“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. marcoesq Says:

    And can I just point out that the Flyers clinched last night exactly 6 months TO THE DAY of the amazing, bust out show of 11.24.09???

    YOu know, the one where Trey rocked the FLyers jersey in the 1st set 🙂

  2. angryjoggerz Says:

    Oh, and for those of you not going on to Blossom, don’t forget this:


  3. roofless_sheds Says:

    this ghost is outstanding… am i the only person who thinks the radio city version drags a little?

  4. marcoesq Says:


    Thanks man but I’ll actually be in Sarasota during those dates for a wedding. Trying to find a show down there for me and Stupendous to hit up

  5. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    fuck that george clinton show being 21 years and up, not 21 till 9 days later

  6. angryjoggerz Says:

    Sorry. Thought you meant coming to Chicago, looking for something to do. My bad.

  7. Hoedown Says:

    @ marco- funny you say that as Trey was mentioned in the paper for being at the game last night!

  8. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    wouldn’t say kane is overrated, but yes his size definitely makes him more of a regular season player than a playoff player

  9. fee4zy Says:

    Was a huge hockey fan back in the late ’80s and early ’90s. Back when players had no teeth and didn’t wear helmets. Mullets flying back when players raced around the ice. NY Rangers fan. Ron Dugay was my favorite, then Vanbez, then Richter.

    I was at these Radio City shows. Balcony like row 5. I remember the entire balcony bouncing like crazy at one point and I was hoping it wouldn’t come down. I don’t think that the designers of RCMH was planning on crazy dancing by phans.

  10. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    anyone else seeing santana this summer???

  11. lastwaltzer Says:

    @dancing fool,

    Don’t get me wrong, I love George Clinton but don’t waste your money paying to see him go out and buy some of his records you haven’t herd. Worst live act I’ve ever seen/

  12. BTB Says:

    Stup – been listening to your tracks at work so far today. It’s the one with the dude under water album cover? I’m digging the relaxed vibe.

  13. albert walker Says:

    You ever make that donation in Buff’s name Dancin

    Figured you guys would take 1

    I called it on Nabby too huh. Cats days are done.

    yeah p-funk has sucked since the 70’s
    guaranteed bad concert

  14. El Duderino Says:

    @ fee4zy

    You watch any of those dvd’s I sent you yet???

  15. El Duderino Says:

    Crack and playing music don’t really mix IMO.

  16. angryjoggerz Says:

    I’ve seen Pfunk a few times, really hit or miss, but at the Cubby Bear I am gonna vote miss. That place sucks.

  17. Chuck D Says:

    got this link in the mail last night… some sweet poster art, most of which I had not seen, some signed by the boys.

    I particularly liked the NTELOS and ATL selections


  18. lycanthropist Says:

    good morning BB

    hope everyone is doing well

  19. El Duderino Says:

    Cubby Bear voted worse bar in Chicago by the acclaimed Chicago Magazine

  20. El Duderino Says:


  21. A_Glide Says:

    Don’t forget about Keith. Dude took a puck to the face, lost 7 teeth and only missed a couple of lines. Still had 29 min on the ice. And Madden’s got 2 cups already, lookin to make 3. There’s a lot of experience on this young team. Hossa plays both sides and will backcheck and hustle like no other.

    Hawks roll Flyers in 5.

    And Kane is twice as good this year as he was last year. His impact will only increase as he continues to improve his game. He’s got a great work ethic by all reports.

  22. angryjoggerz Says:

    I did see Burning Spear there once, and he and his boys brought it, despite the horrible location. I pretty much avoid Wrigleyville at all costs, but it is not really my scene. Oh, that and I actually live in the city.

  23. El Duderino Says:

    Flyer’s don’t have a chance. They’re very lucky they’ve gotten this far.
    Hawks in 6

  24. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    nabby has been a playoff bust the last 4 years

  25. kayatosh Says:

    one last rec. for now, 12-4-95 YEM — not to be missed. a fishman/gordon clinic.

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