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. albert walker Says:

    DMT is the best psychedelic journey hands down
    It’s 20x the L experience in1/20th the time

    Nothing like it
    Leave your physical self and stare into your soul
    Heavy heavy stuff

    Can’t recommend this trip more. Do it now!

  2. IrieWalton Says:


    Just jumping in here to second Silly’s comment about the mafia’s presence on 10/30. That was one of the most out of control scenes I’ve ever seen and I had been in Philly, Camden, et al. It was pretty apparent that they had made prior arrangements to just run shop as they saw fit.

    What was odd was that I didn’t see a one the following night (maybe they had Halloween off?).

    As for me just hand me my 2:30 cup of stumptown espresso with a soy chai and WOOSH! away I go. ‘eff the tanks.

  3. Calpain Says:

    the DMT doc you guys are talking about is The Spirit Molecule, correct? wasn’t sure if that is the only 1 out or not.

  4. lumpyhead Says:


  5. Multibeast Says:

    hey bb
    Any thoughts on which Dick Picks you consider to be the ‘best’?

  6. Calpain Says:

    nice, Lumpy.

    I am sure the N2O mafia will be in full effect for AC, again. I heard they were passing out flyers over the AC run for delivery service, etc.

  7. IrieWalton Says:

    Also, thanks to all for the element recs.

    Quality, right there.

  8. lumpyhead Says:

    yeah, you’ve seen it? fascinating. the second I smell a legit environment/person from whom to obtain, I’ll be experimentin.

  9. albert walker Says:

    There are several delivery crews on tour that work every show

    I’ve seen some that take tank deposits and even make kids sign wavers its for baking uses only when you buy one

    Phishies. Fun stuff.

  10. albert walker Says:

    Also kids be selective with the deemsters

    Like when Molly blew up in the late 90s there is a lot of straight synthy garbage around the jam band scene.

    One puff of the goods and your in outer space

  11. snowbank Says:

    How many of you in this crowd have seen Deemster?

    That completes this drive by.

  12. Calpain Says:

    it is available on the ‘noid for those interested.
    I read about Rick Strassman first, then I heard about the documentary. not sure i would dabble unless I knew the chemist. however, i am not the most radical of folk.

    IW- hope those elements are treating you right on your wildness adventures

  13. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    I thought harmaline acts as the MAO inhibitor that increased the duration of the DMT effect or creates a greater synergy for the journey

    been a while…

  14. voopa Says:

    Multi- My current fave DP is #18…not the most popular, but I’m so familiar with the big ones (4, 12, 14, etc.) that this is my go to at the moment, particularly Scarlet>Fire.

  15. MiA Says:

    Not sure I totally agree AW.

    DMT is often a very visual drug, but not necessarily (IMO) very introspective like LSD.

    You’re so wound around the kaleidoscopic colors and iTunes Visualizer visuals, that it’s often hard to focus a long deep thought. But this is much like dreaming too Ifor me). IMO, you can’t solve problems in dreams by thinking about them very hard. You can see things, but can’t affect them. It’s like your memory is turned off. Experience, but no logic, or memory to solve logical problems. I’ve had LSD trips I remember 90% of what I was thinking on them. I can solve math equations on LSD. DMT, never.

    Phenylethylamines are present everywhere in biochemistry and especially neuropharmacology. People try to mystify it. It’s all analogs of what your brain already thinks it knows. That’s why it’s psychoactive. If it was different, it would be a poison.

  16. Multibeast Says:

    Thanks Voopa. I am gonna check that out now. Cheers.

  17. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    A bullet point in the business case for the existence everything as always having been there…

    Could someone please help me collect my fingers I dropped them. 😉

  18. MiA Says:

    Everything is already there. The question is, can we amplify it, and is a good thing to amplify.

    Beware of the “perfect” drug. You’ll want to do it a lot.

  19. albert walker Says:

    DMT is heavily used with addiction specialists

    the clarity and answers I’ve awoken to on that shit is crazy IMO

    works differently for all but I know cats that were junkies for years that were cured after a handful of Deemster trips.

    has always been very introspective to me. almost too much. that’s why my girl doesn’t like it. scares her to see that deep into herself.

    different for everyone of course.

  20. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    you mean like booger sugar? or the herb superb?

  21. albert walker Says:

    I can think through an L trip too MIA

    like you said you can do math on it. for me to really get something from a trip I need to lose control. to let go of the wheel which L rarely ever does to me anymore.

    so for me that deeper loss of control is beneficial and necesary for my angry jaded ass to get something really spiritual. need to let go of all the controls.

  22. lumpyhead Says:

    quality thoughts @ MiA

  23. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Iboga has shown some useful effects along those lines as well Adub.

    Interesting ride…

  24. lumpyhead Says:

    and @ AW. always down for learnin.

  25. albert walker Says:

    ya PB a few friends went through programs in south america with some shaman cat that had success after years of trying everything

    weird how psychedelics make powders seem so dirty. guess it makes sense.

    laterz peeps
    dog walk time

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