“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

Tags: , ,

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

  1. El Duderino Says:

    AW and I saw Scratch Perry there years ago. I think maybe that was my last time in that place for music. The place blows

  2. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    stories in hockey are always fun. hossa losing in the stanley cup final 3 years in a row, with 3 different teams will be a great story

  3. the_rizzle Says:

    good luck finding a show in the srq fellas :\ u might have to make your own in stupendous’ studio

  4. albert walker Says:

    I hate going out in Chicago

    Maybe Jazz Showcase or the Greenmill

    The scene at the Vic for Sharon Jones was nauseating

    Park West isn’t bad but puffin anywhere these days is tough with the smoking ban

    Used to cloud all these clubs out back in the day

  5. Stupendous Says:

    Rizzle For the win!

    BTB that one is the first one from 05 the new one is Sketches in Audio…
    big up!

  6. El Duderino Says:

    The Riviera is still the best place to see music in the city of Chicago. I’d say the Aragon Ballroom too but the sound there is just atrocious so it cacles that out. The Vic has sucked for well over 15 years now. The owner is a retired Chicago Cop so… you know how that goes!

  7. albert walker Says:

    On the Hawks Hossa is +7 in the playoffs playing on a checking line

    Keith, Seabrook, Campbell, and Hjarlmirson are solid as fuck on D

    My family has had Hawks tix since the dark ages in the late 90’s
    It’s been a long haul

    This team is really hitting stride
    I’d take any action if any Philly fans want any

  8. lastwaltzer Says:


    I don’t know if its really a chicago issue, seems that way most everywhere (re:scene and indoor clouds). I agree on your choice venues although I’d add old town to that list. Can’t really complain about the real theaters in this city its the standing room only places that really stink.

    That being said Cubby Bear is particularity bad, but you gotta ask yourself what your doing in wrigglyville in the first place.

  9. kayatosh Says:

    aw: don’t go out much myself in philly. can be a real hassle. left the philly gordon show at halftime. too closed in and ciggy.

  10. El Duderino Says:


  11. angryjoggerz Says:

    I hear ya AW. Only place that I know of taht does not really care is Cafe Lura for reggae nights… the Polish crew is pretty up for whatever, it seems.

  12. fee4zy Says:

    Dude, watched the CWI and it made me miss Jerry so much. Brent was tearing it up! Thanks again. Will get to Phish this weekend.

  13. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    campbell hasn’t done much the last 2 years

  14. albert walker Says:

    The Riv is the worst at over selling

    it was nuts to butts at Trey

  15. marcoesq Says:

    I’ll retract my Kane being overrated comments, the guy is legit. But it just seems like midwest sports reporters want to bring the second coming of Jordan into every sports team they have

  16. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    ^^hossa is on the second line, not the checking line

  17. fee4zy Says:

    Off to take care of my car. Smell ya’ll later.

  18. lastwaltzer Says:

    @el dude,

    I don’t know if your just talking in terms of puffing but I’d take the vic over the riv any day of the week. Better sight lines, better sound, smaller venue.

  19. El Duderino Says:

    Reports on Phil Jackson interested in returning to the Bulls to coach…

    LeBron James on his way!!!

  20. albert walker Says:

    Campbell was amazing for us this year

    Playing under coach Q is defense was tightened up considerably
    Him and Keith are the two that keep our offense running

    His 2 line passes have been $$ all year

    Maybe one of his best seasons of his career considering he used to be pretty weak defensively

    He’s actually had a tremendous season
    When he went down so did the Hawks late in the season

  21. El Duderino Says:

    @ LW

    Yep… Puffin’ in the Vic is almost a guaranteed ejection. The Bathroom is always nasty. over flowing toilets and piss all over the floor. I’ll take the Riv any day

  22. angryjoggerz Says:

    I love the Riv, but probably mostly because it is 2 blocks from my house. TAB was ultra convenient, and I love that.

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    crazy to think that Phish once played the Cubby Bear back in 1991 (10.02). definitely one of those places you walk into and think “really? phish played here?!)

  24. albert walker Says:

    he started out there dancin

    but cuz of his stellar defensive play and tight hands on the stick scoring

    he was moved down for games 3 + 4

    played great on both ends
    just has had trouble lighting the lamp (which is why he gets paid so much dough)

  25. El Duderino Says:

    The Chicago Theater is really the nicest theater we have for concerts. And I like Northerly Island too. Great site of the skyline easy to get to the bathroom no lines for anything.

Leave a Reply