A Ghost Encounter

3.7.08 (D.Pecoraro)

3.7.08 (D.Pecoraro)

Phish jams provide so much more than mere music- they are experiences.  When the “Tweezer” lick or “Mike’s” riff drops, that adrenaline we feel isn’t due to the audio stimuli we are about to receive, but rather the all-encompassing life experience we are about to notch into our belt.  The experience of a Phish jam moves beyond “listening” into the realm of “living.”  These jams bring us inspiration, fear, introspection, catharsis, and revelation- this is the fabric of life.  This contributes to the humor when parents or non-Phishies ask us why we would want to attend four straight shows.  Always a difficult question to answer to those who haven’t experienced IT, we often find ourselves stuck- or talking for ten minutes- trying to explain.  It all comes down to the live experience- experience– those moments where nothing else matters; this was one of those moments.

It was Saturday night in Hampton, and Phish had just finished their best segment of music to that point.  “Rock and Roll > Limb” gave us an initial taste of 3.0’s improv.  After a ripping ride, one might have predicted a more mellow song waiting in the wings- but there wasn’t.  Lurking right around the corner was one of those experiences.


3.7.09 (D.Pecoraro)

As the peak of “Limb” ended, many needing a quick breather, but Phish would not allow it, easing their way into the opening grooves of “Ghost.”  Simply hearing this beginning after a five year absence, and knowing all the crazy rides the song had taken us on, was enough to send our energy directly through the roof.  Echoes of yesteryear came flooding into the Coliseum, hearkening back to the colossal Hampton “Ghost” of 1997.  As soon as the rhythmic patterns started oozing from the stage, that feeling returned.  That eager anticipation you feel when you couldn’t be more excited for the moment- we were about to live a “Ghost” jam for the first time in half a decade- and my brain was overdosing with adrenaline.

Hampton (D.Pecoraro)

Hampton (D.Pecoraro)

Without any noodling, Trey got right down to business, offering edgy, uncompressed lines over a methodical groove.  Soon the band joined the improvisation, crafting a communicative pattern around a three-note phrase by Trey.  Following the beginning of the jam, the music opened up quite a bit more, allowing space for Mike, Page, and Trey to play shorter, staccato melodies that fit in and around each other like an intricate jigsaw puzzle.  With no one member overpowering this segment of music, the band’s collaborative effort stood out- especially with their new live mix.

Hampton (D.Pecoraro)

Hampton (D.Pecoraro)

Coming to a natural transition, the band shifted back into a more traditional “Ghost” story, with Trey playing sustained wails over the band’s soundscape rather than focusing on dance rhythms.  The music began to ascend- chasing Trey’s emotive offerings, and before we knew it, the band latched onto his melodic geyser, following his lead into one of the most spiritual releases of the weekend.  This was the first time that Trey stopped thinking and just played what was in his heart- and it was so, so obvious.  The previously calculative Jedi had lost himself in his music, inviting us to come along, rediscovering the unbridled joy in the organic peak of a beautiful Phish jam.

3.8.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

"AC/ DC Bag" 3.8.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

The emotions evoked within myself, as I’m sure many others, were awing.  There we were again- merged with the band in the middle of IT- dancing our hearts out because nothing else mattered.  It was a powerful moment; rediscovering the experience of Phish as the band grew more comfortable on stage once again.  Soon after the climactic peak, the band slid down the jam’s denouement and right into “Piper.”  This “Ghost” authoritatively completed the message whose delivery had started with “Rock and Roll > Limb”- Phish’s emotional improv was back.  While much of the first three sets carried the vibe of a recital, it was this second set that announced the band’s creative return.  And it wasn’t until “Ghost” that we caught a glimpse into the soul of the band that will inspire us through the next part of our lives.

LISTEN TO 3.7’s “GHOST” NOW! < LINK (Roll over link and press play)


“The Mothership” – Photo: Dave Pecoraro



8.6.96 Red Rocks < LINK

8.6.96 Red Rocks < TORRENT LINK

8.4.96 (J.Richter)

8.4.96 Red Rocks (J.Richter)

Moving right along, here we have night three of 1996’s famed stint at Red Rocks.  If you are following along, we will go though every show the band has played at the legendary venue this week. The no-brainer highlights of this show are the first set-ending “Antelope” and a sublime “Tweezer” that is one of my personal favorites.  Look for the gorgeous “Hood” that concluded the night’s jamming.  This one is a keeper.

I: Makisupa Policeman, Rift*, Suzy Greenberg, Simple, Theme From the Bottom, Lizards, Dinner and a Movie, Horn, Run Like An Antelope

II: The Curtainb> Tweezer**, Prince Caspian, A Day in the Life, Big Black Furry Creature From Mars, Purple Rain, Harry Hood#, Tweezer Reprise

E: Johnny B. Goode

*Contained “This is Red Rocks, This is the Edge” (referring to U2’s live album “Under a Blood Red Sky”), by Trey. **With “Norwegian Wood” jam. #First appearance of the “Hood!” chant after the band sings “Harry,” which was initiated by flyers passed out at the show.

Source: FOB > DFC/9th row > Sonic Studios Dsm6’/Pa6lc3s (w/60khz bass rolloff) > D7 @48k > Clone

Taper: J.P.

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438 Responses to “A Ghost Encounter”

  1. old dude Says:

    zzyzx is shitting his pants

  2. Bandnana Says:

    my theories are no more ridiculous than Harvey’s

  3. wizzle1986 Says:

    this whole lottery process is (I would imagine) strikingly similar to the NCAA Tournament selection (basketball), i.e. people sitting around a table/computers in a room making decisions that will ultimately piss off people that of are worthy of contention while bringing others complete elation and future plans, and no one REALLY knows how it works

  4. elbows Says:

    Hey fellas!

    Been a loong time since I’ve posted…caught pnuemonia somehow right after Hampton, been in bed for weeks. Good to see Miner’s still spreading the gospel of love and Phish, and that the old faces are still here, along with new ones, having intelligent, thoughtful conversations. Still waiting for a reply from Phish for Rocks and Chitown; but I’ve long since convinced myself that I aint getting shit. Good to see everyone’s still here.


  5. cottle Says:

    Welcome back!

  6. Bandito Says:

    West coast here, too. My denial came in at about 1:00 my time. Gonna have to stand in line at the ticketbastard I guess.

  7. whole tour! Says:

    my heart goes out to everyone who got denied for tickets.

    I really wish it wern’t such a pain in the ass to try and get tickets these days. I really wish that the band would just spend the extra money and bring back their tickets by mail system. Is it really that hard? I’d think to know that your fans had a piece of mind would be worth every penny.

    This internet only lottery system has to go! Say that they got 4 million requests for tickets. I bet my lunch money that scaplers accounted for at least 3 million of those orders if not more. There is no way to tell a real fan jonesing to see the band from some asshat scalper who only see dollar signs. It’s fucked up…and heart breaking.

    As someone who didn’t even try for tickets for this leg of the tour, it is still upsetting to see so many hardcore fans denied tickets.

    there has to be a better way….

  8. Selector J Says:

    Nice to hear from you, elbows. I’ve long since convinced myself of the same thing. But hey, who knows?

    FOB sounds nice! I prefer the 4th row source, though. (Kidding…)

  9. elbows Says:

    Thanks for the welcome back, guys! I agree that something needs to be done about this system, but a little part of me is trying to accept the fact that, regardless, demand is just huge, and I will only be able to see a fraction of Phish shows until (if) the hype dies down. Of course, that aint gonna stop me from pulling some good old-fashioned cyber-pranks on scalpers!

  10. walfredo Says:

    Whole tour- their is a better way- its called mail order and they used to do it.

    This is obviously more effecient costwise for the band… but clearly favors scalpers. You think a scalper is going to sit down and fill out the mail order crap- prepay for a bunch of money orders for tickets they won’t see for 6-8 weeks? If they get the tickets? Of course not.

    Only fans get the tickets- they are the only tickets that look cool. It was a great system- and it needs to come back. Especially for shows like Red Rocks.

  11. gtgwbab2495 Says:

    ahh got denied here. maybe i’ll skip school on friday to try and get those tickets in new york and maryland…

  12. elbows Says:

    Agreed^^^. Can’t see that many scalpers handwriting each specific show-date on the corner of a specifically-sized index-card, purchasing money-orders, re-writing everything on the envelope, waiting in line for a postmark stamp at the PO (been a while, maybe I got the specifics wrong).

  13. guyforget Says:

    i do have to say, mailing in 900 bucks would be tough right now though, i’m sure we all agree that the credit aspect of the lottery, for better or for worse, is not all that bad.

  14. whole tour! Says:

    i remember mail order very well….that is what is so upsetting about the new internet only system. I used to love getting the cool tickets in the mail. I was never denied either. Maybe one time out of 25 i got denied, and that was to a new years show!

  15. wizzle1986 Says:

    to the above mail order requests, Ticketbastard won’t have it, they own rights to pretty much every venue and insist on doing it the hard way for obvious reasons

  16. Doc Says:

    “i’m sure we all agree that the credit aspect of the lottery, for better or for worse, is not all that bad.”

    Why not combine the best of all worlds – have a pdf form we can download and fill out, including a credit card number, and we can mail that in an envelope.

  17. Bandnana Says:

    WIZZLE exactly, the only way to do it, unfortunatly, is to make your own venue that can’t sell out. Because of the nature of us fans of the band the only way to stop scalpers and make everyone happy is to basically do your own festivals, and sadly that ain’t gonna happen.

  18. walfredo Says:

    Actually I don’t agree at all. The credit aspect is the worst part of the internet lottery. The idea that these tickets are all worth more then face value- so you can enter a lottery w/ no commitment or cost at all. And if you win- all you are doing is buying something worth more than what you are charged. That is a perfect model for a scalper to put in 10,000,000 applicaitons with no possible repurcussions to him.

    Actually having to spend the freaking money before you even mail the things- and not finding out if it even worked for 6-8 weeks- say what you will about being inconvenient. It absolutely removes scalpers from the equation- 100%. At least the full-time scalping operations- some fans might say- oh this is NYE I’ll ask for 4 tix when I only need 2 and sell the other ones. But that is not at all what is happening w/ the internet credit card bs.

  19. youenjoy09 Says:

    just got my DENIAL email 🙁 If Phish Ticketing were a woman, I would get the hint after this many denials and just move on… but, here I am, still coming back for more….

  20. whole tour! Says:

    phish needs their own “homebase” venue….ala grateful dead and winterland.

    What if they just bought Loring AFB? or made a permanent deal with big cypress? Plattsburgh?

    then just host a month long string of shows called the “get the hype out” festival. They play until there is no more hype inflated demand….lol…they literally play until the interest level is down to near summer tour 2003 levels….everybody wins….lol

    oh a man can dream

  21. Bandnana Says:

    my backup just recieved denial, but I still got a hit on my debit card for my original order but no email on that yet.

  22. guyforget Says:

    Walfredo, good point.
    Doc, good idea.

  23. Chalkdustin Says:

    I don’t think it’s safe to send a form with your credit card number on it, no? What if it got into the wrong hands…

    Anyway, I have a stupid meeting to go to for the next two hours and won’t be able to check my email. I never wanted to sit at my desk and hit refresh so badly…good luck to everyone and see you all when I return!!!!!

  24. MP Says:

    Did something happen with RR tix on TM? This snipped from phish.com. I believe they will develop an improved system, this is a relatively new problem. Give them some time to fix it, there is a reason we love this band.

    Begin snip————————————–
    Phish takes this and all ticketing matters extremely seriously. We will seek assurances this type of error will not happen again in the future. The high demand for the tickets on Phish’s return has overwhelmed the prevailing ticketing systems and revealed their flaws. We are putting pressure on the ticketing providers to improve their systems. We are focused on the ticket broker activity in our tickets and the inability of the existing ticket systems to stop this. We are actively seeking options to limit this.

  25. whole tour! Says:

    the dead are trying to say F–K off to the scalpers!


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