Unofficial SBIX Print (Masthay)

Sun has risen on day two of Superball, and day one was divine. To be back on the grounds of the Phish festival with the band at the top of its came felt like the days of lore. The sky was a bit bluer as the clouds floated above and the music was a bit slowed down as it blanketed the intimate concert ground. From note one Phish dropped a power-packed and poignant opening night of a festival that people will be talking about for time to come—the time when a full-powered band and their grand summer tradition came back together in the new era.

As it stands, I have little Internet access on site as I chase down friends with Droids to use their phones as a wifi hotspot. Combined with this spotty web access and the 24 hour nature of the festival, I’ll speak to you on the other side. Or when I catch up with a Droid again…

I: Possum, Peaches en Regalia, The Moma Dance, Torn and Frayed, NICU, Bathtub Gin, Life on Mars?, My Friend, My Friend, Wolfman’s Brother, Roses Are Free, Funky Bitch, Quinn the Eskimo

II: Jam > Crosseyed and Painless -> Chalk Dust Torture, Sand, The Wedge, Mike’s Song > Simple > Bug, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Weekapaug Groove, Joy, Character Zero

E: Show of Life


SBIX Mini Print (Masthay)


SB IX Mini Print (Masthay)


A bit more…Without having listened back, the band anchored the first set with huge versions of their classic pieces—“Moma Dance,” “Wolfman’s,” and “Bathtub Gin”—while pulling out several rarities, taboot. A scorching and cleaned-up “Peaches” came at the beginning of the set, while an out-of-the-blue “Life On Mars?” was delivered in the middle, before a jammed-out and exclamatory “Quinn the Eskimo” sent things to setbreak in high style.

The second set featured more exploratory playing from the band—peaking in a utterly sublime “Simple”—channeling the mysteries of the universe through the speaker towers of Watkins Glen. After a shredding “Crosseyed” jam, the band dropped onto an ambient path that wound a slow and enchanting route into “Chalk Dust.” This juxtaposition of styles, from shredding to abstract to shredding, kept things interesting before a way laid-back “Sand” provided a shining mid-set highlight filled with festival-sized dance grooves. A monster “Mike’s Groove”— centered around “Simple’s” cosmic trek—dominated the second half of the set, and just when it felt like “YEM” might close the set, out popped out a crunching “Character Zero.” An enthralling version of “Show of Life—and perhaps the most extensive to date—provided an indelible stamp of catharsis to a very poignant night of Phish.

The festival is back and better than ever. Love every minute of IT, folks! See you at 3pm!

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4,028 Responses to “Superballin’”

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  1. chefbradford Says:

    Looking forward to the write-up as always. More-so today, perhaps.

    Also wondering if there’s a DL link available for that excellent Waves from yesterday?

    All you ballin’ ballers, have a blast and stay safe! I. Am. Jealous!

  2. Mr.Miner Says:

    Oops. Guess there is a media center onsite opening at 8…more to come if there is time…

  3. walsh Says:

    The time has come for AJ Masthay’s work to become Phish’s official prints! He has slayed the official print every time this tour. Keep up the good work buddy!

  4. phloridaphan Says:


    Hope all is well at the ball,

  5. Mr palmer Says:

    Don’t sweat it Miner. You enjoy yourself.

  6. chefbradford Says:

    ^what MrP said

  7. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Cruisin up 380 like a bat out of hell

    Ballin, bitches.

  8. Mike in Austin Says:

    Love the Masthay prints. Tried to track him down with the power of twitter and still missed him. Rats.

    Solid show. Safe travels Duke.

  9. Jj Says:

    I listened to the show on Sirius at home last night and thought it rocked! My husband is at the show and it made me feel closer to him as we both listen to phish weave their magic! Thank you mr. M always look forward to your spot on reviews!

  10. Chris Brand Says:

    I’m sold! Anyone in the Rochester area up for driving down to the Glen today for nights 2 and three? If so email me at

  11. Hoedown Says:

    1st set last night was super hot. Seemed like every song except NICE got the Plinko treatment. Super Phunky to these ears. Tonight’s going gang busters! Be safe everybody!

  12. Hoedown Says:

    ^ except NICU.

  13. Dorn76 Says:

    Sounded awesome from the couch. Enjoy the day ‘Ballers!

  14. Sarah Says:

    Wish I was there!!!! Hope it will be out for purchase! Sounds amazing!

  15. Gavinsdad Says:

    At this point I can’t help to think that the band is trying to tell us something with possum. At it’s core it’s yet another quintessential Phish tunes, the distinct bluesy rocker that stood out even at my earliest shows as a stamp of “something” at a show….but what? Lace it into so much of 3.0/leg 1 2011 and then open a fest with it…along the lines of what BK was saying last nite…is there something I should bs gleaning from this tune? Existential philo? Life direction? Booty shaking? Respect for small animals? Whatever it is, im into it, moreso than all the Coils and Bouncins I caught in the early days.

    Glad the Ball is delivering. I’m with kids and then at a neighborhood “oyster” party tonite so will miss the good vybez of the couch tour. Keep it greasy!

  16. Cable Hogue Says:

    Very nice show last night. Sounded awesome on Sirius. Really dug the crazy jam into Crosseyed and the legit > into Chalkdust, and of course that Simple. Heard some familiar melodies deep in the Simple, will have to listen back.

    Have to say that I absolutely love the statement of playing, and slaying, Peaches so soon after playing a decidedly not-clean version. They are taking the music deadly serious right now.

    So interesting that they did that right after the Trey interview in the Believer came out, seems like the conversation was from back in the winter but Trey talks about being unhappy with the way they did Peaches previously and wanting to do it again.

  17. Robear Says:

    Top of the mornin all!

    Stop by the booth for your accruts, Duke n

  18. gavinsdad Says:

    robear – the millennial jonny apple weed.

  19. kenny powers Says:

    man, those festival prints are fucking awesome.

  20. willowed Says:

    I wish I was with you guys!

    Had fun streaming the show on the Phish App. me and mrs. willowed stayed up late and listened to the entire stream outdoors tiki torch stylee.

    It was the next best thing to being there.

    Take care of eachother out there.

    3rd set Steam will melt brains tonight!

  21. Robear Says:

    Gdad, we do our best. Helping Apply smiles to the crowd.

    Saw Fishmans dad. Introduced myself and said,

    “you get to talk to your son more than I do. Tell him thanks. I think Phish brings more happiness, to more people, in less time, than anything else I know of”

    He smiled and agreed.

  22. Mike in Austin Says:

    “Control for smilers can’t be bought” came across my speakers as I read Robear’s great post. Wish I was there. Have a ball y’all.

    FTA’s SOAM from Madison (11.6.98) is quite fantastic. Very plinko funk fun. And the following Woosta Stash from ’97 is worth tracking down too.

  23. joe Says:

    whiskey breath at work,do do do do do do do (sung to the tune of whistle while you work from snow white).

    sounded so clean and great in my living room last night. glad the downstairs neighbors went away for the long weekend. doesn’t make up for not being there, but really appreciate the fact that we can have sound like that in real time at home.

  24. Mike in Austin Says: I believe is pt. 2 from yesterday.

  25. sumodie Says:

    gonna do the 5k race, in line to register

    yesterday was all forms festi phish awesomeness

    stage is taller than usual as ck5 added another level of lights to his now enormous rig

    at some point in the show, we realized that nothing else mattered, set 1 or set 2 context was irrelevant, etc., the boys were just simply…playing …music

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