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. DukeOfLizards Says:


  2. kenny powers Says:

    say what?

  3. DukeOfLizards Says:

    You know, medjool dates.

    From California.

  4. tela'smuff Says:

    Butler takes the lead into halftime. They both played frantic, but I like how Butler is playing. Smart.

  5. Guyute711 Says:

    That was beyond ugly.

  6. Mike in Austin Says:

    I have Butler +3, parlayed with the under.

  7. Mr palmer Says:

    Big man for Butler( not Howard) is some stiff. If Mack plays well in second half , Butler wins. They are the better team I think. Their coach exudes confidence and seems to have a plan to shut down Kemba.

  8. kenny powers Says:

    Wow Duke, that one flew right by me. Well played!

    Han shot first.

  9. Kurt from Indy Says:

    yea dawgs

  10. jtran Says:

    Scared uconn is about to make a run.

    Go Butler

  11. garretc Says:

    Hooray! One of my best friends from back home, a GD fan, is finally getting the chance to dig into Phish and is being converted!

    Big moment here, could be my first serious convert…

  12. SillyWilly Says:

    i think this game is over

    if you want my honest opinion which you may not

  13. Mr palmer Says:

    Butler picked a hell of a game to forget how to shoot the ball. Pathetic.

  14. SillyWilly Says:

    i think their problem is the only shot they can get is a deep three

    growing a few inches across the board would be the best product of this timeout

    uconn is just way too long

  15. garretc Says:

    Haha, I love’s play by play thing

    “Jeremy Lamb makes a dunk shot.”

    Is somebody’s grandpa writing those?

  16. Mr palmer Says:

    Maybe that dog can shoot?

  17. SillyWilly Says:




  18. Fly Says:

    Uh, that’s what she said?

  19. garretc Says:

    If anyone makes a “that’s what she said joke” I will punch them in the face next time I see them in person.

  20. garretc Says:

    Dammit! Too slow! Now I can’t enforce it…

  21. Mr palmer Says:

    18% ???? Thats hard to do.

  22. Guyute711 Says:

    Uh oh

  23. Fly Says:

    almost gc

  24. Mr palmer Says:

    Cinderella shitting her pants on prom night. This is just about over. Uconn isn’t even that good. My johnnies beat them by 20. Jeez.

  25. SillyWilly Says:

    there is no justice in the universe

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