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. Fly Says:

    Ackbar is smoking crackbar if he thinks he can talk some smackbar

  2. phoammhead Says:

    fly, it’s a trap. abort! 🙂

  3. vegas wolfmans Says:

    I heart flacbar. And everything about Lemonwheel.

    DWD>Piper, Ghost>Fluff


    First set Mike’s on 8/15= off the chain.

    Ambient set ain’t too shabby either.

  4. phoammhead Says:

    it’s all good. you guys are alright. even you, aw. 🙂

  5. EL Duderino Says:

    @ Miner

    here’s another idea which relates to ’99
    Write a contrast/comparison of the funk phase from ’97-’00 on the changes/evolution of the style and have songs/jam examples that support your your theories

  6. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Anyone know the whereabouts of Mr. Completely? I miss that dude.

  7. garretc Says:


    I think Robear kicked up here in PDX a couple weeks ago, so he’s definitely alive!

    Other than that I have no info…

  8. Mr palmer Says:

    Furthur tour?

  9. garretc Says:

    LLFA Mr. P

  10. phoammhead Says:

    listenin’ to woosta 2nd set nite 2 . . .

  11. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Definitely Furthur Tour. You can always spot him on the rail fake jerry side. Mind blown.

  12. Admiral Ackbar Says:

    I’m more of a fan of ALACbar. Especially for a well-played Sugar Shackbar. That’s a great trackbar.

    Think I might go hit the sackbar. But I’ll be backbar.

  13. vegas wolfmans Says:

    garret the carrot- You living in PDX?

  14. KWL Says:

    tela’s – grabbing a bunch of stuff now. thanks!

  15. phoammhead Says:

    ohmygod, w00sta’s a lot of money!

    BOTT rips!

  16. ma Says:



    hope you’re enjoyin this fine weather…saw that you made it down and are enjoyin the good life…

    still thinkin’ furthur? let me know…also, though probably not necessary, could point you in the right direction to some tasty grub.

  17. ma Says:

    am also doing JGB sunday night in lauderdale…not to be missed…crazy fingers opening.

  18. tela'smuff Says:

    good to hear KLW. what is your complaint to RLM? won’t you be on the bachelor tour on the east coast? 😉

  19. voopa Says:

    Dammit that brooklynvegan site no longer has the video of LCD Soundsystem @ MSG…anyone have another link?

  20. Dr. Pronoia Says:

    C is pissed about no PDX dates, and he’s working hard on a personal project, last I heard from him

  21. kenny powers Says:

    hey tela’s

    thanks again, just grabbed the entire “1st quarter recs”.

    question: what are those four mixes? are they compilations of songs that fit the certain mood, or is it all electronic/DJ style?

  22. phoammhead Says:

    i will always like wedge . . .

  23. KWL Says:

    best part of this summer 99 tour is the big jam in the 2nd song of show slot

  24. Mr palmer Says:


    Thanks. Been quite enjoyable so far and still have 4 1/2 days left. Unlikely to make it over to Furthur on Wednesday. Wasn’t able to talk the wife into making the trip and she felt guilty leaving the 3 kiddos with my folks . Didn’t want to press my luck.

    Always down for food recs. Wide and I were gonna hit the Food Shack in Jupiter one night. Was there 2 years ago and loved it. Place has a cool vibe to it as well.

    Thanks for looking out.

  25. KWL Says:

    just had to voice my inner west coast to the management…

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