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. Gavinsdad Says:

    I’m lazy Telas (and I don’t torrent but that’s beside the point) but I must admit you have excellent taste in music *and* I’m seeing Earth here in Phila in June. Stoked.

  2. Gavinsdad Says:

    Lemonwheel – least talked about fest?

  3. Mr palmer Says:

    Tela’s. I’m away from home. I’m keeping notes and will pillage your mediafire upon arrival at home. Thanks.

  4. Gavinsdad Says:

    Seriously, in all my time on here I can honestly say that all I hear of the Lemonwheel is the ambient set

  5. garretc Says:

    Solo Jerry is so good it makes me want to cry

  6. tela'smuff Says:

    oooh. my first akbar encounter! my night is made!

    cool. pillage as you see fit. Earth’s new LP this year is probably my most listened to new release so far for 2011. but i have some catching up to do with a lot of the new stuff.

  7. phoammhead Says:

    i’m listenin’ to woosta stash and this 3.0 is hot! . . .

  8. Mike in Austin Says:

    @Gdad. The Reba and Slave are quite good. I think Miner was big on the laidbackness of the Gumbo > Sanity > Tweezer.

    It’s end of Summer ’98 and I think very highly of Summer ’98. There really wasn’t a bad Gin either.

  9. Fly Says:

    that is an underrated Stash Phoam, baby bro of AC Stash

  10. phoammhead Says:

    we’re gonna get a super ball bouncin’ ’round the room . . . .


  11. Fly Says:


  12. Admiral Ackbar Says:



  13. Fly Says:


  14. phoammhead Says:

    as much as i like early 90s this 3.0 is very nice . . .

  15. phoammhead Says:

    woosta brings the heat . . .

  16. Admiral Ackbar Says:


    C’mon, dude. That’s whackbar.

  17. eljefe Says:

    Tela- Have’t listened to the Boredoms in 10 plus years. Blast from the past. Got to see Eye “sing” for Naked City a few times in the day! Awesome. I remember Zorn introducing him ,”Eye- either sleepin or screamin”. Old Knitting Factory. Bringing back the memories….

  18. garretc Says:


    Best watch out man, Ackbar doesn’t take flackbar from nobody!

  19. garretc Says:

    Although I believe he does happen to be a fan of FLACbar

  20. phoammhead Says:

    gar is starting shit . . .

  21. voopa Says:

    I’m not really bitching as much as just having a poor attitude, which I’m constantly trying to change…

  22. phoammhead Says:

    now woosta carini soon to be woosta hood .. .

  23. phoammhead Says:

    went to the headphones. . . .

  24. KWL Says:

    just sent my bitching to red light 😮

  25. phoammhead Says:

    ^well done, KWL!

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