“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. El Duderino Says:

    Why don’t you guys hook up this Thursday night? Why wait? We’re all making friends here seems pretty cool too

  2. angryjoggerz Says:

    ^ becuase I am off to Michigan for 5 nights with the family… much needed sitting on the deck, looking at lake, chilling with fam, wine, asparagus, bane, sunshine, flip flops… you know the drill. In short, it is summer and I am outa here, ha.

  3. Stupendous Says:

    lol@ dude

  4. lastwaltzer Says:

    @aj, no party bus for this guy. But I’m free most nights if you wanna have a beer, shoot me an email: m a t t m c 1 9 8 6 @ yahoo.com

    I’ll also be hitting all of that stuff at pritzker so I’m sure I’ll see you around a bunch this summer.

  5. angryjoggerz Says:

    I like your spirit, Dude. And with this spirit, I believe that you wil lbe in the midwest this summer for some phish. Believe!

  6. lastwaltzer Says:

    “Why don’t you guys hook up this Thursday night? Why wait? We’re all making friends here seems pretty cool too”

    awwww dude is getting all warm and fuzzy.

  7. El Duderino Says:

    @ AJ

    I wish that were true. But I won’t be able to come up this summer. There is so much “settling” that the “SLF” and myself have to do first. Maybe Fall Tour but definitely by next summer I’ll make it back up. I’m tryin’ to get my buddy Mark to come down for the Charlotte show the holiday weekend though.

  8. El Duderino Says:

    The few people I’ve met in person from this board I liked a lot. We all seem to be pretty cool so I say why wait. You guys could be “besties” and don’t even know it.

  9. albert walker Says:

    My pit bull Miles thinks Last Waltzer is sketchy

    I think he can tell he’s a socialist

  10. angryjoggerz Says:

    I didnt plan to stop at the bar, but SLF is really so far

  11. El Duderino Says:

    Better a socialist than a communist IMO.

  12. Stupendous Says:

    Who knew a day would turn into a week…

  13. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    better a communist than a capataliste

  14. angryjoggerz Says:

    I prefer capitalism with socialist characteristics.

  15. albert walker Says:

    Was joking

    Me or my dog hold no opinions on last waltzer’s political and economic beliefs

  16. Stupendous Says:

    I miss my pit “pancake” a lot

  17. lastwaltzer Says:

    “Better a socialist than a communist IMO.”

    Dude, I’m not gonna lie I’m a pinko, just don’t tell Miles….. 😉

  18. lastwaltzer Says:

    “Me or my dog hold no opinions on last waltzer’s political and economic beliefs”

    Miles can think whatever he likes as long as he doesn’t put his teeth anywhere near my skin 🙂

  19. El Duderino Says:

    @ LW

    That’s a very big dog.
    But he’s a sweetie…

  20. Chuck D Says:

    how much does his head weigh?

  21. El Duderino Says:

    5, 6, 7 lbs

  22. tela'smuff Says:

    love all the Chi-Town talk. I grew up in Crown Point, IN which is in NW Indiana, casically a big suburb of Chicago. I also worked downtown, and worked in Orland Park. I have been lifelong White Sox and Bears fan. Spent my childhood at Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, Comisky Park, the car show at the McCormick Center, Indiana Dunes, it’s all good there.

    Chicago is an amazing city and has so much to offer as far as entertainment, arts, music, leisure. It’s my favorite city and always will be. Have lived in Cincy since ’02, but Chicago is always my true home city.

    As far as music venues go, they all seem to be the same, but i’m never really getting the names straight anyway. I’ve been to Aragon, Metro, Riveria, but the one that I loved is the new one up in the Lincoln Park. Saw Gene Ween there recently. that place was killer and had the best sound I’ve ever heard at a venue. Also liked that Charter One Pavillion when I saw Trey there.

  23. Chuck D Says:

    5 pounds? 6 pounds? 7 pounds?

  24. Chuck D Says:


  25. Mr. Icculus Says:

    so ive been rocken this ghost out all day and my 7th graders are totally digging it. lol i love watching them they all try to diss it at first and wonder where the words are then they setttle down and cant help but feel the groooove. lottta bouncing legs and pencil tapping g0ing on in my classroom today lol

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