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. mitch Says:

    Plord, so sorry man. Keep your head up and know were thinking of you.

  2. mitch Says:

    Reminder to sign your license to be an organ donor. You won’t need em when you’re gone. Dunno how useful my stuff will be tho nut like you said, better than nothing.

  3. MrCompletely Says:

    been experiencing some frustrations on the shirt front @mitch

    my designs are pretty high res psds, with dense complex gradients, and printing them on shirts would be no joke. It can be done by a good DTG printer but I need one that’s local, so I can proof the printing. And not for some of this new stuff, but I also want someone who has a relaxed attitude towards non-profit-oriented copyright infringement…cafepress and zazzle are being pretty harsh about that recently…used to be you could but up a photo of whoever, and as long as you didn’t call it “jerrygarcia.png” or “phishshirtdesign2_7.jpg” they’d print it, but now they apparently actually look at the design…dammit

    I have photo shirts of jerry, fela, and miles I’d like to print to go with my trane shirt…

    anyway getting these couple designs I have ready printed to poster size is priority 1 on that front. think I might pitch em to the big leagues. they’re pretty good.

  4. MrCompletely Says:

    but really, those shirts, if I ever have time, I could just screen them. I used to enjoy pulling screens and your mention of that awhile back, mitch, sparked a thought. these are all monotones or duotone gradients. I should probably just find a place that where I can pay to use their gear and do them the analog/manual way

  5. MrCompletely Says:

    bunch of black dudes and Jerry

    welcome to my music collection lol

  6. MrCompletely Says:

    need bill monroe in there. get some balance.

    maybe a shirt with jerry in the middle, bill monroe on one side, and miles or trane on the other

    just confuse the fuck out of almost everyone, but I’d love it

    sometimes I babble when there’s bad news, just to fill the silence.

  7. mitch Says:

    Awesome to hear. We used a company in so-cal that did a great job for a fair price and didn’t need a large print run for team mango for Hampton comeback shows. High res photoshop files. Turned out they were Phish kids and couldn’t get tix and were all jealous but happy to make them.

    I’d show you but I gave mine to Trey… Phanboy’d. There are still 4 in existence. Buddy wore it to gorge 09 on mango day and got mad love. (actually lead to paranoia when he’d hear people talking about it) And they use American apparel so the shirts were legit.

    Anyway I’ll find a pic of one and the name of the company if I can locate it if we wanted to shoot a few emails to em down the road.

  8. mitch Says:

    Well shit, we can whip those out in the city. Throw Alf in there and really curve ball em.

  9. MrCompletely Says:

    yeah anyone who’d def be chill on the copyright front and would be willing to work with a print-quality-obsessive would be a great lead for sure

  10. mitch Says:

    Ya they shot emails back and forth no prob. We used the Hampton painting from the comeback video and they loved the idea. I just emailed my buddy that made it happen and will fwd if we track it down.

    Ok I’m tired. Gonna reddit and hit the hay. Night peeps.

    Good luck with everything plord. Keep us posted if you need anything or gotta ramble.

  11. MrCompletely Says:

    classic /truereddit/ find


  12. mitch Says:

    thank you reddit!


    also learned that if you type the subreddit.reddit.com it will redirect to reddit.com/r/subreddit. that’s gonna be a time saver.

  13. MrCompletely Says:

    wildcard shortcut, mitch


    keyword “red”

    ‘red nsfw’ == booya

    also when you make an account you add your favorite subs to your frontpage and they all just line up across the top. when you first login you get a default set but you can customize that

  14. MrCompletely Says:

    and once you subscribe to subreddits, top posts from those are automatically mixed in to your frontpage

  15. MrCompletely Says:

    also you’re not really supposed to do what I am doing

    “first rule of reddit is…”

    but I don’t give a fuck about that

  16. mitch Says:

    i use safari tho…

  17. MrCompletely Says:

    beavis and butthead are back. just in time for ‘jersey shore’


  18. mitch Says:

    why wouldnt you talk about reddit? is that the first rule?

  19. MrCompletely Says:

    wtf can’t safari do something like that?

    I thought it was a real browser now 😮

    I bet there’s a wildcard trick in safari somehow

  20. mitch Says:

    oh man this clip is bringing back memories. now i get the not going to bed memes cause you’re reading reddit.

  21. MrCompletely Says:


    no site like that lasts forever. eventually they crumble under the weight of spammers and idiots. according to a lot of hardcore peeps reddit got ruined a long time ago and sucks now. sound like anything else you can think of? such as everything?

    anyway it’s not really like “secret” it’s more like “don’t just drag everyone over here” cause it works better the less knuckleheads, trolls, posers, dimwits, stalkers and other internet dunces and/or deranged lunatics latch onto it…

    you know what I mean

  22. MrCompletely Says:

    Redditor’s Wife



  23. mitch Says:

    ya ya ya apple.com/support/feedback

    safari was what scored hampton, telly and other shows during the on sale. thats what sold me. and im a sucker for top sites even tho i know its custy.

  24. MrCompletely Says:

    you’ll see there is plenty of Anon style trollish lunacy on reddit for sure, drama and dumbshittery

    look up the comment history for user I_RAPE_CATS for example

  25. mitch Says:

    how many mics did you guys say got you faced? 150-200?


    ^ellis used on autistic kids in 63. they got 100 mics. 12 year olds dude. (but seriously, 12 year olds)

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