A Disease Supreme

6.3.11 - Clarkston, MI (M.Stein)

After Phish’s summer opening run at Bethel Woods grabbed the attention of fans across the nation and beyond, the band one-upped their performances in upstate New York with a spectacular show outside Detroit at the classic Pine Knob Amphitheatre. And at the center of this show lies the most impressive improvisational jaunt of the modern era—“Down With Disease.” Combined with its running mates of “Fluffhead” and “David Bowie,” this three-song combo that lasted a little under an hour not only centered the band’s most magical jamming of tour, but provided the type of exploratory, psychedelic, and spectacularly successful journey of which Phish legends are made.

Connected, coherent, and weaving through so many masterful sections of creative improv, the band hasn’t again approached this level on stage majesty in front of an audience this summer.  After just listening to this jam again, I can—honestly—make these bold statements with utmost confidence. Phish has simply not connected more profoundly in the context of a normal show in this era than they did that night in Clarkston, Michigan. Not even close. And to make this an even more amazing fact, between June and Super Ball, Phish has spun so much amazing music that it’s mind-boggling. The redevelopment of the last two years is a distant memory and in 2011, Phish has again announced that there is no better band on the planet. And if anyone needs proof, cue up Detroit’s “Disease” and listen to the magic unfold.

6.3.11 (M.Stein)

The guys patiently navigated a multi-tiered odyssey of the likes many thought would never happen again upon the band’s comeback in 2009. But in Summer 2011, June 3rd to be exact, Phish threw down a jam that holds up against anything they’ve ever played. Adhered with a refined and delicate quality, this “Disease” illustrated a mature Phish that had honed their skill sets, blending them into a mind-numbing trek that travels through so many textures, feels and fantastic musical planes. Though many pieces this summer showcased the band’s revitalized jamming, none went down with more creativity and flat-out mastery than Detroit’s adventure.

Bethel (G. Estreich)

Allowing their ideas to develop over a 25-minute period for the only in public this year (other than The Storage Jam), the guys allowed themselves to explore the depths of their musical consciousness and they came up with a highlight reel of frozen moments and blissful creativity. Moving from an experimental plane into a slower segment that was centered on a to-die-for Trey lick, Phish then progressed into a faster catharsis that had the audience’s ears drooling. Settling into to a modal jam around Coltrane’s masterpiece, “A Love Supreme,” Phish had IT this night like none other of this summer. (Bethel’s tech rehearsal “Waves” and The Storage Jam are the only other pieces that have touched such masterful planes—but in totally non-conventional contexts.) Sculpting a sublime final jam out of “A Love Supreme” and eventually landing seamlessly in “Fluffhead,” Phish had not only blown out the brains of everyone in attendance, they raised the bar for 3.0 improvisation while executing one of the best transitions of their lives. Though Super Ball weekend contained the band’s most consistent jamming of the summer, no single piece came within a county mile of Pine Knob’s “A Disease Supreme.”

When Phish is at their best—throughout history—they have taken their time to explore music on a subconscious level without any preconceptions of where a jam should go or when they should move on to another song. And in Clarkston, on a Friday night in early June, that is exactly what they did, and what resulted was the most enchanting musical tale to spring from summer’s opening leg.

I wonder what Leg Two holds in store?



Jam of the Day:

Chalk Dust Torture” 6.3.11 I

A patient, laid back, and creative take on Phish’s rock anthem came as the penultimate song in Pine Knob’s opening frame, setting the table for “A Disease Supreme.”

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/ph2011-06-03t10.mp3] Tags: , , ,

515 Responses to “A Disease Supreme”

  1. mitch Says:

    i wonder what effects it would have had on me if id eaten it at 12. opening those doors at that age?

  2. MrCompletely Says:

    threshold is set clinically at 125-150 for most people. threshold meaning to feel fully tripping…not necessarily what even a moderately experienced tripper would consider serious meltage by any means.

  3. MrCompletely Says:

    i started at 14

    not saying that’s a good thing

  4. RamblinMind Says:

    Hey Mitch and C – quick question for you

    I bought an external hd (the one we talked about Mitch) and it worked for two days fine; I’d plug it into the computer, it did some formatting or something, and then it showed up at Hitachi XD or whatever

    Now when I plug it in it just says F drive adn when I click it it says it needs to be formatted, which will erase everything.

    First, I don’t want to erase the stuff I spent the last two days moving
    Second, why the fuck did it work the first two days?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated

  5. mitch Says:

    you on a mac or a pc? do you know how to check which format its in now?

  6. RamblinMind Says:

    i’m on a pc

    not sure how to check…

  7. RamblinMind Says:

    From the time I got it I could just click “My Computer” and it would show up as Hitachi XYZ. Now it’s an unnamed F Drive

  8. mitch Says:

    spent a few mins over at erowid. they dont roll in the jam band scene apparently. “Liquid LSD is uncommon”

  9. mitch Says:

    you’re gonna wanna google disk management windows. you gotta bring up your disk manager.

    first thing i’d do is restart the computer and see if it resolves itself. sooner the better in case its not properly formatted.

  10. RamblinMind Says:

    thanks man, i’ll see what i can do

  11. RamblinMind Says:

    Disk Management found

  12. mitch Says:

    nice surprise when clicking trees on reddit, its bud content, not actual trees.

  13. mitch Says:

    C, is there a listing of the meanings of numbers in brackets on reddit?
    [8] for example

  14. garretc Says:

    Complimentary Phish lot shirt idea up for grabs (for free, but a pat I’m the back, or a free shirt would be accepted… Or any compensation really):

    This London Underground logo


    Except with”Undermind” instead

    (If this is not an original, idea well, you shouldn’t gripe, it was free for you anyways!)

  15. sumodie Says:

    lol, my computer stopped dl’ing the live 7.16.11 Tinariwen show while I was away packing up the condo -but now it’s active again with 55 minutes to go

    will def make an ALAC version available here soon…or go dl the 24bit version here:


    Maker’s Mark tastes mighty fine right now!

    didn’t spin a lick of PH all day -plenty of GD & Jerry though with a side of Sierra Leone Refugee Allstars & MMW

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