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. bearito Says:

    Hola BB

    Just realized today marks the anniversary of my first show and sadly the last time Phish have played the Big Easy.

    Sunday, 09/26/1999

    Kiefer UNO Lakefront Arena, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA

    Set 1: Sweet Virginia[1], First Tube > AC/DC Bag, Dirt, Guyute, Bouncing Around the Room, Cars Trucks Buses[2], Funky Bitch[2], Mozambique[2], Cavern[2]

    Set 2: Twist > Piper, Mountains in the Mist, Heavy Things, Birds of a Feather, Meat, Down with Disease
    Encore: Meatstick > Rocky Top

    Twist>Piper went ahead and sealed the deal for me 🙂

  2. bob dylan Says:

    Kurt, all our friends say so. Cept they all heard from other people that I initially started the rumor to.

    So basically us new York locals are all spreading rumors.

    And ya, was gonna say what C did. Living here makes it a little cheaper. Girls going for drink recon is just awesome. Thanks for the beer duder. Make sure you raise the glass to them and smile as you say “aaahhhh that’s refreshing”

  3. Kurt from Indy Says:

    yea, i had a feeling, my crew is still holding out for miami, they dont seem to believe me, especially when they ask me how do i know, i dont really have an answer, but when i ask them why they think its going to be miami, they look on the face says it all: ” you told us kurt”

    looked up flights to ny a week or so ago, ouch, need that announcement soon, though so i can get on this

  4. Kurt from Indy Says:

    the look on their faces*

  5. Mr palmer Says:

    4 cops just entered my office…uh oh. Stay tuned.

  6. bearito Says:

    Never a good start to a story:

    So…4 cops entered my office…

  7. bob dylan Says:

    So you really do work for the mob…

  8. bob dylan Says:

    Better than 4 cops entered my house… Depending where you live, work

  9. bearito Says:

    ^ True dat

  10. angryjoggerz Says:

    TT sesh anyone?

  11. Mr palmer Says:

    …. And the entire network/ server was shut down.

    They fired the IT guy this morning. Apparently he’s gotten into the system and taken some ” sensitive ” material. Still developing. Cops all over. Good times.

  12. MrCompletely Says:

    keep us posted @palmer

    on the subject of cops, there was this one really sadistic oinker caught on video macing female protesters for no reason during the wall street thing recently

    well his ass just got pwned by Anon



  13. Mike in Austin Says:

    Playing Makisupa for Palmer.

    Beats “four FBI agents came into my office with four SWAT members…”

  14. tela'smuff Says:

    i’m down AJ

  15. MrCompletely Says:

    beats “four FBI agents came on my face…”

    too far?

  16. Mike in Austin Says:

    “wait … They’re here for the IT guy? I ate that whole bag of boomers for nothing!?”

    The snozzberries taste like snozzberries….

  17. dorn76 Says:

    Did I miss my chance to say that I think Vick may have a point on the no calls, but his style of play was going to get him killed anyway…

    Secondly, I will never respect, like or even remotely root for that piece of shit, and think he has no business doing anything but making license plates.. But the refs should call the game right regardless.

  18. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    “um, sir? thank you for responding so quickly to our request to meet with us, but why is your entire face covered with white powder?”

  19. dorn76 Says:

    I do like to watch him play, and my wife’s family is are die hard Eagles fans…

    Just entertain me, you don’t have to be a saint.

  20. Kurt from Indy Says:

    @dorn i totally agree, but i could care less about being fair with his calls, especially when hes running out of the pocket, i would love to be an (able) D-lineman across from him…i would get fined

  21. Kurt from Indy Says:

    *previous statement, not the latter

  22. bob dylan Says:

    I’m curious if the protesters think anything will change besides their arrest history. NYPD are for the most part no nonsense and no fun.

  23. Kurt from Indy Says:

    and as adrew brees fan, being a saint def helps, and thatrs my pun for the day

  24. SillyWilly Says:

    sometimes, this summer, at work, i’d feel really nervous because of the sheer quantity of cops around

    i was in a suit with a clean shaven face, and only my wallet in my pocket, but still

    residual anxiety.

  25. bob dylan Says:

    I think the article is bologna btw.

    See what I did… Ya you get it.

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