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. nonoyolker Says:

    pending charges have to get fufilled at this point. i think all rejections have to have been sent by now. sucks to wait til the last 25 min though. I feel your anxiety homey

  2. Chalkdustin Says:

    Where is GA in Chicago? Front?

  3. wizzle1986 Says:

    did anyone get tickets but hasn’t had their cc charged, i haven’t gotten an e-mail yet and have no pending charges, but it said in the first e-mail that they would charge be4 midnight on the 25th, which is tomorrow; don’t think i got them but still have fading hope

  4. Chalkdustin Says:

    Also, is Gorge all GA? Thanks!

  5. wall05 Says:


  6. guyforget Says:

    wizzle, what first email are you referring to??

  7. nonoyolker Says:

    GA = General Admission

  8. wizzle1986 Says:

    the confirmation e-mail that my order was processed

  9. voopa Says:

    Gorge is all GA. Camp offsite.

  10. guyforget Says:

    ahh, i see that now. still says you’ll know in 10 mins though…..

  11. Frankie Says:

    Yeah! The Mike’s Groove with Ain’t Love Funny is tight at that show! Love the Simple also! Drinking a good stout also! Cheers buddy! 🙂

    Where’s the best place to camp at SPAC? Will make reservations tomorrow…

  12. contact420 Says:

    I have two toyota park tix sec 109 row 17 for 2 ga Gorge tix

  13. wall05 Says:

    i still am waiting!!! anyone else? I am worried now. We got the email saying they got our order so i should hear something either way.


  14. Chalkdustin Says:

    wall05, have you been checking your spam folder?

  15. wall05 Says:

    nothing there

  16. wizzle1986 Says:

    still waiting as well, no pending charges though so i’ve given up, gonna call them tommorrow fo sho tho, just in case

  17. Chalkdustin Says:

    I don’t know what to tell you, that’s pretty bogus. If you don’t get anything by morning, definitely call. Sorry.

  18. Walfredo Says:

    Just got last confirmation. Shut out on all 4 red rocks. Have 16 for each night of the gorge. Feast and famine!

  19. Frankie Says:

    Sorry for the non Phish related comment but Brian Haas of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey just released his new solo piano record as a free download! Fans of solo piano, check it out, he’s a great musician!


  20. contact420 Says:

    I just broke down and bought 2 pav seats for Sat Alpine 34 left of center cuz I got shut out of RR. Trying for the Gorge on Fri, need two for each night. I have two extras for Toyota Park…

  21. wall05 Says:

    walfredo- did you get your conformation after 12 eastern time?

  22. spideyguy0 Says:

    Got shut out completely after getting shut out of Hampton and 1st leg too. Got lucky with Live Nation last time (after 2 hours) and hoping the same thing happens here with TM.

  23. wizzle1986 Says:

    people on PT board are getting filled requests after midnight, mostly through yahoo i beleve

  24. guyforget Says:

    just got my second order filled, and it was after the deadline, so anybody with cc pending, i’m sure your fine. I scored:
    5 GA Lawn Shoreline
    2 GA both nights at Gorge
    2 GA Lawn Meariweaher

    11 total tix, pretty happy. only really planned on going to shoreling and gorge anyway. Merriweathers are for my boy who lives within walking distance to MPP. So, he’ll be happy when he sees my email tomorrow, he got shut out.

    Hang in there, seems orders are still being filled. I think my 5 shorelines are taken, but if not, extras are going to someone here who needs them.

  25. wall05 Says:

    man talk about a suspensful day….STILL WAITING!!!

    Thanks everyone, you are keeping my hopes for Saratoga alive!

Leave a Reply