“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. A_Glide Says:

    Game 7? Not a chance.

    Hawks in 5. I’ll be at 1 & 2 rocking my Hossa sweater. If it goes to 7 I’m F’d. I don’t know where I would rather be. In the building for a Cup win or on the field at Toyota. I really hope I don’t have to make that decision.

  2. kayatosh Says:

    spinn 6-15-00 ghost now. long one of my favs. KP really augmented the bass. nice.

  3. KWL Says:

    morning BB

    anyone got a digital SLR camera they’re looking to sell?

    hit me up if so, looking to make the switch to SLR but want to start cheaply…

    keith dot lindner at gmail

  4. Stupendous Says:

    heres to a return to form with ghost in 2010!

  5. marcoesq Says:

    morning all, love me some 2nd gen Ghosts (with the feedback, slow intro) so this is a treat

    I agree with what you’re saying about the Ghost’s of 2000 lagging but you can’t sleep on the Albany ’00 1st set Ghost!!!

    9.8.00: 1st night of the “last tour,” the night before the amazing second set with Michael Ray

    This Ghost rips! But the Osaka Ghost has it’s own aura as well

  6. marcoesq Says:

    Oh, and can I get a…


  7. marcoesq Says:

    Series going to 7 games though, no…Flyers in 5

    Does anyone remember Camden ’99, Trey rocking the Mia Hamm jersey??

  8. angryjoggerz Says:

    I know nothing of sports, particularly hockey, but I do know that if you wear a Flyers jersey to the South Side of Chicago when they are up against the Blackhawks you might get shanked. Just saying.

  9. marcoesq Says:

    ^The same can be said about wearing a Blackhawks jersey in S Philly or anywhere near Fishwtown or Kensington and Allegheny

  10. kayatosh Says:

    what a ghost (6-15-00) and it sounded nice.

  11. marcoesq Says:

    pfft…NBA can have their treasured Boston/LA series, we’ll take a dirty, old school Chi-town/Phila matchup

  12. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    you’re more likely to get ‘shanked’ in phili than chicago

  13. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    some people say that starting your day in the Fela Kuti way will set you up okay

    others tell that it is just as well to listen to the phish excel no matter what the hour’s knell

  14. marcoesq Says:

    And while we’re on the subject of GHOST, lemme ask this

    I’ve always stated on here that I’m a fan on the “2nd generation” Ghost intro, the feedback-enhanced, slow “drive-by” intro

    They’ve since dropped that after ’00

    What does everyone here prefer??

    1.) 1st gen: ’97-island tour ’98 (Straight drop funk intro)

    2.) 2nd gen: Copenhagen ’98-Denver ’00 (See above)

    3.) 3rd gen: Basically Vegas ’03-current (choppy, A-chord intro)

    thank you

  15. kayatosh Says:

    I must admit that i never got that into hockey. now my home team is in the stanley cup, and i am clueless. Is peter zezel still on the flyers?

    “you’re more likely to get ’shanked’ in phili than chicago” — can’t speak for chitown, but working class philly is as tough as they come. They barf on you, if they don’t like you.

  16. SOAM Says:

    There is no way Philly beats Chicago-Chicago has the best young players in the game in Toews and Kane-they have big-scorers up front-good defenseman and there goalie is hot-granted-Philly has really started to play well and they do have Carter back and Leighton is hot BUT-Philly beat Mont-big deal-Chicago beat SJ-and SJ is loaded up front…Chicago in 5 or 6 and for the next 5 or 6 years they have it made-Toews is th emost underated player in the world-Kane is nasty-and the big black dude-fuggedaboudit….Remember Philly dumped their coach-barely got in andlost 3 straight to the disgraceful Bruins..It’s Chicago-Jesus ain’t leaving for anopther 3 or 4 years-in consolation-I saw the first Unbroken Chain in Phily in 95 and it was crazy….never heard a building that loud-ever. Tour is around the bend

  17. kayatosh Says:

    gonna spin that 10-1-99 gumbo again. real nice/.

  18. marcoesq Says:

    I’d have to guess that most people would prefer #2 but I’m curious

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    you’re more likely to get ’shanked’ in phili than chicago

    totally. in chicago they’ll just beat you with a stick and then shove a sausage down your throat. shanks are so east coast.

  20. marcoesq Says:

    In Philly they’lll just chuck snowballs with rocks hidden inside at you

  21. Stupendous Says:

    Marco #2, then #1, then #3

  22. marcoesq Says:

    Osaka Ghost commencing now

  23. marcoesq Says:

    yeah Stup, that’s pretty much my thoughts as well

  24. angryjoggerz Says:

    ^ I might agree, but remember, Toyota Park is NOT Chicago, it is Bridgeview, and Bridgeview excels in shanks and skanks.

  25. Stupendous Says:

    You got your bags packed up?

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