The next addition to the LivePhish archival catalog will be June 19th, 1995, the first-ever Phish show at the beloved Noblesville, IN amphitheater formerly known as Deer Creek Music Center. The audio was recorded by Paul Languedoc to two-track difital and mastered by Fred Kevorkian. The full show is now available to stream (for LivePhish+ subscribers) and download here.
As the band noted in an announcement, “On June 19, 1995 Phish played the tenth show of their 22-date summer tour at Deer Creek – a modern amphitheater in the Indianapolis suburbs with a capacity of just under 25,000, surrounded at the time by corn fields. It was Phish’s first Deer Creek show of 23 to-date. … The band was at a creative zenith on the heels of an impressive fall ’94 tour that yielded most of the tracks for A Live One. They were playing mainly amphitheaters with two-night stands at Red Rocks, The Mann, Jones Beach, Great Woods, and Sugarbush.”
Fans may recall that the standout 6/19/95 show at Deer Creek was featured back in June of 2020 as episode twelve of Phish’s ongoing archival webcast/cooking series, Dinner and a Movie. Read our full 6/19/95 Phish Stream Companion here.
Of note, the band added in the announcement, “Set II ran long and the A Day In The Life encore was cut on the 90-minute video tape, but complete audio survived to convey the full significance of Phish’s Deer Creek debut.”
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 its 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, Phish 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”.
To stream 6/19/95’s Phish show at Deer Creek, the latest LivePhish archival release, head here.
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.