It’s getting close now, we hope you’re ready! Phish’s Super Ball IX Festival is July 1-3 in Watkins Glen, NY. The band’s first Northeast festival since 2004, by all accounts this Ball needs to be something special to keep the band on top of the underground music scene now dominated by electronica and other mega jam bands. It could be argued that Phish plays to an older crowd already addicted to them and that their core fanbase isn’t going anywhere, but even hardcore heads like myself are questioning whether there is anything new and cutting edge about the experience anymore, and new people must always be brought in and blown away. Let’s not forget we’re talking about the only band that can pull something like this off by itself, the men who began the modern American festival era with The Clifford Ball in 1996 – if anyone can deliver, they can.
There are seven scheduled sets over the weekend, and hopefully a surprise late-night on Friday or Sunday or something of the sort.. We’re also looking forward to the art installations, as designer Lars Fisk is back after sitting out Festival 8, collaborating with Russ Bennett to create surreal landscapes and environments. Check out An Interview with Trey & Lars Fisk discussing plans for this year..
Who knows if the band of millionaires feels any pressure at all, having established and proven themselves thousands of times over 25 years. However, the Coventry debaucle in 2004 is the last festival memory many Phish fans have, and none of the post-hiatus festivals have rivaled the epic status of the first five. Festival 8 came the closest, a unique artistic success, but ticket sales were disappointing on the west coast. Up against String Cheese‘s Electric Forest Festival this July 4th weekend, its clear from here that Phish needs to pull out all the stops and give us something buzz-worthy to re-establish themselves as THE destination act of the summer.
The current tour is promising, featuring a great opening run in Bethel, NY, some warmup shows in the Northeast, and some real fire down south, especially in Charlotte & Portsmouth.. They seem ready to rock and we can only hope they jam deep and give us their funky souls!
Tickets and more info at: Superballix.com/news.html