“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. Wharblgarbl Says:

    spend more money

    Yeah, I figured. That $50 gift card to Music-Go-Round isn’t going to spend itself though. fuck

  2. albert walker Says:

    If you still have your receipt
    Please return those glow sticks

    Let’s shoot for a glow stick free 2010

    And remember friends don’t let friends yell Hood or clap to Stash

  3. angryjoggerz Says:

    And of course jumbo sized glitter and bubbles, mixed. I love when a bubble pops in my face and blinds me with its internal glitter shards.

  4. snowbank Says:

    I am seriously considering the cape with an EL light for this summer… fun to dance in, festive, and not hot (temp wise)…

  5. El Duderino Says:

    I love it when SOAM drops in suddenly…

    Quick shout out, skips out, and then another.


  6. snowbank Says:

    What, no glow sticks? Bah humbug

  7. snowbank Says:

    they are actually glow bracelets, if you are worried about being injured

  8. angryjoggerz Says:

    Apparently I was at the first glowstick war show, my second show ever. (11.24.94 UIC Pavillion). I had no idea I was in the midst phishtory in the making.

  9. timmy Says:

    albert, should we quit yelling ‘wilson’ too??
    crowd participation sucks!!

  10. timmy Says:

    if u don’t wanna get hit with a glowstick…’Hold Your Head Up’!!

  11. SOAM Says:

    Glowsticks should be inserted inito the first available orifice-preferably corn hole city…in this I’m agreement with holier than though, Adubs.

    I don’t mind the kids getting all excited with HOOD!!!or a Stash clap-the clap does not interfere with the music so what the big d…

    I see granny getting down to a fat …CALIFORNIAAAAAH-PROPHET ON THE BURING SHORE……

  12. snowbank Says:

    I think the intro to stash is such an intricate jam that albert does not want to be distracted by the clapping.

    Seriously, Albert, I want to be a cool kid. What am I missing here? Do you really not appreciate a good shower of glow sticks?

  13. El Duderino Says:

    Trey loves Chicago…

    Maybe more so in the day than today?

  14. angryjoggerz Says:

    Today is chicago’s day on the black board. represent.

  15. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    people who clap during songs are the fucking worst

  16. timmy Says:

    i was under the impression that ‘the great went’s “hood” was considered the first glowstick ‘war’

  17. albert walker Says:

    Not holier than thou SOAM

    Just who I am

    Very opinionated but the last person to ever imply they are more right than others

    Just speak what I feel

    Kids will do as they must

  18. angryjoggerz Says:

    I love how there is some related article about anything in the phish world. Here it says that the band and Kuroda clearly prefer the glow rings. I guess getting pelted by sticks is not fun for them.


    I prefer random things from your pocket set on fire.

  19. albert walker Says:

    Whatever you kids need to have fun

    Like I said that shit is lame IMO

    Not trying to say I’m right or make myself look COOL

    Believe me I stopped trying to be cool about 10 years ago

    Just can’t pretend to like that glowstick shit

  20. angryjoggerz Says:

    Walker, I hear ya. I think you should start rocking the Conquering Lion umbrella during the glowsticks, show em how its done.

  21. timmy Says:

    and seriously…the ‘ghost’ from IT w/o glowsticks????? no thanks

  22. angryjoggerz Says:

    On a related note, I checked out some hulahooper videos on youtube from that other band, and, well, that is just gay. But not gay in the good way, gay in the 8 year older calling it to you becuase it is stupid way.

  23. SOAM Says:

    I actually get terribly bad vibes when I see the glowies hittin the piano and near Pagey..I just get this vibe like -if they get hit-there gonna split and then we’ll be left to sing Tuesdays gone with no band…..

    with the wind….my baby’s gone with wiiind?!!!!!

  24. timmy Says:

    the band was in freakin awe….the expression on their faces was priceless!!

  25. lycanthropist Says:


    i am with you on the lack of love for glowsticks..
    they are pretty unnecessary

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