“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. kayatosh Says:

    peace, marco.

  2. albert walker Says:

    I love it too joggerz

    Spent half my life running around the country thinking the grass was greener (the herb always was but life was no better)
    But once I came back I realized this is still the best city in the US

    Would like to retire to the Rockies one day but for places where you can actually work def my fav

  3. angryjoggerz Says:

    Tony Allen with the Great Lake Swimmers, Monday June 14th, Pritzker Pav, Chicago, Free

    It is like im working for the office of tourism or something.

  4. albert walker Says:

    Hershey is the farthest east I get Kaya

    You east coasters get a little rowdy at shows for this old man’s likings
    Can only take so many glow sticks to the eye and Tela shoutings

  5. angryjoggerz Says:

    ^ Monday, June 14th, 6:30 PM

  6. albert walker Says:

    no doubt the Pritzker lineup this summer is the heat

    love the Tony Allen
    and everything Fela

    2nd favorite African musician

  7. albert walker Says:

    Busy for the rest of the day

    Laterz ya’ll

    Have a good one

  8. El Duderino Says:

    @ AJ

    I’m 40. I’m from Arlington Hts. Lived in Chicago from ’98 – ’09.
    39 1/2 years. It’s my home and it always will be. Like AW said as a younger man I wanted to live here and there but there is no better place as far as major city living goes. Mr. Palmer should really consider Chicago for him and his family.

  9. kayatosh Says:

    t. allen’s been enriching my life lately. thanks again to aw, mr.c and others for the afrobeat tips. helps balance the phish, which I have been consuming, along w/ bane, at an alarming rate.


  10. angryjoggerz Says:

    Word, Dude. I too was born and raised here, southside of the city. I bleed Chicago, just not sports blood.

  11. kayatosh Says:

    aw: maybe i can swing hersh. been trying to mooch a spot in gdad’s car. i might be on the waiting list. peace out, thanks for the wisdom.

  12. El Duderino Says:

    Stup should consider Chicago. He’s lookin’ to turn over a new leaf. Yeah, Colorado is pretty as hell, but there’s no jobs and really no good jobs there

  13. Stupendous Says:

    High Five Angry! u n me seem to be the only two bbers clueless about sports

  14. angryjoggerz Says:

    El Dude, are you making it out to Toyota? Should be fun.

  15. angryjoggerz Says:

    :.: high fives :.:

  16. Stupendous Says:

    The Windy City???
    dont really have a buddy offering a place to stay for a few months in Chicago…

  17. Stupendous Says:

    Thats basically the only reason why im thinking of heading there…

  18. lastwaltzer Says:

    “What Chicago nedds is the old Uptown theater to be rehabbed and reopened. I’ve heard rumors for years that they’re gonna do it but it never materialized.”

    Amen, I work on broadway a few blocks away, hate tseeing that thing rot. I hear its too big (if rehabbed it would be the largest theater in chicago) most people who would finance don’t think it would be worth the cost.

    @aj I think I’ve said it before but we should grab a drink at the hopleaf or something some time. I live and work in the neighborhood as well.

  19. El Duderino Says:

    @ AJ

    No Toyota for me. Went last year right after the Gorge shows. Tryin’ to get settled into southern living. Raleigh and Charlotte only this tour. Which is fine with me. If I did come up for a visit I’d go to my old stomping grounds AV and DC.

    Were moving on Saturday the 12th to Charlotte. I have a new city to learn. And a very pretty city it is.

  20. BingosBrother Says:

    @angry : how you liking the furloughs?

  21. El Duderino Says:

    Hop Leaf. Coolest Bar north of Montrose

  22. El Duderino Says:

    @ Stup

    Sleep on AW’s couch for a few months…

  23. angryjoggerz Says:

    Furloughs = Phish shows

  24. angryjoggerz Says:

    LW, totally down with a drink, lets hook it up this summer. Are you going to Toyota? Party bus?

  25. lastwaltzer Says:

    “Coolest Bar north of Montrose”

    which may make it the coolest bar in chicago 😉

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