“Go-Suto” (Japanese: Ghost)

Osaka 2000

As soon as Phish debuted “Ghost” in their first show of Summer ’97, the song became a staple jam vehicle for Phish. Moving with the band’s musical direction of the late-90s, “Ghost” featured groove, rock, and ambient jams depending on the era, almost always providing a highlight for any show in which it appeared. And then in Phish’s second show of 2000, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the band rewrote the record books for their late-90’s song. Exploring the hyper-complexities of groove and moving far beyond them into completely transcendent music, Phish threw down, perhaps, the greatest version ever played.

After such a blowout, one would figure the band continued magnifying the song for the rest of the summer, let alone the rest of the year. But they didn’t. While the Phish played solid “Ghosts” in Hartford (7.1), Chicago (9.22), and Denver (9.27), the band only took out the song six times after Radio City. And only one truly stood out – 6.15.00. Phish let loose on the final standout “Ghost” of the pre-hiatus years on the penultimate night of Japan tour in Osaka, Japan. Towards the end of the first set, the band unveiled the only Japanese version of the song, and as it turned out, the last truly great version of 2000.

6.11.00 - Tokyo (E.Sakai)

In Big Cat, a small club, elevated six floors amidst a shopping plaza, the audience squeezed into the small, square room. The predominantly Japanese audience packed it in, as the concept of personal space differed from that in the states – a lot. Before long, a combination of fans began filling the room with blown-up balloons, like a life-sized lottery bin. But when the music started, silence fell, and everyone’s focus turned squarely to the stage.

After a routine four-song, set-opening sequence, Trey quietly initiated a series of siren loops, opening the only “Ghost” of the Pacific. Following the composed section, the band oozed into the piece with a methodical, bass-led groove. Taking ample time to settle into a thick rhythmic canvas, the band pondered the early course of the jam before diving in. Mike took the melodic lead, while Trey and Page added effects, beginning the excursion in a sparse dance pattern. Trey coyly began to pick a melody within the groove, very much blending with whole, yet bringing a whole new element to the table.  Amidst a increasingly murkier plane, Fishman hit a disco-like groove that Mike immediately latched onto, bringing memories of the infectious dance odyssey weeks ago at Radio City. Page and Trey began to gently toy with the beat, and all of a sudden, the band rolled into subconscious territory.

6.15.00 Big Cat Ticket

6.15.00 - Big Cat Ticket

Offering independent melodic ideas along these uptempo rhythms, Trey stepped into prominence, before long, playing an open chord progression that would guide the band through an upbeat, out-of-character second half of the jam. The rest of his band mates picked up on his idea, gradually building a triumphant build over these changes, Meanwhile, after setting the musical plate, Trey transformed into the a cathartic waterfall of notes and melody, peaking the piece in a rolling, cyclical fashion. Uniting all the energy in the room, Phish took sailing on the majestic seas of bliss, drawing out the apex of the jam in an all-out celebration of the human spirit. After the peak, the band seamlessly slid back into “Ghost,” bringing this version to a close.

The Osaka “Ghost”  became an immediate highlight of Japan 2000, and without anyone knowing at the time, represented the last pre-hiatus triumph for the song. This moving piece of music goes under-circulated due to its international origins, and has thus been under-appreciated over the years. Everyone knows the Radio City “Ghost,” and rightfully so. This one came next.


Jam of the Day:

Ghost” 6.15.00 I Rmstr

This standout version of the song has recently been remastered by Phish Thoughts reader, “Kenny Powers,” and is available to download by clicking the orange title above.




5.23.00 Roseland, NYC, NY SBD < Torrent

5.23.00 Roseland, NYC, NY SBD < Megaupload

Roseland Ballroom - NYC

During and after the first Radio City show, fans lined the sidewalks of Manhattan to get tickets for Phish’s just-announced show at Roseland the night after. The intimate gig was filmed for VH-1’s “Hard Rock Live,” and though the show was relatively jam-less, the event provided a special night in the spring of 2000.

I: AC/DC Bag, Wilson, First Tube, Ya Mar, Mike’s Song > Simple > It’s Ice, When the Circus Comes, Back on the Train, Gotta Jibboo, Taste, Sleeping Monkey

II: Punch You In the Eye, Twist, Waste, Piper, You Enjoy Myself, Run Like an Antelope, Train Song, Bug

E: Boogie On Reggae Woman, Cavern

Source: SBD

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528 Responses to ““Go-Suto” (Japanese: Ghost)”

  1. lastwaltzer Says:

    @dancing fool, you proved your own point its not 1976 anymore. BUT BUT no need to fear kayatosh is from the future, he may be able to help you out.

  2. angryjoggerz Says:

    This North and South Korea business has gotten me way down. I really hope this does not escalate to a nuclear war… seems no one would win.

  3. lastwaltzer Says:

    the korean war= the war that keeps on giving

  4. angryjoggerz Says:

    I spend way too much time very close to the N. Korean border, so it is freaking me out.

  5. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @lastwaltzer, what if it was 1995 and i said the grateful dead were awful live?

  6. lastwaltzer Says:

    So I believe I’ve mentioned it before but I work at a dry cleaners. The oldest employee (a 70 year old presser) gets to pick the music EVERYDAY. Which means for the past year I have listened to the Steve Harvey morning show hearing all the R&B hits of today.

    The other week she decided she had enough, something provoked her to grab the copy of 5/8/77 i brought to the Christmas party and left by the stereo. Well she is now HOOKED. that day she made me put the estimated on repeat. I can’t stop laughing, a 70 year old women just getting hooked on the Grateful Dead.

    The other day my co worker ( a fellow deadhead) told her “were gonna make you into a dead head just yet” to which she replied “a what?!?! Is that some kind on an insult!?!?” 🙂

  7. lastwaltzer Says:

    @dancing fool,

    I would agree with you. lol

  8. angryjoggerz Says:

    She would certainly not be the only 70 year old deadhead out there, but perhaps is the most newly initiated.

    We are everywhere.

  9. Wharblgarbl Says:

    Wow, Mr. Miner read my mind with the DOTD (and SBD taboot).

    On a different subject, I’m looking for an acoustic guitar that’s in the $200 range with a good tone, a cutout and that’s built to last. Any suggestions?

  10. lastwaltzer Says:

    @aj, I’m sure she isn’t. Its funny cause she used to really like jazz.

    My other co-worker hates jazz even though i try to explain that the dead were playing jazz. What does the presser tell me “This is jazz!” without me asking. Needless to say we had a pretty funny argument following.

  11. angryjoggerz Says:

    Those are some wacky drycleaner hijinks!

  12. posterkid Says:

    You guys in Chicago should try some smaller venues: Bottom Lounge, The Hideout, Lincoln Hall, Empty Bottle.

  13. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    On a different subject, I’m looking for an acoustic guitar that’s in the $200 range with a good tone, a cutout and that’s built to last. Any suggestions?

    spend more money

  14. angryjoggerz Says:

    I hear that, Mike.

  15. albert walker Says:

    There are def a bunch of nice small rock clubs in Chicago

    I just don’t listen to hip enough music for the bands they book

    And start feeling too old hanging out with all the college kids

    That Lincoln Hall opened behind my house and I caught some of the Umphrey’s show there

    Great venue
    Terrible show. Left after a few tunes

  16. angryjoggerz Says:

    Perhaps some solo Mike Gordon action at any of the above mentioned venues? Yes please.

    Buddy of mine owns the hideout, good people.

  17. lastwaltzer Says:

    i wanna give her another tape, I’m thinking I should stick with the funkier stuff for now, maybe something with shakedown or eyes on it.

  18. kayatosh Says:

    nice gd story, lw. 70 yr. old gd rookie.

  19. albert walker Says:

    Lounge Axe was great too

    I saw Mudhoney close it out for their last concert
    Place was packed
    Great energy

    Used to chill there all the time back in the day

  20. angryjoggerz Says:

    You should bring in some Pigpen and get down and dirty Chicago blues wit her.

  21. lastwaltzer Says:

    @aj, I was thinking about that as well. Maybe a little Good love, lovelight, next time you see me action. haha

  22. SOAM Says:

    Get granny to start blasting fatties andmaybe a sort here and there of some devil dust-and you got an old fashioned dry cleanin doo wop-then fuckin blast a big fatass Bowie……………………………………………..

    Yo Granny——–UB40!!!!!!!!

    INTO TWIST AROUND, WOULDN’T TWIST A ………WHOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. lastwaltzer Says:

    @soam, easy on the pcp dude its not even 2 o’clock yet

  24. snowbank Says:

    Is anybody else starting feel sumer tour approach?

    I ordered some glowsticks from glow stick wars and am trying to think of other ways to get freaky for tour.

  25. angryjoggerz Says:

    Facepaint, cape, attachable animal tail, “phuck yeah” lcd spinner, tarp

    all check.

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