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. Mr palmer Says:

    I thought the Rams would be better.

    I’ll jump on that Bills bandwagon. That city deserves a winner. Hardcore fans.

  2. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Hola BB,

    So I am at a bbq this weekend with my daughters at a park with some friends. One of the dudes there is a bouncer at a local club and he offers to guest my daughters and I into the club because the Jonas Brothers playing there.

    We had planned to go to the desert botanical gardens that evening for a flashlight tour, but I thought maybe they want to see a concert, namely the Jonas Brothers. I go over and ask oldest daughter if she wanted to go to the Jonas concert and here verbatim response was. “Who and Why would I want to something like that??!”

    I told her that her answer made me very proud and that I loved so much.

    Home team win!

  3. MrCompletely Says:

    I think they might make some changes to tighten up the passing game just a little next season @sw, things have swung too far the offense’s way, and changing the offensive pass interference emphasis would be a good way to do it without adding hits to the QB

  4. MrCompletely Says:

    you must be doing something right @pham

    big win there

  5. MrCompletely Says:

    @palmer, the rams had a shot at being decent but they have a brutal first 7 games and then they got demolished, I mean demolished by injury. So I was actually on board-ish with the Rams in that weak-ass division until the injury cascade. Now they’re fucked. The four point line in that game was the easiest money all weekend.

    But that wasn’t a bad thought on your part I don’t think.

  6. bhizzle Says:

    my opponent has miles austin staring….he’s out? oh yeah! Ugly Pig Army better pick up that dancing with the stars dude, even tho I doubt that will grab him the 99 points he needs…..hahahahahahahaha.

    McFadden & McCoy…dang! thats a combo.

  7. SillyWilly Says:

    i know you all giggled a little bit when I posted that^^^

  8. Robear Says:

    I know what you r saying T3. In the specific P v Bills play, I don’t think it applies. It was minimal contact by the db on Nelson. He didn’t knock him over or completely impede him. Pass interference in the end zone on a hail Mary type throw should only be called when there’s no reasonable doubt.

    So disappointed in Ochostinkos route running and hands.

  9. Tom Says:

    Red Sox fans enter

    surprised that mound was not on the list

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    darn. I was hoping that story would end in some epic shenanigans involving pham and the jonas brothers late night after he dropped his daughters off at home.

    oh well. still a good ending.

  11. bob dylan Says:

    How is it that the line at subway is to the door but the guy at the front doesn’t know what he wants? You had 10 mins to debate the choices already.
    Sigh… Tourists.

  12. MrCompletely Says:

    wow I just watched that drop by 85

    pretty incredible

    reminiscent of that heartbreaking drop the bills had in OT last year vs the steelers

  13. bob dylan Says:

    FTW, I get to the front of the line and there’s a sign that says cash only. Maybe that would have been better placed ON THE DOOR.

    epic lunch fail happening over here. California sub shop here I come

  14. MrCompletely Says:

    any lunch that involves Subway is pure fail from the go

  15. Robear Says:

    C took words out of my mouth. Come on Bob!

  16. MrCompletely Says:

    for the record I don’t think the Bears are done, not writing them off at all

    very tough opening schedule and that team still has a lot of good pieces. They could turn it around.

    don’t want to take a bad game against a good team too far

    they can play much better but htey need to realize if they don’t get it going soon they’ll be #3 in their division and out of the playoffs

  17. Tom Says:

    NFC West is so bad. I am a Cardinals fan, and after yesterdays loss to the seahawks, nothing is certain. Rams could still win the division.

  18. SillyWilly Says:


    subway sux.

    but sometimes in middle america when your life is a mess it’s the only option.

    well, that or wendys or mcdonalds, and that’s no option

    of course, maybe finding yourself in middle america with your life a mess, is the real failure.

    and im open to that criticism.

  19. Jtran Says:

    How about the Red Rocks Tweezer and SPAC Number line?

    2 jams that hold up

  20. MrCompletely Says:

    I like it when silly answers his own posts for me.

    very efficient.

    @tom…I HATE living in NFC west territory…ended up watching illegal streams from Europe most of the day instead of the utter crapfest on cable

  21. Robear Says:

    Silly, Bob is not stuck in middle America. If he looks up from the iPhone, he can see more restaurants from where he’s standing, than you have in all of Wisconsin.

  22. MrCompletely Says:

    I mean what did I do in life to deserve getting the Seahawks every weekend?!?!?!?

    um, don’t answer that

  23. MrCompletely Says:

    I am srsly starting to develop an active hate for the Seahawks though

    I’m too big an NFL fan to get Tarvaris’d every weekend

    plus, Portland doesn’t like Seattle anyway. So yeah. I’m deciding right now:

    fuck you, seahawks

    rooting against you for the rest of the season

  24. MrCompletely Says:

    alright, I’m out. NFL hijack over, at least on my part. peace

  25. Tom Says:

    @ Mr C

    Funny how things work. I would kill to watch the cardinals even though they are awful, and I hate the local games that I get which have included Pats, Jets and Giants and now the upstart bills

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