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. tela'smuff Says:

    oh yeah Guyute. In Lyons! They have two great festivals each year. Sadly both fall at some rough dates for us. but thanks for that heads up!

  2. halcyon Says:

    D’oh….Sorry G711 typed chuckSWED instead of you….my bad

    Those folks put on Telluride, Rockygrass, Folks Fest, Festival of the Mabon and a few more.

  3. Chuck sweD Says:

    yeah… i ain’t no swine. 😉

  4. acleo Says:

    Hey Ya!!!!
    Make sure to get the heavy duty stakes for the tent, the stakes that come with most tents… no Bueno.

  5. sumodie Says:

    wasn’t someone asking for 4.4.92 Boulder Co recently?

    re-seeded today:

  6. Kaveh Says:

    @YEMBlog dot com there are links to 04.02 and 04.03.98 complete shows. I’ve forgotten how rippin’ the Chalkdust is from the first night. $$$$$!

  7. EL Duderino Says:

    the game is at 9:00pm edst geez

  8. halcyon Says:

    Nateva Festival Cancelled

    From Jambase:


    Due to a series of setbacks and challenges, Nateva Music and Camping Festival has canceled its scheduled concert weekend at the Oxford Fairgrounds, August 4-7, 2011. Slower than predicted ticket sales and the very crowded summer festival schedule contributed to the festival organizers decision to cancel. Customers who purchased tickets through will automatically receive refunds to the credit card used at the time of purchase in the amount of the ticket face value and per-ticket fees.

    “In the end, it’s all about being able to put forth a first rate event that everyone can be proud of and that our customers can enjoy. We just don’t have the confidence to go forward at this time,” said Frank Chandler, festival founder. “After an epic inaugural year, we have found ourselves struggling at every turn as we have tried to push forward with preparations for this summer.”

    Organizers for Nateva hope to return to Maine in the future.

  9. kenny powers Says:

    @ Duder


  10. EL Duderino Says:


  11. phoammhead Says:

    another email of mine answered by SBIX

    Q: Is the camping situation one where you park and can set up a tent next to your car?

    A: You will be able to park next to your tent.

  12. Fly Says:

    I think I’m just gonna sleep in my wagon. God, it seems so far away. Pinch me when it gets here, k Phoamm?

  13. phoammhead Says:

    get your logistics in order and rest easy for now, fly . . . the storm will rise and come before you know it.

  14. phoammhead Says:

    ^FAQ asked and answered exclusively on phishthoughts by phoamm

  15. phoammhead Says:


  16. Fly Says:

    Is that the storm of Possum every other night and eight minute Tweezers? 😉

  17. EL Duderino Says:

    i bet the people handling e-mails for Superball IX are like…

    “This guy again, geez” 😉

  18. phoammhead Says:


    as miner has said in so many word festi is likely to drop some bombs

  19. phoammhead Says:

    🙂 i think the people at fest 9 are counting on me for the FAQs! 😉

  20. phoammhead Says:

    ^and by bombs i mean some serious jamming . . .

    i’m thinking 35 min jams, myself

  21. Kaveh Says:

    “This guy again, geez”

    ^Awesome…that one was a good one @ElDude.

  22. phoammhead Says:

    ^hey fockers, don’t play! i’m bringin’ good info to the masses! 🙂

  23. Slicksasquatch Says:

    Yup had the mitsubishis and supermans at Oswego.
    Defienatly a good feeling in the air back then. I haven’t eaten anything in that family since 01.

  24. snowbank Says:

    I have all my logistics worked out for Bethel. I am feeling kind of bored. Usually there is something to do. I was looking at the area in google maps for fun. Maybe there is something in Wikipedia…

  25. phoammhead Says:

    snow, what did you think of the close by camping situation i sent you regarding bethel?

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