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. P.S.H.S. Says:

    i had my follow up interview today, killed it!
    they are creating a new position for me
    power moves i say, POWER MOVES!!!

  2. phoammhead Says:

    ^continued best wishes, PSHS!

  3. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Sweet Jeebus – just spun the AC Stash for the first time in 2011.

    Shit is the fucking TRUTH.

  4. EL Duderino Says:

    @ PSHS

    NICE man!!!!

    Test today?

  5. P.S.H.S. Says:

    not yet, still pushing niacin and water. no mention of it either, which is weird. i’ll be operating heavy equip on multi million $ properties, so i’m going to be prepared just in case

  6. Leo Weaver Says:

    Greek Light has some incredibly beautiful segments of music…10:10 or so when Mike comes back in with some sweet interplay with Trey, it really bubbles with a full deep tone, kinda like big chimes…again around 13:40 mark during what I call the “weeping” theme. Greek Light…gets me every time.

  7. EL Duderino Says:

    how much niacin are you taking per day?

  8. P.S.H.S. Says:

    box recommends 2 i’ve been taking 4. going for a sauna at a buddy’s house tomorrow too 😉

  9. EL Duderino Says:


  10. P.S.H.S. Says:

    ^lots of water too, which i hate to say, i don’t enjoy drinking at all. is that strange? i just don’t drink much fluids during the day, i’m a bit of a camel

  11. EL Duderino Says:

    remember THC is not water soluble

  12. P.S.H.S. Says:

    500mg/pill so 2000mg/day

  13. Mr.Miner Says:

    pertinent topics for tomorrow? Any suggestions?

  14. Robear Says:

    Me too, Leo. purrfect description.

    @miner, yeah, details of housewarming party!

  15. Mr.Miner Says:

    well, drop any ideas in here. I’ll check back in a few

  16. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Tour Essentials

    Played out or too early?

  17. EL Duderino Says:

    way too early
    tour doesn’t start for 2 months

  18. EL Duderino Says:

    A lot of ’99 talk here lately…

    write something about that Miner

  19. EL Duderino Says:

    … and the merits of the ’99 AV Fluffhead and Jam 😉

    You know you want too

  20. willowed Says:


    Has the addition of Red Light caused a lack of family feel to our little community. regarding tour etc…

  21. willowed Says:

    or you can always discuss how the Woosta Hood caused a great shift in the universe….in a good way

  22. snowbank Says:

    @Phoam – we decided to stick with our hotel since they have a shuttle lined up. They make it sound like everybody staying there is going to the show, so it should be good enough to pre-funk there.

    The set-up at the close-by sounded pretty good except the lack of showers. I was thinking of leaving the car there the first night and then taking the shuttle to the hotel, so we had a spot there, but it was just too crazy.

    The thing that sucks is that it is going to be tough to meet up with anyone if we are taking the shuttle because it will likely drop us off just before the show. I need a limo and driver for these things… drinking and driving… doesn’t work so well.

  23. snowbank Says:

    And the key here is that my buddy’s wife is not a camper. Really neither of them are. I would probably have gone for the campground cause I am cheap but the main motivation was to spend time with my friend. We have been out of touch for several years but have been connecting with the phish.

  24. Mr palmer Says:

    Retrospective in the Clifford Ball and what has changed in the festival scene to this point . Pluses and minuses, Clifford vs superball/ Indio?

  25. DukeOfLizards Says:


    In honor of this year’s final four, maybe you could discuss a few of your favorite underdog jams of 3.0? The ones that people don’t talk about that would do some damage in a bracket of modern-era moments. For instance, I would take:

    MSGin (12) over Chicaghost (5)

    NOTE: I really just want multiple Js otD.

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