Tonight (June 16th), Phish will webcast their Monday, June 19th, 1995 performance at Noblesville, IN’s Deer Creek Music Center as the twelfth episode of their ongoing archival webcast/cooking series, Dinner and a Movie. Scroll down to read along with our 6/19/95 Stream Companion.
The twelfth episode of Dinner and a Movie follows the 8/31/12 “F— Your Face” show, the 7/27/14 Merriweather “Tweezerfest”, the 7/25/17 Baker’s Dozen “Jam-Filled” night, Magnaball night two (8/22/15), last year’s first night at Mohegan Sun (7/19/19), the first night of the band’s 2016 Halloween run in Las Vegas (10/28/16), the final night of 2017’s Mexican destination event (1/15/17), the band’s first of three nights in Alpharetta, GA in 2018 (8/3/18), the out-there 1997 U.S. tour opener featuring a guest appearance by LeRoi Moore of Dave Matthews Band (7/21/97), the improv-heavy second night of their 2018 Madison Square Garden New Year’s run (12/29/18), and the 7/26/13 performance at The Gorge which helped spark an unlikely connection between Phish and the NFL‘s Seattle Seahawks.
This week’s Dinner and a Movie dethrones Ep. 9 (7/21/97) as the oldest show to be featured so far. The June 19th, 1995 performance marked Phish’s debut at Deer Creek, a venue with which they’ve developed quite a history in the 25 years since. Though the venue has changed names various times through the years (first to Verizon Wireless Music Center, then to Klipsch Music Center, then to Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center), Phish has remained a constant at the Noblesville shed. The band has played 24 shows at the venue, including 6/19/95, and was set to add three more to the list in August before COVID-19 pushed the run to the summer of 2021 along with the rest of the 2020 summer tour.
Along with concert cancellations, drive-in-style events have become increasingly common as we adapt to life in the time of coronavirus. Tonight, Higher Ground in Phish’s native Vermont will host a drive-in showing of Dinner and a Movie Ep. 12. Sure, it’s the same stream you’re watching on your laptop, but it’s nice to know there will be a group of fans partying in a lot in Vermont (from a safe distance) while the band “plays” tonight. It’s the little things…
Speaking of little things, we’ll take the small victory of not having to refer to “the venue formerly known as Deer Creek” in regard to the stream du jour. On 6/19/95, Deer Creek was still just “Deer Creek”—and Phish was just hitting their stride as a major touring act. To put things in perspective for younger fans who only know the jam world with Phish at the top of it, on this same day in 1995, the Grateful Dead also played a sold-out show—at the much-larger Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.
Whether or not it was planned this way, tonight’s Dinner and a Movie show is also significant in that it fell on Juneteenth, which celebrates the day on which enslaved Black people in America were emancipated in 1865. With protests against anti-Black racism continuing around the world in the wake of recent killings, Phish is using their 1995 Juneteenth re-stream to benefit the Equal Justice Initiative, an organization dedicated to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the U.S., challenging racial and economic injustice, and protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
Unlike in our 7/27/97 Stream Companion, we can’t give you much of a primer on what you’ll see during the stream tonight. No audience videos from 6/19/95 circulate on YouTube, and even the band doesn’t seem to have any photos from the show—rather than the customary live photo/ticket stub shared along with the announcements of the previous eleven streams, the band shared the stock Jim Pollock Dinner and a Movie artwork with the Episode 12 announcement on Friday. This particular writer was all of three years old when this show took place and is just excited as you are to get a real look at ’95 Phish tonight.
While the visuals will be up to your imagination until the stream airs, fans have long circulated the audio from this show. As you’d expect, it contains numerous notable highlights. The show kicked off with an energetically extended “Theme From The Bottom”. Still a new tune at this point, “Theme” had only been officially debuted that May and had only been played at five official Phish shows prior to 6/19/95, though this one featured some new, melodic variations from guitarist Trey Anastasio.
The band continued through bluegrass ditty “Poor Heart” before moving into a trio of Gamehendge favorites in “AC/DC Bag”, “Tela”, and “Punch You In The Eye”. The first true improvisational departure of the night came next on a 16-minute “Reba”, which featured a broad spectrum of moods and tones during its jam section en route to a hair-raising peak. Following a “Strange Design” breather, the band rattled off “Rift” and “Cavern” before setting the soul gear shift to “high” for a blistering “Run Like An Antelope” to close out set one.
After opening set two with “Simple”, the band deconstructed the outro and seemed to hint at a transition into “Down With Disease”. Instead, Jon Fishman dropped into the opening drum pattern of “David Bowie”, and Phish was off on their biggest jam of the night. While “Bowie” had been played a few times that tour prior to the Deer Creek show, this version seemed to follow in the same vein as the standout, exploratory renditions from Providence (12/29/94) and Minneapolis (11/26/94) from the previous fall. Though perhaps not quite as exciting as the aforementioned two, this version nonetheless merits discussion as one of the better “Bowies” in an era (’94–’95) teeming with great “Bowies”.
After the dust settled following the nearly 24-minute “David Bowie”, the band launched into “The Mango Song” followed by a rare mid-set cover of The Rolling Stones‘ “Loving Cup”. “Sparkle” came next, offering a brief blast of silliness before morphing into a wonderful, jazz-inflected “You Enjoy Myself”.
Out of the “YEM” vocal jam, the band took a delicate detour into “Acoustic Army”. Less an actual “song” than it is a musical exercise, “Acoustic Army” had already become a staple of the ’95 tour by the time it hit Deer Creek. On this pleasant instrumental tune, Trey Anastasio, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon, and Page McConnell all sat on stools at center stage and performed as an “army” of acoustic guitars. Later in 1995, Phish would go on to adapt “Acoustic Army” for four keyboards as “Keyboard Army”. Both versions of the experiment would disappear from Phish setlists by the end of the year, save for one notable exception: the inclusion of “Keyboard Army” in the band’s acrostic “THANK YOU” encore at Dick’s in 2015.
Finally, after re-taking their usual posts, the band members launched into an ominous “Possum” to close out the remarkable set. For the encore, Page McConnell took the reigns on an always-welcome cover of The Beatles‘ “A Day In The Life”.
Tune in tonight at 8:30 ET for Episode 12 of Phish Dinner and a Movie (6/19/95 at Deer Creek). It’s going to be a good one. Extra points for whoever has the best “Acoustic Army” screenshot meme tomorrow.
Setlist: Phish | Deer Creek Music Center | Noblesville, IN | 6/19/95
Set One: Theme From the Bottom > Poor Heart, AC/DC Bag > Tela, Punch You in the Eye, Reba, Strange Design, Rift > Cavern > Run Like an Antelope
Set Two: Simple -> David Bowie, The Mango Song, Loving Cup, Sparkle > You Enjoy Myself, Acoustic Army, Possum
ENCORE: A Day in the Life
Trey teased Call to the Post in Reba and Mind Left Body Jam in Bowie.
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The next Dinner And A Movie features the band’s June 19, 1995 show from Deer Creek Music Center in Noblesville, IN. The full show will play for free this Tuesday at 8:30PM ET at webcast.livephish.com or Phish’s Facebook page. For this week’s recipe, Jon Fishman turns to Jim Hamilton, Phish’s touring chef, for one of Fish’s favorite dinners on tour: Miso-Glazed Salmon with Bok Choy and Brown Rice plus an appetizer of Fresh Spring Rolls. The recipes are at link in profile. Whatever you decide to make, tag us at #phishdinnerandamovie. We have selected Equal Justice Initiative as our beneficiary for this webcast. Donate any time at phish.com/waterwheel. EJI is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. For more info visit http://www.eji.org. #phish #phishdinnerandamovie #equaljusticeinitiative