A Disease Supreme

6.3.11 - Clarkston, MI (M.Stein)

After Phish’s summer opening run at Bethel Woods grabbed the attention of fans across the nation and beyond, the band one-upped their performances in upstate New York with a spectacular show outside Detroit at the classic Pine Knob Amphitheatre. And at the center of this show lies the most impressive improvisational jaunt of the modern era—“Down With Disease.” Combined with its running mates of “Fluffhead” and “David Bowie,” this three-song combo that lasted a little under an hour not only centered the band’s most magical jamming of tour, but provided the type of exploratory, psychedelic, and spectacularly successful journey of which Phish legends are made.

Connected, coherent, and weaving through so many masterful sections of creative improv, the band hasn’t again approached this level on stage majesty in front of an audience this summer.  After just listening to this jam again, I can—honestly—make these bold statements with utmost confidence. Phish has simply not connected more profoundly in the context of a normal show in this era than they did that night in Clarkston, Michigan. Not even close. And to make this an even more amazing fact, between June and Super Ball, Phish has spun so much amazing music that it’s mind-boggling. The redevelopment of the last two years is a distant memory and in 2011, Phish has again announced that there is no better band on the planet. And if anyone needs proof, cue up Detroit’s “Disease” and listen to the magic unfold.

6.3.11 (M.Stein)

The guys patiently navigated a multi-tiered odyssey of the likes many thought would never happen again upon the band’s comeback in 2009. But in Summer 2011, June 3rd to be exact, Phish threw down a jam that holds up against anything they’ve ever played. Adhered with a refined and delicate quality, this “Disease” illustrated a mature Phish that had honed their skill sets, blending them into a mind-numbing trek that travels through so many textures, feels and fantastic musical planes. Though many pieces this summer showcased the band’s revitalized jamming, none went down with more creativity and flat-out mastery than Detroit’s adventure.

Bethel (G. Estreich)

Allowing their ideas to develop over a 25-minute period for the only in public this year (other than The Storage Jam), the guys allowed themselves to explore the depths of their musical consciousness and they came up with a highlight reel of frozen moments and blissful creativity. Moving from an experimental plane into a slower segment that was centered on a to-die-for Trey lick, Phish then progressed into a faster catharsis that had the audience’s ears drooling. Settling into to a modal jam around Coltrane’s masterpiece, “A Love Supreme,” Phish had IT this night like none other of this summer. (Bethel’s tech rehearsal “Waves” and The Storage Jam are the only other pieces that have touched such masterful planes—but in totally non-conventional contexts.) Sculpting a sublime final jam out of “A Love Supreme” and eventually landing seamlessly in “Fluffhead,” Phish had not only blown out the brains of everyone in attendance, they raised the bar for 3.0 improvisation while executing one of the best transitions of their lives. Though Super Ball weekend contained the band’s most consistent jamming of the summer, no single piece came within a county mile of Pine Knob’s “A Disease Supreme.”

When Phish is at their best—throughout history—they have taken their time to explore music on a subconscious level without any preconceptions of where a jam should go or when they should move on to another song. And in Clarkston, on a Friday night in early June, that is exactly what they did, and what resulted was the most enchanting musical tale to spring from summer’s opening leg.

I wonder what Leg Two holds in store?



Jam of the Day:

Chalk Dust Torture” 6.3.11 I

A patient, laid back, and creative take on Phish’s rock anthem came as the penultimate song in Pine Knob’s opening frame, setting the table for “A Disease Supreme.”

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/ph2011-06-03t10.mp3] Tags: , , ,

515 Responses to “A Disease Supreme”

  1. EL Duderino Says:

    @ FB

    Hot as hell here in Charlotte… 96, 97, and 98 today been like this for 4 weeks down here

  2. fat bastard Says:

    nice. any chance of makin it to uic?

  3. Gavinsdad Says:

    Yeah you know me @FB…fluffer supreme…I dig the whole wholesome Americana purity thing. Also the semi hippie slash mystical lyrics. They don’t really have any gimmick or flash to make em pop, and the earnesty thing may wear off over time but I thought they were clicking as a full band in the live format. Not the bomb..but I was definitely entertained.

  4. ThePigSong Says:

    Gdad dropping the experience and expertise as usual.

    I love the insight, thank you

  5. Mr. Palmer Says:

    gdad- funny you mention EGO. This guy just bought a 5 million home. He had a Name the New Home contest at work. We were required to put in choices for a name and vote for our favorite once they were compiled. Today there was a Special Meeting where the name of the new home was unveiled. nauseating.

    It gets better

    Yesterday we get a call that we must come to the front parking lot. The occasion you ask? He needed everyone to come on out and view the spectacle which is his brand new Ferrarri. I SHIT YOU NOT!

    Never seen anything like this.

  6. fat bastard Says:

    sympathy for the devil jb sings it well. jh brings it home

  7. EL Duderino Says:

    Colorado will be my only shows Leg 2 FB.

  8. mitch Says:

    My biggest problem with bosses ive had is when they don’t know how to effectively manage, they micro manage. Takes a toll like no other.

  9. fat bastard Says:

    thats plenty. have some sympathy, have some courtesty, have some taste. later. out of beer

  10. angryjoggerz Says:

    mitch, did you see this:

  11. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Mitch- your probably joking around, but he didn’t really make him undress. Not sure with you Indiana kids if you understand some of these phrases or not.

  12. ThePigSong Says:


    favorite so far.

  13. Gratefulcub Says:

    Palmer, I’ve learned more about managing people by seeing what not to do than what to do.

  14. EL Duderino Says:

    He undressed her with his eyes/gawk at her big time

  15. mitch Says:

    Pay a delivery kid 10 bucks to egg the farrari and bail.

  16. Gavinsdad Says:

    Cheers pigsong.

    @Palmer – out of fucking control. Seems like classic movie stuff but it’s real. And I betcha your hr dept is one person strong.

  17. mitch Says:

    Wasn’t kidding. Took you seriously. That’s why I was so shocked. Didn’t understand how undressing someone related to work..

    Undress with your eyes is one thing but not from a difference of opinions. I’ll shut up now…

  18. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I’ve fortunately, with the help of my friends in the IT dept, got some serious dirt if it ever gets to that point. He’s dumb, I’m not.

  19. mitch Says:

    Pigsong, that’s AJ Masthay, the one miner was pimping earlier this summer.

  20. voopa Says:

    My boss is usually pretty chill, but can be temperamental at times, like this afternoon. It just makes you feel real small. I don’t think I could work in that environment, Palmer. Best of luck.

  21. Gavinsdad Says:

    Prob 1st and only time I’ll talk poster artists: masthay really is talented.

  22. SillyWilly Says:

    Mr. P should be the boss at his company.

  23. EL Duderino Says:

    if only you guys knew what Palmer has…

    he’s got this guy

  24. tela'smuff Says:

    gorge>tahoe bitches

    sometimes i can’t believe where life has taken me.

    raged Golden Age>Caspian>Piper>Tweezer through Roaring Fork Valley. sick.

    1. Disease>Fluff>Bowie
    2. GA>Caspian>Piper>Tweez
    3. Boogie>Waves>Caspian

    those three alone = wet drawr’s

  25. EL Duderino Says:

    heartburn yet Tela’s? 🙂

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