Super Ballin!

Super Ball IX - July 1-3, 2011

Yesterday, Phish finally confirmed the rampant rumor, announcing their July 4th weekend festival at Watkins Glen International Race Track in the Finger Lake Region of New York state. With campgrounds opening at 12 noon on June 30th and closing at noon on July 4th, the stage is set for three full days of patriotic Phish and the first East Coast festival of this era! Superball IX, the band’s ninth festival, was unveiled with one of Phish’s more clever videos, to the delight of an announcement-starved fan base. (But no second leg dates….for now.)

The Clifford Ball - 1996

Get ready for hours of one-laned traffic on small highways in New York, because this ain’t Indio, California, folks, this is the Northeast—Phish’s home turf. With only eleven days between the end of Leg One and Superball IX, the band should be plenty warm when they hit the festival stage, and, hopefully, the monstrous feel of festivals past will return. Though Indio was a laid-back West Coast dream, highlighted by the Exile and acoustic sets, the rest of the weekend brought only spots of musical madness. But the band was still on the rise and regaining their chops in October of ’09; Summer 2011 will be an entirely different story. With no specialty sets to prepare for, one would hope Phish would come out and crush skulls as they did in every previous festival but Coventry. The Clifford Ball, The Great Went, Lemonwheel, Oswego, IT—these events were grandiose spectacles in every sense of the word, but when thinking back to the weekend playgrounds, my first memory is of the music.

Almost exclusively coming at the end of tours, festivals of lore were super-sized showcases of summer Phish, and the ban always delivered with spectacular shows. Each festival reflected the improvisational style of their respective tours with jams aplenty, and in festivals, the band usually pushed things just a little bit more. There is no need to type out the laundry list of household jams that sprouted from these festivals, they are monstrous memories—unforgettable experiences—that live on within us and on tape. But that festival sound defined them all; that open-air thunder that traveled a bit slower than usual as the notes bellowed across the field, growling out of sets of speaker towers three-deep; that booming sound and toned down tempo allowed every note to fully blossom before the next one began. And the space in the music expanded as well; jams—literally—became larger than life, enveloping 70,000 brains at once. And at Watkins Glen, this could happen all over again.

Summer Jam - 1973

To up the ante just a bit more, Superball IX will be the first concert held at Watkins Glen since the legendary “Summer Jam” of July 28, 1973—a one-day show featuring The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers, and The Band that drew a world-record 600,000 attendees. Many historians estimate it to be the largest single gathering of people in the nation’s history, outdrawing Woodstock almost two to one. And now, Phish will step on this hallowed ground (thankfully with a far smaller crowd) and write their own slice of history into the books.

Tickets go on-sale Monday at noon for $200 a pop, and you can find all the details, information, and humor on the official Super Ball IX website. See you in the Finger Lakes!


Jam of the Day:

Halley’s > Cities > Llama” 8.16.97 III

When I think of massive festival music, my mind often races directly to The Great Went. Here is one of my favorite portions of Phish’s first festival in Limestone, Maine.




8.15.1998 Lemonwheel, Limestone, Maine

FLAC Torrent (via etree), Megaupload < Links

Lemonwheel - 1998

Other out-of-body festival experiences—night one, sets two and four of Lemonwheel; to-die-for festival Phish.

I. Mike’s Song > Simple, Beauty of My Dreams, Roggsae, Split Open and Melt, Poor Heart, Moma Dance, Divided Sky, Water in the Sky, Funky Bitch, Cities ->Weekapaug Groove

II. The Wedge, Reba, Gumbo -> Sanity, Tweezer > The Horse > Silent In The Morning, Chalkdust Torture, Slave To The Traffic Light

III. NICU > David Bowie, Strange Design, Limb by Limb, Brian and Robert, Loving Cup

E: Halley’s Comet > Cavern, Tweezer Reprise

IV: “Ambient Jam”

Source: (FOB) Schoeps CMC6/MK21 > Sonosax SX-M2 > Apogee AD-1000

2,096 Responses to “Super Ballin!”

  1. phoammhead Says:

    bb superballix head count

    Skyballs Saxscraper (and brother)
    ElJefe(plus 3 or7)

    sign up instructions: copy, paste, add your name, post 🙂

  2. Mike in Austin Says:

    I went to a NASCAR race at Darlington, SC with the parents and it was 6 hours of traffic. But that could be SC and it rained pretty hard making the parking muddy.

    I’ve been to every Festival except Oswego. As Miner said, Indio was a dream (in terms of the Environs). And while there might not have been any musical madness, it’s my second favorite.

    I’ll holding out for WC and Tahoe, and if it doesn’t happen, I’ll have SB9 as an option.

    Lazily Walking around on that non muddy polo field around palm trees makes up a

    Gotta get my head into going NE again.

    If there is no leg II then I will go. Otherwise I’ll stay West and spend my m

  3. Mike in Austin Says:

    Worst editing on an iPhone ever.

  4. SillyWilly Says:

    I said I wanted to cross one of everything phishy off my list each year

    i saw the Halloween run last year

    this year i need New Year’s and a Festival

    might as well try and get that Festival monkey off my back.

  5. bhizzle Says:

  6. kenny powers Says:

    re: traffic, i predict this will be nothing compared to Limestone. not only is there more than one road for hundreds of miles before rolling in to Watkins, if the old fesities attracted 60-70K, if you factor in the much smaller and more fair-weather fan base these days, i’m calling for 40-50K.

  7. albert walker Says:

    missed some good stuff last night it seems.

    first for you Phishie custies that don’t get it. 3 nights at UIC is a dream for any Phish kid.

    fuck cheezeland and the corn fields. I’ve seen every show at both those venues besides creek 2010.

    indoors. hampton style shitty small arena. all GA so you can get down with all your crew. IMO this would be one of the hottest most hyped runs since they’ve been back. summer tour indoors Chicago city style. fuck yes.

    9 super balls up an ass
    Butter and jib laying it down last night

    have fun kids
    gonna be a fun one

  8. albert walker Says:

    jig not jib

  9. SillyWilly Says:

    and UIC run would be more affordable for me. Less driving.

    Can shack up with the girl.

    Less Driving.

    Chicago food late night.

    Less Driving.

    Less Driving.

    And it’s harder to get in trouble when there’s less driving.

  10. ae Says:

    friend of a friend knows someone at redlight who says leg 2 comes in 4-6 weeks. could be total BS, and on the bright side, if you think it’s possible, but then they come in 2 weeks, well, then you’re presently surprised.

    i will be at the ball, with an old school crew of friends and family. also doing bethel and thinking that might be enough, oh yea, plus camden, bringing my father-in-law (lives in philly), so i may have 4 pavs for PNC2 to unload. we’ll see…

  11. SillyWilly Says:


    i just drove from Madison to central PA and back so I’m feelin’ anti-driving

  12. Mr. Palmer Says:

    UIC for the win. That will be my top choice destination if it does occur. I can satisfy my wife’s wishes to visit her sister and see Phish in one fell swoop. Plus, there are plenty of cool cats from Chicago who will give up some couch space for this kid……i hope.

  13. albert walker Says:

    always welcome Palmer.

    I’ve been starting that rumor every tour since they’ve been back. figured it would come true eventually but didn’t think it would be summer. fingers crossed.

    spun the 98 run when on vacation to get ready

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    replace “ryan” with phish and this probably sums up a lotta people’s first late night post show feelings. except maybe for the jamba juice part.

    keep it fun today, people. no need for shit shows, baiting, threats, or any of that crap. it’s a fucking phish message board. lighten up, francis*.

    *not meant as a reference to any real live francis people, who I’m sure are all wonderfully down to earth and who don’t flame on the internet. watch stripes if’n you don’t know.

  15. gavinsdad Says:

    people are gonna topple and make the fest. too much allure. band is healthy and i like what Miner mentioned…they are gonna have fresh legs from Leg 1.

    start your friday right
    voices of east harlem live at sing sing prison 1972

  16. Waputik Says:


    I think there have been a number of public gatherings in the US that were much bigger than SummerJam, like Obama’s inauguration (almost 2 million) or the Million Man March, etc.

  17. phoammhead Says:

    yeah, by being up late, seems i got trapped by the west coast contingent. 😯

    where was my trap warning!

  18. SillyWilly Says:

    i love chicago.

    hope ol’ Rahm doesn’t cut too much spending and the county/city has some space for me next year

  19. KfL Says:

    people are gonna topple and make the fest

    ya… that’s me. even though tahoe>CO>UIC sounds fucking great and you’d think it would be enough to satisfy me for one summer i’ll still probably make bad decisions and deal with the hassles of camping (get off my 8×8 lawn you kids!) to hit the ball

  20. KfL Says:

    free silly!

  21. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Spinning 11.7.98 UIC for luck in announcing those shows. Gotta pack up. Leaving for Florida in the morning for a week. Snowing here this morning? WTF?

    aw- as long as your dog doesn’t try to eat me , i’m down….

  22. phoammhead Says:

    i would like to say i’m sorry to the board

    i was out of line last night

  23. KfL Says:

    by the way if someone wants to follow through on that free silly t-shirt (wookish looking character in an AC flat brim) i’d buy at least 3 of them

  24. HarryHood Says:

    Skyballs Saxscraper (and brother)
    ElJefe(plus 3 or7)

  25. Mdawg Says:

    UIC pavillion 98 was the shIT. If they do three more in the summer of 2011 bring your spatulas cuz there is gonna be jammin’ and face melting a plenty in the windy city.

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