“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. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Don’t discount Culver City’s Porn District though the family friendly environment may preclude that

    Is that any camping or lodging near by to Glen Hellen

  2. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    that = there

  3. posternutbag Says:

    Instead of another socal festival, can they just play 4 straight days at the Gorge? That would work for me.

  4. Chuck D Says:

    is there camping at the gorge? or nearby?

  5. posternutbag Says:

    Gorge has enormous camping lots that are walking distance to the venue. Some of the best views you’ll ever have from a campsite too!

  6. snowbank Says:

    Four days at the gorge in mid/late September… sign me up.

  7. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:

    4 Days at the Gorge would be awesome but also exhausting…

  8. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Gorge would be tough for four days because it’s so far to get supplies. Not much nearby. About 20+ miles to a reasonable sized town. Plus four days in September would be brutal for me: so close, but my job would make it tough. September not good.

    Just selfishly speaking I guess.

  9. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:

    It prob be pretty hot during the day and cold at night
    no shade at all anywhere until the sun goes down.
    after the second night,
    my legs hurt from walking up and down that hill to hit the honey buckets
    at the show/ My old self speaking I guess

  10. Skyballs Saxscraper Says:

    Oh, I have forgotten how much I love a good Max Creek show.

    Some – hell, most – of my best pre-Phish show memories belong to that band.

  11. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Yeah Gorge is a LOT of walking. Especially if you’re walking around the lot all day, then a mile into the show, then dance at the show, and a long uphill walk back to camp…Well, maybe we are getting old.

    But since it’s the only time they ever play withing 500 miles of me, maybe I should take what I can get.

  12. Willowed Says:

    USA vs. Czech tonight. ESPN 8:00 p.m.
    Catch the World Cup fever. Our first look at the team we’re sending to South Africa!!!

  13. [Not Tom] Marshall Says:

    On a lawn like Deer Creek I love to watch the glow ring eruption at the start of second set. It’s Yhe people closer to stage that hate them because the rings tend to migrate forwards.

  14. whole tour! Says:

    ghost 6/24/00 – NUFF SAID!

  15. whole tour! Says:

    ^ my bad….got my ghost confused with my tweezer….

  16. lycanthropist Says:

    yeh that Tweezer is amazin!

  17. lycanthropist Says:

    my personal first live Tweezer

  18. whole tour! Says:

    lycan! what up mang?

    that tweezer is quite epic.
    For some reason after reading about the 2000 ghosts, my mind went on auto pilot and automatically jumped to that tweezer jam and got it confused with a ghost for some odd reason. lol

  19. ChefBradford Says:

    This summer I’m hoping to catch my first:

    Bathtub Gin
    Divided Sky

  20. Frankie Says:

    Really recommend the new Black Keys record, Brothers! Check it out! Soundtrack of my summer for sure!

  21. whole tour! Says:

    i’m still hoping to catch a mcgrupp. been like 30 shows and i’ve never seen one.

  22. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    first tweezer? you don’t get out much lol, i’m still awaiting a YEM

  23. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    my first tweezer was pretty good, miner says it’s the best jam of ’09

  24. ChefBradford Says:

    I’ve made five shows, including the two 2.0 festies, no Tweezer, no Gin. That was always a WTF for me

  25. whole tour! Says:

    i’m predicting earth destroying renditions of both ghost and tweezer in atlanta this summer….just saying 🙂

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