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. Mike in Austin Says:

    Mr. C, I thought that’s what kids do? Son, earn your keep. Go grab that dead smelly raccoon that died. I know you’re gonna throw up it smells so bad, but I’ll buy you a skateboard.

  2. bhizzle Says:

    To all you BBFFL…watch out for the Slippery Hammers…looking like there’s no way to control their damage!

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    just because the ball is underthrown doesn’t mean the receiver wasn’t interfered with @robear

    fitzy shouldn’t have thrown it, but he got bailed out

  4. bhizzle Says:

    “I thought that’s what kids are for” – MiA

    I keep telling that to my old lady every time I see her washing dishes. We have twins that are 11 and they can’t wash a dish? C’mon man!

  5. bhizzle Says:

    fitzy shouldn’t have thrown it, but he got bailed out


  6. st8 of mind Says:

    Go Lions!

  7. SillyWilly Says:

    vick is right

    the nfl needs to realize vick is a superstar

    the league needs him healthy.

    treat him like brady and rodgers, even if he is a better athlete. (haha. why “even” silly?)

  8. Robear Says:

    That was a bad call, T3. Should have been a non call.

  9. MrCompletely Says:

    lol @MiA hilarious idea, I wish I’d thought of that

    I haven’t watched the bills/pats game yet

    oh I see @robear. I agree that’s the reason. I just don’t like it.

  10. MrCompletely Says:

    @bhiz, you can bet your sweet ass my boy will be washing dishes by the time he’s 11. that starts this year, actually

  11. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    ok, but what about the case when the QB purposely throws the ball behind the receiver so that he either comes back to it where the CB is not expecting OR he gets interfered with (or both)? this happens all the time in the nfl. should they not call it then?

  12. Snigglebeach Says:

    That phantom call in the bears game was read icculus.

    That play was so brilliantly designed. Lookeg like only 3 people on the field had a clue. Hester and Knox, amd the punter. Punter had to be screaming that he did not punt the ball in that direction. The play only works because every knows to try amd keep the ball away from hester.. So he sets up on 1 side knowing they will kick to opposite side.

    Beautifully orchestrated, them called back for nothing. Even if there was a hold, it was 30 yards awau from the play. Should have picked that flag up.

  13. MrCompletely Says:


  14. SillyWilly Says:

    call more offensive pass interferences

    I have a right to the ball too, sir.

    at least that’s what I always told the ref when I got burned. some say i cheated. i just say i was physical.

    “I have a right to the ball too, sir.”

  15. Mike in Austin Says:

    I have Hightower and Moss tonight in FF. My opponent has Witten. He’s ahead by 4.5 pts right now.

    I’m screwed.

  16. Mr palmer Says:

    How about those Giants! 🙂

  17. Snigglebeach Says:

    oh and by the way mr. C , guess I was wrong about ocho cinco. he should be fired for that drop.

  18. P.S.H.S Says:

    I saw the bills coming from a mile away. Last year the put up 30+ almost every game and lost a lot by 3 pts. It was only a matter of time before they started winning games. Add Sean merriman, and there you go

  19. Mr palmer Says:

    Having McFadden and McCoy as my starting RBs has worked out quite well so far.

  20. MrCompletely Says:

    that was crazy @palmer! congrats!

    a couple guys in my no-spread pickem league called that, the dicks! and my son too! WTF!

    tough, tough game

    wish the Colts had pulled it out. interesting to see Painter put together a nice clean TD drive there

  21. MrCompletely Says:

    yeah PSHS I am going to talk shit incessantly this season if this keeps up because I have been in on the Bills and Lions since preseason – I plan to be insufferable on both counts

    but hte Bills are wildly exceeding my expectations for sure. I picked em against the spread but not to win outright, and while I expected them to be good and respectable I didn’t think they’d be as tough as they are

    if they keep stopping teams big first half leads their luck will run out though

    need to tighten that up

  22. MrCompletely Says:

    spotting* not stopping

    stupid dyslexia

  23. SillyWilly Says:

    the punter always always always has to call the punt (im not convinced it’s too loud down there, but im probably wrong)

    the shame of that play is now every team in the league has got the film and it probably won’t work again

    haha. watch them do it next week.

  24. SillyWilly Says:


  25. MrCompletely Says:

    I look forward to seeing that drop @sniggle, I’m going to watch the game on Replay later

    though in fairness I thought he’d be too dumb/lazy to learn routes and too slow to get separation, not that he’d drop the ball

Leave a Reply