own long established fan clubs. Pearl Jam and Prince are the 2 main examples.

    But that ship has sailed long ago for Phish. They had a chance to take best of GD model and improve on it via professionalism, but they didn’t, and now they’re too burned out on the business side of things to put in the effort. And they don’t have a database to work from anyway.

    Doing any of these very smart plans you all mention would be labor intensive and they’ve said that’s what they don’t want.

    Ask youself which of these would be better:
    a) Phish rebuilds a ticketing service. This requires a lot of people. The money to pay those people re-creates the pressure to tour when the band’s not inspired. We get 2 years of shows with relatively better ticket access, then another retirement.

    b) 10+ years of shows under current system

    I vote B. And that’s probly the real choice.

    I’d love to be wrong and see them step up and kick TM square in the nuts, take control back themselves. But I really doubt it, and it might lead to bad consequences down the road.

    I really get the impression the guys need things set up in such a way that they can just focus on the music: practice a lot, travel with the families, then show up and play the gigs. It may make it harder for us but if that’s how it needs to be, then that’s how it is.

    And yeah I just got shut out of my local venue and have to go wrestle the giant on Friday.

  3. snigglebeach Says:

    I personally think the scalpers might have a tougher time with this system then the old.

    The mail system would benefit the scalpers, because they have money and like stated they could flood the system with requests and get as many as they could.

    But even the scalpers can only come up with a few credit cards and addresses. I guess i could be totally wrong but the ticket agents have money and an inside scoop on ticketbastard, but they prob have only a few available credit card options, just like me and u.

    Might as well blame stub-hub, E-Bay, and the internet as well. Because i am sure there are people all over the country (and maybe beyond) who know they can make easy money on a few tickets.
    Which really is the unfortunate reality, like any random draw some of us get extras, and some get shut out completely.

    seems impossible, but the less interest the e-bay tiks get the more will be there for us next time.

    And by the way, and its been touched on before. Phish should play music. as long as they do that, those four guys have done right by us. All this they should do this and that and it NEEDS TO CHANGE. Bahhhh

    They owe us nothing. I have shipped a lot of $$$ their way over the years, and i have yet to feel i did not get my money’s worth.

    Stop whining and enjoy

  4. Pencilneck Says:

    Has anybody received confirmation of a filled ticket req. yet? or just the denials? I must agree w you sniggle. Phish tour kept me pretty broke for many years. Years I wouldn’t change one bit. They owe me nothing. ‘Cept maybe a smokin’ Guyute at Deer Creek.

  5. gills Says:

    no email either way yet anyone else

  6. cottle Says:

    I’m thinking all you guys who haven’t heard anything yet probably got tickets. The denials have been out since about 4:00 EST.

  7. dyda Says:

    still no confirmation e-mail but the charge is still pending on my account.

    i got both tix i requested (i think, i hope, i’m lead to believe). darien & spac for those of you not wanting to go all the way back to the first page of comments from this morning. i tried the hampton and early summer lottos and got nothing and totally wasn’t expecting anything from this one, but you never know which is why you try. that and not having to deal with livenation.

    so yes, there are a few of us lucky quacks out there. i wouldn’t have believed it myself and i still fully won’t until i get that e-mail.

  8. walfredo Says:

    sniggle- you are completely out to lunch. If you think scalpers are sitting around with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash- looking to float the money out for 6-8 weeks- to take advantage of a band that has pretty low returns for them to begin with. Do you know what reserved seats go for at a lot of concerts- lower bowl stuff?

    The whole business model- is if you can put 0 down- and enter a system where if you win- you get something you can turn around and sell that is immediately worth more then you paid for it… You never need any startup capital- anyone with a credit card can do it- on a large scale… And you never hold any inventory- that you had to pay for.

    Trust me- that is the system that keeps ticket brokers alive… They would never mailorder- ever! I’m trying to imagine a ticketbroker reading through a Schvice trying to put together a mailorder packet- schleping 40 individual money orders for various amounts- filling out 3 x 5 notecards.

    It would never happen-

  9. cottle Says:

    Seriously, Let’s bring back some version of the old PTBM system. They say it’ll cost more money, blah blah blah. I’ll staff it. I know enough kids that need jobs, well educated kids. We’ll handle the PR, the customer service, the accounting, whatever. We can compromise on the salaries too, just add tours off and face tickets to the benefits package. Phish…email me….we’ll work something out.

  10. Mr. V Says:

    I hope someone gets approved. Good luck all.

  11. wizzle1986 Says:

    i would work minimum wage for phish ticketing in a heartbeat

  12. whole tour! Says:

    walfredo wrote:
    “I’m trying to imagine a ticketbroker reading through a Schvice”

    great point walfredo!
    lol…can scalpers even read? i couldn’t imagine a scalper reading ANYTHING! let alone the complex instrustions involved with mail order.
    something in my gut tells me that if these parasites could read, then they would have gotten real jobs long ago. I don’t think being able to read the “refresh” button is exactly like reading “moby dick”….lol

  13. gills Says:

    still waiting + vibes

  14. wall05 Says:

    anyone get a request granted yet?

  15. wall05 Says:

    i still haven’t gotten an email

  16. gills Says:

    @ cottle something has to be done bout this tix crisis yes i said crisis. i don’t want to hear that mail order will cost more money. phish makes tons of money. i hope and pray that the band sees our hardships and is trying to vome up with an alternate solution. im still waiting for my email wish me luck yall

  17. elbows Says:

    wholetour: amen, brother

  18. null Says:

    There are a whole lot of things I wanted to say to all you folks over the last few weeks, and I’ve held off for various reasons. Maybe this is worthwhile:

    The mailorder infrastructure already exists, and is ready to go. GDTS Too has been doing real mailorder, with real envelopes & real money orders, for years now. Of course Phish requests would be a significant load, but they’ve been doing it for the Dead, and they do a *great* job.

    The real issue may be that Phish isn’t ready yet to organize tours months in advance. They announced this tour just 10 days before public on-sale dates. That’s not possible with a 6 – 8 week mailorder lead time.

    Lastly: is mailorder better than internet sales? Without a doubt. *We*, individually, can afford to front money to a mailorder operation for two months. Scalpers can’t.

    Good luck out there. One way or another the music comes through.

  19. walfredo Says:

    Gills- me and some friends are still waiting on 4 e-mails! No one has got a thumbs up or a thumbs down yet… We are west coasters and requested Red Rocks and the Gorge… Preparing myself for bad news- but trying to stay hopeful.

  20. Pencilneck Says:

    I’d seriously consider ditching my current gig to jump on board a project revamping the old mail order ticket ways muhself. Can’t recall ever gettin’ shot down. Won’t be long now for all those still waiting.
    As time leaks out…

  21. gills Says:

    my request was for 2 rr shows not the whole run and merri post thought if i only asked for 2 rr shows i might get lucky cause everyone else prob asked for the whole run. i dont know if there is any truth to my plan but well see +++++++++ vibes

  22. Clay Says:

    No emails here as well….My buddy and I are waiting!

    They are really taking us down to the wire hahah

  23. Clay Says:

    <—-Wonders how many people are lurking just to find out when the emails get sent out hhah

  24. gills Says:

    http://stash.nugs.net/phish/summer98/default.asp?artist=2&show=113&cmd=shows to pass the time

  25. lot rat Says:

    rejected email ar ebeing sent out…i scored a complete rejection (so did my wife)

    Last time rejections went out first then filled orders….good luck

Leave a Reply