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.

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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.

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“The Moma Dance” – 7.1 I

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

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“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.

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“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.

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“Sand” – 7.1 II

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

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7.2.11 - Super Ball (Graham Lucas)

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“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.

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“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.

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“Stash” – 7.2 II

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

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“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.

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"The Storage Jam" (Graham Lucas)

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“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.

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“Destiny Unbound” – 7.3 I

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

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“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.”

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“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.

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7.2.11 - Super Ball (Graham Lucas)

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“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.

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“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.

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“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.

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“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?.”

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

  1. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    L had always been an altering of perceptions when I let it. Only lost control when megadosed in the right environs

    Other rides have been vastly different.

    Rather like hands on the steering wheel versus being bound and gagged in the trunk as the vehicle ghost rides out into space.

    Always gained great insight from either ride.

  2. MiA Says:

    Ibogaine can let you see why you’re addicted. Might cause you to throw up too.

    Getting naked with your brain can be a very dick shriveling experience. Fucking ego can get knocked around the room.

  3. MiA Says:

    Hampton Halley’s

  4. MiA Says:

    Hampton Halley’s

  5. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    lots of ways to knock your ego around…

    May as well have some visual and auditory distractions as well, MiA. 😉

  6. Mr. Palmer Says:

    4/4/98 set II is a thing of beauty. Damn near perfect set. Crisp, clean, bright, jamming phish.

    Just found out i’m an uncle for the 10th time. Will be an uncle for the 11th time in less than 24 hours. Family of freaking breeders…..Life is good.

  7. sumodie Says:

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

    The following are Mr C’s picks, which I saved (thanks, C):

    Dicks Picks
    Completely Picks Dicks Picks
    #2
    #4
    #10
    #11
    #12
    #14
    #15
    #16 (skip disk 1)
    #18
    #23
    #29
    #22

    best Dicks Picks from 72-74:
    11
    12 – super famous
    14
    19
    23
    24
    28 – underrated
    31 – really just disk 4 for me – but that’s the shit – best Eyes ever, and Playin > space > Tiger > funk jam > Scarlet > Playin == OMG

  8. sumodie Says:

    and while we’re at it, here’s a link to a 1973 GD comp that Mr C so generously compiled & shared (those are his comments below):

    http://www.mediafire.com/?1557y3vfuft57#myfiles

    “GD Fall 73 – part 1.zip” through part 6

    They Love Each Other 73.12.06 Cleveland
    Greatest Story Ever Told
    Cumberland Blues 73.11.14 San Diego
    Black Throated Wind
    Row Jimmy 73.11.17 Los Angeles
    The Race is On 73.11.14 San Diego
    Brown.Eyed Women 73.11.17 Los Angeles
    Looks Like Rain
    China Cat Sunflower > 73.12.06 Cleveland
    I Know You Rider
    Here Comes Sunshine
    Playin’ in the Band > 73.11.17 Los Angeles
    Uncle John’s Band >
    Morning Dew >
    Uncle John’s Band >
    Playin’ Reprise
    Dark Star > 73.12.06 Cleveland
    jam >
    Eyes of the World >
    Stella Blue

    If you’re just in it for the jams start with China Cat. But I’d go to the mat for every song included here, down to the LL Rain, yes for real – so I know a lot of y’all are gonna skip at least that and the Row Jimmy, but seriously, you’re missing out. These are truly great versions. The Cleveland Sunshine gets overshadowed by the Dark Star, but I think it’s the best version of that song by a pretty huge margin – to my ear it’s actually one of the finest full-band contained jams in GD history, a true top-shelf masterpiece that for some reason is relatively uncelebrated.

    The Cleveland Dark Star…you have to be in the right headspace for it. Think of it as the Vegas Wolfman’s of Dark Stars, I guess…it’s divisive like that, though it doesn’t get that aggro until the second half of the song. If you’re in the right frame of mind it can be a great psychedelic journey. It starts in deep space and returns there twice during 20 minutes’ worth of abstract, modal and melodic jams with Phil dialing in cubist UFO sounds in a dementedly creative style starting about 11 minutes in.The full Dark Star theme isn’t played until after 20 minutes of music and the first verse is after 25. Then there’s about ten minutes of increasingly aggressive abstract space, which is stunning stuff (not in the Tiger mode) if you’re in the mood for it. If you’re not, I broke the final melodic jam into its own track so you can skip after the verse, which I do at least half the time. That jam track is really just part of Dark Star, making the whole thing about 43.5 minutes long.

    Enjoy!

  9. tela'smuff Says:

    yo. snow on Tuesday, 67 today. love it.

    as for DMT, my intro to it was Terrance Mckenna audio mixed in with some electronic music, can’t recall what artist. anyway, he was talking about aliens, out of body shit, and meeting little elves. i didn’t take it further as far as research because i had an impression it was bad news. then i watched the DMT doc i mentioned, The Spirit Molecule, and it was pretty intense as far as scientific and medical perspective goes. you defiantly lose any sense of your surroundings if you take the right amount. it doesn’t matter if your in a room that just 4 bare walls or in a backlight room with a Dark Star from ’73 playing, you’re going to leave your body for about 15mins and enter another dimension that may or may not have alien life forms or spirits that we normally can’t interact with. it appears to me the line between reality and REALITY, gets pretty blurred for those that take it, and frankly, it seems to difficult for some to grasp what transpired in the 15 mins they took it. This is clearly not a recreational drug, nor should it be in my opinion. it should be used as a means for personal introspection, or a way to tap into something greater than what our brains allow us to see. DMT is indeed touching on something in our brain that’s already there, chemically speaking. I’ve spent the last few days watching video on it and reading about it, and i’m sure there is no way i’m prepared for it. the Ayahuasca plant experience sounds even worse because it acts pretty much just like DMT, but you don’t get the immediate blast off into space, instead you just get 5-6 hours of hellish visuals and life introspection.

  10. lastwaltzer Says:

    Just dropping in to make sure you guys checked out “Locked Down” the new Dr. John record with Dan Auerbach…………SO DOPE

  11. tela'smuff Says:

    thx for the link @sumo. grabbing all these now.

  12. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Def recommend that mix from Mr. C. It is indeed, all gold.

  13. Mr. Palmer Says:

    just put Spirit Molecule in my netflix instant queue.

  14. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    @ Telas Wuss!

  15. albert walker Says:

    so you mean all the wooks making the shows smell like burnt plastic aren’t doing it right Tela’s.

    great points.
    really a handful of tmes when perfect with experienced peeps kinda thing.
    the wooks puffin it in shows probably don’t have the right idea. not trying to judge here but def more of a heavy sacrament life experience thing.

    if that’s your thing of course.
    I’m neutral. pros and cons ya know.

  16. kayatosh Says:

    blown away by 7.26.97 set II. bob G on 2nd drum set. best timber ever? yes. wow. $$$.

    as you were

  17. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Yes, Kaya some great phish there. Bowie intro gets weird.

    Go!

  18. alf Says:

    anyone care to build character and virtue through leisure in the TT? http://turntable.fm/bb_spiritual_plinko_funk

  19. SillyWilly Says:

    I’m in, Alf.

  20. tela'smuff Says:

    i would love to try it, believe me, but i’ve touched the scary side once on a heavy paper experience, and i admit to being a bit worried to go there again, and DMT is about 10,000 times the level of a heavy L trip, and it starts within seconds. in all the interviews i’ve watched over the last few days, it does seem that it’s very likely you’ll have some initial fear of dying, but as you continue to move through dimensions you break free into some plane of existence that allows you see reach a level of bliss where everything human about you is stripped away. that sounds very interesting to me.

    @AW – judging on what i’ve heard and read, if someone is claiming to be puffin DMT at a show, they aren’t doing it right, or it ain’t DMT, or they take a micro puff and just get off like that. so yeah, burnt plastic. ha. but based on what i’ve read, it’s stupid to even bother with it at a show. L is more than enough, and shit, sometimes too much for a show.

    to me, DMT seems like a life changing experience, way more so that taking paper was for the first time, so it would be a thing where i prepare months in advance, mentally and spiritually, and then hold on for dear life.

  21. sumodie Says:

    I stopped doing DMT when an alien followed me back to this dimension

    Still dunno what happened to him/her/it… 😯

  22. tela'smuff Says:

    there’s a funny story (link below) McKenna tells where the little elves did follow him back. oh, and he smoked it at the height of an LSD trip. 😯 😯

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk81An-yf8I

  23. sumodie Says:

    http://mickeyhart.net/streaming/

    Mickey Hart Band Live Webcast Featuring the World Premiere of Mysterium Tremendum with a Live Performance And Chat

    9:30 EST

    (there’s still time to squeeze in 4 more business trips…)

  24. albert walker Says:

    It’s smaller doses and poor quality but even good deemsters smells terrible and I smell it all over shows these days

    New school thing

  25. Lycanthropist Says:

    wow talking about psychedelics.. kinda like old times.

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