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. Kurt from Indy Says:

    Ha! it must be have fun with pun day

  2. bob dylan Says:

    C, what do the pastebin people do now that they have his info?

  3. butter Says:

    phantom holding penalty…the punt return? if so, yeah BS for those bears fans..

    yea WTF

    but, the following is completely true

    bears were beat in that game. they were sloppy, undisciplined and unbalanced on offense. that call even if it was phantom had zero impact on the outcome. bears beaten by utterly superior team, period.
    -Mr. C

    it was a very oddly officiated game. they really let them play, besides the tons and tons of false starts and encroaching they had to call on sloppy line play, by both sides

    but then when there was a ticky tack or blown call it totally fell on the Packers side. no excuse on the loss, at all. bears were out played, by the superbowl champs. very clear cut.

  4. Kurt from Indy Says:

    yea butter, now both my teams have been beat/outplayed by the packers…but its fun to wait and see big tree fall hard…right bills fans?

  5. dorn76 Says:


    Send a shitload of anchovy pizzas to his house?

  6. butter Says:

    it seems like whenever they “let them play” in the NFL or NBA, one team gets the short end of the stick at the end of the game when they do make a call

  7. Mr palmer Says:

    Here’s an idea. Check with the guy in charge of financial risk management( me), before shutting down the entire server. It’s not like I have 1/2 million dollars worth of open trades I can no longer interact with. This is silly.

  8. butter Says:

    Phish has absolutely such a shitty rep out there, i mean really shitty

    i dread even playing it for peeps not in the know, or even worse 1/2 way in the know

    playin it at work today, and one girl from VT just pulls out the worst 2.0 Trey stories ever, none of which are probably even true

    and the Dead head woman, just goes into this spheeel about how she gave PHish a try in in 95 right after Jer passed and how it just didnt do it for her, but it almost did, but not quite

    shut your whore mouth and listen to the music, this was all during the S Sand, which of course nobody can absorb because the shit show stories

    i’ll just keep my little secret, thank-you

  9. bob dylan Says:

    Dorn, I ate anchovie sandwiches last night. Way better than cooked on q pizza.

  10. Guyute711 Says:

    “Shut your whore mouth” ha ha, funny stuff

  11. butter Says:

    as much as it ever was

    your either on the bus

    or not

    get out of my way

  12. bob dylan Says:

    True butter. I get ragged on constantly but when I play a mix and Phish pops on at random multiple people will ask what it is.

    Really? Oh. This is good.
    Yes I know.

  13. Kurt from Indy Says:

    what a bitch ass jam killer, i once had a front of the house chick come back into my kitchen and starting bitching about the music saying what are you LISTENING to!? and it was even phish, it was leppelin, over the hills, and shes like oh im a huge zeppelin fan this obviously is there bad shit, i asked her what her fav album was and she just went uhhhhhh, yea thats what i thought shut the fuck up

  14. butter Says:

    they can keep spinnin the same Kayne for all i care

  15. butter Says:

    i have a show with 25 songs that start with an S, mutha efffer

  16. Mr.Miner Says:

    @butter. esp. on west coast where everyone thinks the dead are good or something 😉

  17. Kurt from Indy Says:

    but i have the most unsuspecting people come up and ask me what im listening to (while phish) and they seem to like it because when we start talking about music its apparent they have an appreciation of jazz, soul, blues etc

  18. Mr.Miner Says:

    @butter Kanye’s last album is sick fwiw. (dark, twisted fantasy)

  19. Mr.Miner Says:

    i have a show with 25 songs that start with an S, mutha efffer

    ^ lolol

  20. Kurt from Indy Says:

    when i was in san diego i almost shit myself when the slf told her friends that we were going to a dead cover band, then she looked at me and said nobody knows them out here, thats as close as we get…bummer

  21. butter Says:

    yea Miner, i picked that Kayne when yall were pimpin it a while back, i dig it pretty well

    just one of the things i hear them playing over and over

  22. butter Says:

    the west coast dynamic of what peeps think the Phish are just makes me want to scream i’ve decided

  23. bob dylan Says:

    I just think kanye is too big a douche to illegally download and listen to his stuff.

  24. Mike in Austin Says:

    I have a playlist with sleep, dirt, lawnboy, steep, swept away, inlaw josey wales, etc on it. I tell people, you want to understand Phish? Listen to this.

    “oh” they say “that’s not what I expected!”

    “That’s how I feel after every show. They surprise me.”

    Phish is surprising. Not many bands do that again and again.

  25. Kurt from Indy Says:

    off to work, have a good afternoon yall

Leave a Reply