The Ghost of Nuremberg
Nearing the end of Phish’s ’97 Summer Europe Tour, the band rolled into Nuremberg after playing a pair of shows at the legendary Paradiso club in Amsterdam. The shows from the weed capital are well-known, but much less discussed is the following night’s performance which boasts an exploratory 30 minute version of “Ghost” (hereby known as “The Ghost of Nuremberg”).
This tour saw the band riding a wave of new material that included “Ghost,” “Twist,” “Piper,” “Dog Stole Things” and many more.”Ghost’s” minimalist structure and bass-heavy groove lent itself perfectly to the funk transition that was occurring, and it quickly it became a staple in the catalog. Following its genesis in Dublin on 6.13, a distinct spaciness began to appear in the jams indicating a capacity to reach beyond the funk. And after the acid-induced version that opened the show in Amsterdam on 7.1, the doors were pushed wide open for it to become the next major jam vehicle.
The next time the song appeared was on 7.3 in Nuremberg. This was the first version that fully opened up, allowing the band to truly explore its musical offerings. Over the course of 30 minutes, you’ll hear the jam transition from a funk-laden groove to a melodic section of delectable psych rock. You can hear the band’s excitement as they stretch out their new tune and toy with various themes throughout.
This particular version is also a fine example of what my pal Scotty B. from YEMblog would call a “butter jam”—meaning it modulates from minor to major (or vise versa). Listen around [17:00] as the music begins to modulate from one key to the next, leading the jam in a whole new direction above Fishman’s calypso drum beat. At [19:25] you can hear the entire group collectively change the progression as an entirely new song unfolds. Or several new songs, rather. The jam ends with a vocal reprise concluding one of the lengthier and more unique versions of “Ghost.”
Stream the song or download the full show below.
Serenadenhof, Nüremberg, Germany
Set 1: Piper > My Soul > The Divided Sky, Beauty of My Dreams, Taste, Train Song, Theme From the Bottom, Rocky Top
Set 2: Ghost > Cars Trucks Buses, Billy Breathes, Sparkle > Harry Hood > Cavern
Encore: Character Zero