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:

    would love to see if you have anything to say about RLM Miner.

    either that or Fall ’94, or the benefits of showering and having fresh balls on tour.

  2. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    why the super ball will produce the best music of the year

  3. Mike in Austin Says:

    Miner: Maybe some Phish thoughts on that song written by Pete Rose. Seems like every festival had a serious Slave in it.

    Slaves of Festivals past …

    8/17/96 Slave, 8/16/97 Slave, 8/15/98 Slave, 12/31/99 Slave, 8/15/2004 Slave and 11/1/09.

    Coventry’s was major emotional for me. Even if it wasn’t played all that well. It hit me in the chest.

    (Does the lack of a Slave at Camp Oswego deligitimize that “festival”

  4. lastwaltzer Says:

    8/17/96 Slave= IT

  5. Mr palmer Says:

    I’m personally tired of the RLM talks. They suck, end of story. Keys get back to some music.

  6. EL Duderino Says:

    Here Here Palmer!!!!!!!

  7. Mr palmer Says:

    Let’s get back to some music!!!

  8. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @palmer, there are 2 months of bitching left before we can get back to the music… then we get to bitch about the music

  9. Mr palmer Says:

    If you guys keep the RLM bitching for another two months this place will turn into the green board. No one wants that. This place is about the music, not all the other bullshit. Just my opinion.

  10. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    but yes i agree, the bitching has gotten a little out of hand lately. there’s a fucking festival on the east coast in the a few months!

  11. Mr palmer Says:

    Btw. Not directed at you Df or anyone else.

    I’d rather bitch about the music. 🙂

  12. Mike in Austin Says:

    @LW. Yes

    12/14/95 – no slouch at all either.

  13. garretc Says:

    @Mr. P

    Then you should help me propagate the “Productive Complainers” movement and post the email addy anytime someone complains so we can stop bitching at each other about it and actually make sure our voices are heard. Cause we can ponder all day whether or not RLM is reading the board, but they’re definitely reading their email…

  14. tela'smuff Says:

    ha! c’mon Mr. P! it’s funny bitching at this point! not to mention, it’s interesting to think about and discuss what path our beloved band is on with RLM. And until I get my West Coast dates, I’ll probably continue to poke a little. but it’s truly in jest at this point.

  15. Mr palmer Says:

    ^^ smart kid. I knew I liked you, GC!! Well done.

    Go Butler !

  16. Mr palmer Says:

    Tela’s- I hear ya. The bitching is all valid stuff. But it eventually devolves into someone telling someone else to shut the fuck up, and then bam! Green board!

    I just hope the dates drop soon. Peace.

  17. tela'smuff Says:

    it’s mostly being done by west coast people (and “midwest” folk here in CO, i.e me) chomping at the bit for dates. once they drop, all will be right in the world. and this place could never go the way of the green board. we police ourselves too much, plus we count on meetups and who wants to be the dick at those things? not me! i like people here too much.

  18. snowbank Says:

    Shut the fuck up Mr Palmer!


    help, help.. it’s devolving.

  19. snowbank Says:

    I’m pretty sure that Phish is avoiding the west coast because I am not cool enough.

  20. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i think the problem is that there are way too many west coasters on here

  21. tela'smuff Says:

    @DF – get back to your fleshlight. ha.

  22. garretc Says:

    Yeah, it is kinda weird that us westies like Phish so much when clearly Phish doesn’t like us back…

    Pathetic, I’d call it, if I wasn’t talking about myself!

  23. eljefe Says:

    3 @ the Gorge please

  24. tela'smuff Says:

    by the way, i throw up two great Boredoms records, some killer kraut rock, and some vintage space rock, in addition to one of the best releases of 2011 from Earth (band name), and not one person grabs any? what’s become of the world?

  25. Admiral Ackbar Says:


    Maybe if it was one of the best releases of 2011 from Earth (planet name).

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