Ghosts of Pasha Rock Out for a Bunch of Tricksters

Imagine that you are in a band named Ghosts of Pasha. You’re a brand new band from Burlington and are about to play your first show in New York at the Mercury Lounge on October 24. The catch is that there are only three paying customers and the rest of the 38 people at the show are part of a group called Improv Everywhere. This group, led by 26-year-old Charlie Todd, memorized lyrics to Ghosts of Pasha’s songs, made tattoos of the band’s name, and went absolutely nuts during the concert. Of course, Ghosts of Pasha had no idea what was going on at the time. They have not released an album and only have six songs on their website. This is only their fourth show ever and the third of their tour. They spent the day before the show driving from Vermont to Boston then to New York. The band was exhausted for the show, but was greatly surprised by the reaction of the crowd. Singer Milo Finch said, “When the crowd screams at you like you’re The Beatles, you act like The Beatles.” The surprising part for the band was the question of how a group of New Yorkers knew all the songs from a brand new band from Vermont? “We shouldn’t rely on TV or movies to show us fantastic things. I want to create a fun, inexplicable experience for random strangers, to give them a small unexpected gift,” says Improv Everywhere leader, Charlie Todd. This was what he tried to create for Ghosts of Pasha. Todd wanted to find a band that was getting themselves up for a horrible audience. He found Ghosts of Pasha and knew that no one in New York would know a new band from Vermont. Todd wanted to create for them the “best gig ever.” The crowd turned itself into hardcore Ghosts of Pasha fans. They rushed the stage, threw their shirts around, and as singer Finch claims, “had better timing on the songs than he did.” Even though the band was physically exhausted for the show, the crowd gave them energy and that went back into the crowd; toward the end they were both on the same page. However, as soon as the last note was played the place emptied and the band was shocked at how fast it happened. “It was just creepy,” the band said after the show was over. “It was addictive, let’s play like that all the time.”

Three days after the show someone sent the band an email to Improv Everywhere’s website. For the next two days the band claims they felt like they were part of a big joke. They had to shut down their website because of emails and messages making fun of the band. “It was fake…it was like a blow to my heart,” said guitarist Chris Partyka. Charlie Todd claims, “It is all right to give someone the best day of their life even if they will never have one like it again.”

Even though the band was part of a joke by Charlie Todd, even if he never admits it to be that, the band has gained some publicity including an article in Spin magazine. Was it a big joke, their best gig ever, or just a weird experience? Ghosts of Pasha seems to feel all three at times, but if you want to get to see this local band they will be playing at Higher Ground on May 16.