Miner’s Picks: Super Ball

7.2.11 - Super Ball (Graham Lucas)

As fans populated Watkins Glen International in central New York for July 4th weekend, something significant was coming back together. Though Festival 8 on the West Coast was blissful in 2009, Super Ball—two years later—represented the true return of the Phish festival. With art installations of the like we hadn’t seen since IT in 2003, the look and feel of Super Ball brought us back to the carefree memories crafted so many years ago. Though smaller in scope, the Northeastern “home turf” feel was back and an intimate feel permeated the weekend. With a spectacular late-night set (a facet of the Phish festival absent at Indio) and concert grounds that were open virtually all day long, an event like this had been waiting in the wings since the band’s return.


With the return of such a classic atmosphere, Phish played marathon sets all weekend long, cranking out all sorts of standout music. After the psychedelic high point of the festival in Saturday’s late-night “Storage Jam,” Phish concluded the weekend with one of its strongest two-set efforts of the entire summer on Sunday. All in all, Super Ball brought back a tradition that had been absent for eight years, and featured highlights galore. My favorite jams of the festival are below, most with audio accompaniment.


“The Moma Dance” – 7.1 I

This standout version from Super Ball illustrates the renewed swagger that “The Moma Dance” discovered this summer.



“Wolfman’s Brother” – 7.1 I

While many “Wolfman’s” veered off the funked-up course this summer, this version in Super Ball’s opening set got the dance floor hopping with ferocious set of gooey grooves.



“Crosseyed -> Chalk Dust” – 7.1 II

With an ambient focus on both its intro and outro, “Crosseyed” offered far more than vicious textures in a first-night highlight.


“Sand” – 7.1 II

There’s nothing like a festi-sized groove-fest with the summer’s hottest rhythmic juggernaut.



7.2.11 - Super Ball (Graham Lucas)


“Simple > Bug” – 7.1 II

“Simple” provided the most exploratory and impressive piece on the festival’s first night, and one of the more psychedelic passages of the entire weekend.



“Monkey Man” – 7.2 I

This out-of-left-field Stones cover that capped a miserably hot and uneventful afternoon set is far more fun to listen to without the sweltering temperatures.



“Stash” – 7.2 II

This hard-edged and rhythmically divergent rendition provided one of the few engaging pieces of its set.



“Golden Age > Caspian -> Piper > Tweezer” – 7.2 III

Here is the stellar third-set sequence that pushed Super Ball to the next level for the duration. The most developed “Golden Age” jam to date gave way to an unconventional “Caspian,” creative “Piper,” and a crunchy, festival-sized “Tweezer”—quality Phish through and though.


"The Storage Jam" (Graham Lucas)


“The Storage Jam” – 7.2 IV

A transformational, all-improv extravaganza that stole the weekend at Super Ball; this is the stuff of which Phish dreams are made. This innovative experiment sparked a new style of abstract jamming on display throughout leg II. I wrote about the innovative jam session here.


“Destiny Unbound” – 7.3 I

A super-charged version of “Destiny” in a first set that absolutely killed.



“Wilson” – 7.3 I

You know Phish is feeling it when they get creative with “Wilson!” A scorching mini-jam featuring a Mind Left Body tease puts this version into the discussion of “best ever.”



“A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing” – 7.3 I

The long-awaited return of this post-hiatus vehicle provided a storage-infused, sunset standout on Super Ball’s final day.



7.2.11 - Super Ball (Graham Lucas)


“Reba -> David Bowie” – 7.3 I

This old-school combo—one of the most sparkling sequences of the weekend—has become a personal favorite. An absolutely glorious “Reba” bleeds into to an intricate, uptempo and underrated “David Bowie” through an ambient, post-song extension.



“Down with Disease -> No Quarter” – 7.3 II

An inspiring “Disease” gradually works its way into Led Zeppelin’s “No Quarter,” a version that trumped PNC’s debut.


“Light” – 7.3 II

One of the most creative jams of the weekend that set up “Light” for a prime-time second half of summer.



“Waves -> What’s the Use?” – 7.3 II

Phish tacked a jam onto “Waves” in three out of the song’s four appearances this summer, and each time the band moved in a very different direction. In Super Ball’s version, they guys drop into deep space before oozing into “What’s the Use?.”

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/2.09-Waves.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/2.10-Whats-the-Use.mp3] Tags: , , ,

978 Responses to “Miner’s Picks: Super Ball”

  1. bhizzle Says:

    home ownership will make anyone Bob Villa….start watching DIY & HGTV…ugh…makes me feel lazy!

    @ plord….the sharpie thing reminds me of the book Diary by Chuck Palahniuk….give it a read when you get the time.

  2. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    silly, lifehacker is probably a good site for you to peruse then

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    totally forgot about the little DEG thing in this Reba. yay, trey!

  4. plord Says:

    @TIII plenty of time and wall left to add a Wedge quote 🙂

  5. SillyWilly Says:

    @Selector J

    unfortunately, I won’t be building much. Even when presented with an eternity.

    @TypeIII and MiA

    for some perspective.

    in july before I did my trial, I wanted to teach myself how to tie the full-windsor knot.

    2 and a half hrs later I finally got one passable to wear into court.

    steps and logic aren’t my bag

  6. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    steps and logic aren’t my bag

    uh oh… isn’t the whole lawya thing predicated on following the correct steps and using sound logic? 😯

  7. MrCompletely Says:

    this Sunday should be filed under “regression to the mean” for me in terms of overall NFL picks but I’m so stoked about the bills and lions I don’t care. that’s fun stuff right there.

  8. SillyWilly Says:

    I just got an email to join the Students of Objectivism in their Capitalism Appreciation movement


    How’d I get on that list serve???

  9. stapes Says:

    respinning SB9 highlights making monday a litte easier to get through.

    great weekends always make it harder to come back to reality.

  10. MrCompletely Says:

    lol @t3 of course not

    it’s about belonging to the same country club as the judge

  11. SillyWilly Says:

    @Type III

    i never said i was gonna be good…

    plus, i try to appeal to judges’ hearts. haha.


  12. Robear Says:

    Mike Vick to the universe: “Every time I throw I end up on the ground or hit in the head. How come I don’t get those 15 yard flags like the other QB’s do?”

    Universe to Vick: “Because you’re an ex-con, dog killer. Not a pretty boy”

  13. Robear Says:

    SBIX was a Phish phans dream come true. Awesome everything.

  14. SillyWilly Says:

    how about that phantom holding penalty in chicago?

    no offense to anyone, but that was funny in a deeply dark, sarcastic, and sadist way

    funniest thing here was all the packer fans had stopped watching to get more pitchers

    so when they come back the bears fans are pissed and then there’s arguments and it’s just a wonderfully welcoming midwestern disagreement over an injustice that half the participants in green didn’t even see and the other half in blue thought actually mattered

    gotta love football. and america. and AngryJoggerz.

  15. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    great misdirection, too bad the refs messed it up, silly

  16. bhizzle Says:

    phantom holding penalty…the punt return? if so, yeah BS for those bears fans..

  17. MrCompletely Says:

    yeah but as much as we make fun of vick and Ha Ha about it he’s 100% right

    those no-calls are BS compared to the way they’re calling the rest of the league

    I actually think its pretty disgraceful

  18. Mike in Austin Says:

    The feeling of fixing something yourself is quite intoxicating to me. Scratches my “achievement” needs. Confession: I really love listening to Car Talk too.

    I still have a ’69 VW Vert that I drive, because I kinda like fixing it. And it’s cheap like me. It’s kinda a sickness actually.

    New “front end loader” washer and dryer Mrs. MiA wants as some crazy suburban status symbol= $2000. Or, I can fix mine for $150.

    And I can take the difference of the $1850 and go to NYE at MSG. My kind of status symbol.

    I still might not be able to fix it, but I can drink beers and make a mess and get my hands dirty. That’s the old form of Viagra if we did fix it.

  19. MrCompletely Says:

    bears were beat in that game. they were sloppy, undisciplined and unbalanced on offense. that call even if it was phantom had zero impact on the outcome. bears beaten by utterly superior team, period.

  20. Mike in Austin Says:

    Universe to Vick: “Because you’re an ex-con, dog killer. Not a pretty boy”

    Ha ha ha. Hilarious.

    BTW, Romo isn’t really hurt. His press agent and just wants to sell jerseys and try to sound like he’s some sort of “warrior” out there rap.

    The guy is weak sauce.

  21. MrCompletely Says:

    I’m halfway in between, @MiA

    I like fixing things and doing stuff with my hands, building and repairing, but only to a point. I don’t work on engines, for instance. rather pay someone for that.

    I also don’t get stenchy dead animals out from under the house which is what I need to hire someone to do right now. FUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCKKKK NASTY!

  22. Mike in Austin Says:

    I really regret not going to SBIX. Terrible decision on my half. And not going to Denver. Another really terrible decision. Strike two. Not going to MSG … I can’t imagine.

  23. SillyWilly Says:

    don’t take ryan grant out of the game, Pack

    starks was gritty last year and all, but there’s a reason he wasn’t the starter.

    by the way, I’m still pissed about Grant’s two fumbles against Tennessee on the goal line in 2001, so don’t call me a homer.

    TypeIII, I know you remember.

  24. Robear Says:

    Agree C, re: Vick.

    I stand by my statement though, 1000%

    The refs view him as an ex con tough guy. Not a pretty boy QB.

    Congrats to Bills. Talk about bad calls though. The pass interference penalty in the end zone when the Pats had intercepted the woefully under thrown ball.

  25. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    why you gotta bring that shit up, silly???

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