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. wall05 Says:

    still nothing here

  2. Clay Says:

    Sec 102 at Darien I believe is fourth row!


  3. Billy Breathes Says:

    boyee….is this random or HWAT?!

  4. gills Says:

    most if not all tix for the 2nd leg of summer are up on stub hub

  5. contact420 Says:

    just cc charge, no confirmation still.

  6. wall05 Says:

    got conformation for Meadows Music Theater lawn seats!!!!!!!!!!

    Still waiting on my other order for Saratoga!

  7. wall05 Says:


  8. Clay Says:

    I get 4,000 emails a day on my blackberry from my work cpu at the office..my guess is this email wont make it and ill be in cold sweats all night long haha

  9. Mr.Miner Says:

    both gorges (which is nice)
    shoreline lawns
    spac lawn
    chicago sec 126
    = crap

  10. Bandnana Says:

    1 lawn shoreline
    1 lawn darien lakes

  11. Mugician Says:

    Both nights for the Gorge, AND Shoreline! I can’t fucking believe I’m gonna see them!

    No go for RR. I might try and trade… RR would be SO much easier for me. Ahhhhhh jeez. I’m freaking out!

    Congratulations all and good luck with “The Bastard” on Thurs. Rock on everybody, I’m gonna go blast Hampton “My Friend, My Friend”…

  12. Comrade Says:

    got my tickets for Merriweather!!!!

    Does this mean no red rocks, or hartford?

    or ??

  13. gills Says:

    3 merri post
    waiting on rr i hope

  14. guyforget Says:

    why don’t email servers have auto refresh options??

  15. Here Comes The Joker Says:

    4 SPAC lawn and 2 Hartford Lawn

  16. Comrade Says:

    i put in for multiple shows on one order
    Merriweather, hartfor, and 2 nights RR

    i got an email saying i got merriweather

    does this mean rr and hartford are a no go? or can i wish that another email or 2 are coming?

    does anyone know?

  17. guyforget Says:

    that’s in comrade…

  18. Billy Breathes Says:

    Comrade…i’m in the same boat…i think we’re good in shape…but don’t want to jinx it!

  19. guyforget Says:

    i think, don’t let me bring you down. my bad..

  20. jdub Says:

    just got 4 lawn at Meadows, my brother did too so that makes 8. Is anyone interested in trading for spac.

  21. Mr.Miner Says:

    if you had them on one order and got an email on that order, that’s it…

  22. good buzz Says:

    Hey if anyone got seats for Toyota park that plans on being on the field anyway, I’d love to take the seats off your hands in exchange for my GAs. lemme know!

  23. Mr.Miner Says:

    will trade shorelinbe lawns, spac lawn, chicago section 126

    for ANY pavilions….

  24. Mr.Miner Says:

    youre my man good buzz! lets do it!

  25. Mr.Miner Says:

    i got sec 126 and want GA!

    email me at mrminer@phishthoughts.com

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