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. MiA Says:

    sounding. I suck at typing lately.

  2. MiA Says:

    I’m resigning the rest of my day to listening to Harry Hood’s.

    I think my boss is pissed at me. Uh oh.

  3. Duder Says:

    Not the same old set list:


    Little Feat
    Downtown Festival Tent
    Rochester, NY

    Source: Unknown soundboard source

    Transfer: Sony 2600 > Dio 2448 > CD Wave > Flac Frontend > FLAC16 > Nero 6 > Plextor PX-716A

    Transferred by Chris Cafiero, Little Feat Archivist.

    CD I [58:50]

    01. All That You Dream
    02. Rocket In My Pocket
    03. Mellow Down Easy > Say Man >
    04. A Apolitical Blues
    05. Old Folks Boogie
    06. Rad Gumbo
    07. Dixie Chicken
    08. Down On The Farm*
    09. Roll Um Easy*
    10. Can’t Be Satisfied* >
    11. Hot Tamales*

    CD II [51:27]

    01. Fat Man In The Bathtub
    02. Skin It Back
    03. Texas Twister
    04. Hate To Lose Your Lovin’
    05. Shake Me Up >
    06. Oh Atlanta
    07. Let It Roll
    08. Willin’
    09. Feats Don’t Fail Me Now


  4. joemeg Says:

    You can feel good about Hood MIA. That’s a good way to make the day better.

    I had thought that the Hoods in 3.0 were kind of lacking, then came the Worcester Hood, which is one of those IT moments for me.

    But it’s like they had a breakthrough that night because ever since all the Hoods have been pretty damn good.

  5. dorn76 Says:

    You can nail the Latin name for maple tree, your typing is pretty good.

  6. Robear Says:

    The way Trey sets up the ‘Third Stone Tease’ in the SBIX ‘Simple’ = sublime phish candy

  7. ElJefe Says:

    Superball 9 was one the best times ever had in my life. And Phish also played 10 sets of music that weekend.

  8. Robear Says:

    ElJefe, the ‘Bug’ slays too.!!!! $$$

    One of my favorite phishing expeditions ever. According to everyone I’ve talked with, everything just fell into place. Smooth sailing. Band, crew, pham, all enjoyed SBIX to the fullest.

    Will be hard to duplicate. Not very crowded. Maybe next year.

  9. joemeg Says:

    Yeah, it’s a bummer they’re not doing a real fest this year. Definitely not going to bring the kids to AC.

  10. ElJefe Says:

    My only regret of the weekend, well there’s 2. Not meeting any peeps from the BB and not being fit enough to actually run the 5k very well…

  11. halcyon Says:

    Happy Wednesday Folks

    DMT – business man’s trip….

    Wall Street’s favorite psych voyage. Can go on a rocket ship ride at lunch and be on the floor ready to trade in 30 minutes.

    Any speculation of when leg 2 dates might be?

  12. MiA Says:

    I love knowing the Latin names of things in the wild. I feel so educated. Kinda one of those latin plant name knowing guy.

    “Quercus” is oak for instance. Quercus Rubra is Red Oak.

    But my favorit is that Ursus is Bear. Ursus Horribilis is a “Grizzly Bear”

    12-30-95 = Hoodius Magnificus.

  13. MiA Says:

    “Wall Street’s favorite psych voyage. Can go on a rocket ship ride at lunch and be on the floor ready to trade in 30 minutes.”

    That would be Albany YEM for me.

    Although this 12-30-95 Hood is lifting me up out of my chair right now.

  14. lumpyhead Says:

    halcy – you mean when they might be announced?

    or you askin for the dates? cause I think they’re fairly accurate at the moment…

  15. MiA Says:

    Next up 3-31-93 Roseland, OR.

  16. MiA Says:

    Roseland Theater, Portland OR.

  17. Robear Says:

    Joemeg, no doubt. SBIX was so kid friendly.

    ElJefe, two things:

    You can usually find bb’ers around the waterwheel table.

    Adults needn’t run, lest being chased by a predator.

  18. sumodie Says:

    DMT is a naturally occurring substance, used by some amazon tribes as part of their ayahuasca ceremonies (harmaline is the primary psychoactive ingredient in ayahuasca)

    Thus i wouldn’t lump DMT in with all the man made (semi-) synthetics

    terence mckenna loved dmt, perhaps too much as he died from a brain tumor

  19. MiA Says:

    I think Joe Rogan does too.

  20. MiA Says:

    This Went Hood (and oh the place I just went) just pushed me over the edge of caring if my boss gives 2 shits about me.

    I just want to be on tour now. The glowstick war at AC is gonna be very big.

    Please don’t throw them at the band. I get angry when people do that.

  21. MiA Says:

    Went to Clifford Ball, Went, Lemonwheel, Cypress, IT, Coventry, etc.

    The Hood at Went is very sacred in my memories. Pure unadultered IT. I still get a lump in my throat.

  22. lumpyhead Says:

    as you wish.

    MiA and Hood are like those females who can ‘gasm at the gym.

  23. SillyWilly Says:

    remember the tanks lined up on the boardwalk after 10/30/10?

    Phish at Bader Field will be a reflection of AC: DIRTY.

  24. lumpyhead Says:

    hope you’re right, silly.

  25. Calpain Says:

    :a quick drive by here:

    anyone who has not heard the Joe Rogan drug rant it is worth a listen.


    cliff notes: drugs are good mmkay. the human species is a giant mold absorbing the earth.

    as someone else said, Erowid is pretty exhaustive

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