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95-97 Pharmer's Almanac Creek Reviews
The following are excerpts from the The Pharmer's Almanac: The Unophicial Guide to Phish, Volume 6, Fall 2000. Reprinted here with permission.

6/19/95
Accessibility: III
Attendance: 19,964
Capacity: 19,964
Tickets: $18.50-$20
Deer Creek Amphitheatre, Noblesville, IN
I: Theme > Poor Heart, AC/DC Bag, Tela, PYITE, Reba, Strange Design, Rift, Cavern, Antelope
II: Simple > Bowie, Mango, Loving Cup, Sparkle, YEM, Acoustic Army, Possum
E: Day in the Life
Possum played heavy-metal style, missing final verse.

  • This was the first time Phish ever played Deer Creek and it was a sold-out show. Deer Creek is the best place to hear any band. The sound is crystal clear and the scene is so peaceful. Loving Cup was the highlight for my show, though every song was played with exactness and clarity. Solid show from start to finish; they certainly made a mark for themselves at Deer Creek.
    -Rob Koeller
  • The first 45 minutes of this show, to my ears, is the tightest Phish has ever played. Theme From the Bottom is just so on, with Trey playing some very beautiful and soulful grooves throughout. Everything is played so well but I have to single out the PYITE and Reba. The latter in particular is flawless--guaranteed to be one of your favorite versions. There's also the worst lyric flub I've ever heard on a Phish tape. It comes during Rift and is so flubbed that Trey is obviously quite amused.
    -Russell Lane
8/12/96
Accessibility: III
Deer Creek Amphitheatre, Noblesville, IN
I: Ya Mar, Split Open and Melt, Esther, Chalkdust, Weigh, It's Ice, Dog Faced Boy, Taste, Oh Kee > Suzie
II: Timber Ho, Sparkle, Simple, Caspian > McGrupp, Antelope, Hello My Baby, Golgi, Possum
E: Sample
Voodoo Child tease in Possum intro.

  • The beautiful two-day stand started with Ya Mar into a worthy Split Open. Then Esther, which just tickled my body and soul. Weigh into It's Ice fit just right. The Suzie set closer also was great. I danced out of my shoes and found myself screaming. High points in the second set for me were McGrupp, Antelope and Possum.
    -Brian Hart
  • The opener, Ya Mar, was fun, but the rarely played Esther and Weigh were set highlights. The selection seemed so unpredictable but so perfect. Timber Ho to kick off set II was unforgettable, but McGrupp and Antelope topped it off. Before Possum, Trey used Phish's secret on-stage language to produce a Simpson's theme into a "D'oh!" and a scene where the band drops limp over their instruments, then revives and resumes Possum's introduction.
    -Brian Boehm
  • We had never been to Deer Creek, so that's where we drove to instead of Noblesville. We were late but caught the second set and a good laugh.
    -David Okimoto

8/13/96
Accessibility: IIII
Deer Creek Amphitheatre, Nobelsville, IN
I: Divided Sky, Tube, Tela, Maze, FEFY, Old Home Place, PYITE, Llama, Glide, Slave
II: AC/DC Bag, Lizards, Mike's > Lifeboy > Weekapaug, Waste, Train Song, Strange Design, Adeline, Bowie
E: Sleeping Monkey, Rocky Top
Short jam before AC/DCBag. Page on theremin for a Somewhere Over the Rainbow jam out of Weekapaug. Acoustic mini-stage featured Trey on acoustic guitar, Mike on acoustic bass, Fishman on a smaller drumset and Page on a smaller piano for Waste, Train Song and Strange Design. Last Glide, 11/21/95 Winston-Salem, NC [51 shows].

  • There is nothing like gettin' down in the middle of a cornfield somewhere in Indiana. I had a soul-cleansing show that I can't wait to tell my grandchildren about. Even my pet peeve, Sleeping Monkey, was enhanced by the singing of a beautiful voice coming from a nearby girl. I never even saw her face. I didn't have to.
    -Colm Connell
  • If you were at this show, you really got your money's worth. Not only was it totally jammed out, but it was nice and long. The Slave was an absolute epic! The changes were flawless with Trey just wailing and Page answering with a delicate piano roll--back and forth until I thought Trey's guitar would just melt.
    -Russell Lane
  • The second set was the raw essence of the "take it to the top, drop it off and reel it back up" theory. From beginning to end, it is truly explosive, tight and absolutely unpredictable.
    -Waylon Baynard
  • I can easily say this is in the top five Phish shows I have heard or attended. But being detoured out of the parking lot and through a drug checkpoint after the show really snapped my head back into reality after narrowly getting through. People were getting searched for no reason except for the way they looked.
    -Jason Deziel
  • This first set is something dreams are made of.
    -Josh Harman

8/10/97
Accessibility: III
Attendance 20,891
Capacity 20,891
Tickets: $25-$27
Deer Creek Music Center, Noblesville, IN
I: Bathtub Gin > Sparkle, Down with Disease, Dirt, CTB, Billy Breathes, Melt, Bye Bye Foot, Ginseng Sullivan, Harry Hood
II: Cities > GTBT > Rotation Jam > HYHU > Rocka William, Bowie
E: Cavern
Page on theremin during the jam preceding Rotation Jam. Last Rotation Jam, 12/29/96 Philadelphia, PA [50 shows].

  • The Deer Creek adventure should be experienced by all, at one time or another. After we found our campground (someone's backyard) near the venue, we set up camp and made our way on the path to the amphitheater. First set highlights included the Bathtub Gin opener, a solid mid-set DWD, and of course the Hood closer. The moon was rising in the night sky and a slight breeze swept the lawn as the lights went down for set two. Trey teased us with his Languedoc. Punch? AC/DC Bag? Ghost? The seconds seemed like hours, then Trey dropped us the treat we'd been waiting to see. The crowd cheered in unison as Trey sang, "Think of London..." This was a Cities like no other, its relentless funk getting funkier and into deeper and deeper grooves. Twenty-two minutes later, the jam grinded to an abrupt halt. As Trey dropped to the floor of the stage we heard the first notes of Good Times Bad Times ring out. They settled on a jam out of Good Times and from out of nowhere came the theremin, everyone's favorite summer toy of Page's. All the while Mike, Trey and Fish moved about on the stage, trading places for a rotation jam that brought us to the new Fishman song Rocka William. Dressed in his pimp-like purple and black outfit, Fish took Trey's place as guitarist and the crowd responded loudly to the "Children of the Corn" lyric. The jam out of Rocka had the corn around us swaying and eventually led into a creepy, set-closing David Bowie. The band encored short and to the point with Cavern, perfectly closing the first night of Deer Creek.
    -Keith McCrary
  • A local newspaper scribe trashed this show to bits. Who cares though? Part of the Deer Creek experience is forgetting about society, or making our own.
    -Lynne Golden
  • One of the weirdest damn shows you'll ever hear.
    -Brad Colson

8/11/97
Accessibility: III
Attendance: 20,891
Capacity: 20,891
Tickets: $25-$27
Deer Creek Music Center, Noblesville, IN
I: Makisupa > Maze, Water in the Sky, Guyute, Guelah, Limb by Limb, Horn, Antelope
II: Timber Ho, Piper, Vultures, My Soul, YEM, Character Zero
E: Squirming Coil

  • Over the years I've learned that there is only one sure fire way to predict a great show--Makisupa. If it's there, then you know it's going to be a hot night. The band won't toy with it otherwise. Now when Makisupa leads off the first set.. Three songs later my suspicions were confirmed by Guyute, which drew an utter rore of ecstacy from the crow. Limb by Limb was great as always, and Horn really worked too, a nice contrast to the complex and multi-textural Limb by Limb. The Antelope which followed was downright sinister, and set the tone for a fantastic set II. Gottal love Vultures, another ominous sort of tune. Great work by Kuroda too.
    -Randy Moon
  • This would prove to be one of the most memorable nights of my life. I scored a fourth row ticket only to find that the fourth row was double-booked by Mail Order and Ticketmaster. They made all the people with mail-orders stand at the far right of the venue, trying to figure out where to stick us, when the boys came onstage and started Makisupa. Trey throwing in "Schwag" could not have summed my feelings up better at that point. However, the yellow shirts decided to "make" us stand in the space between the first row and the security wall! It was unbelievable. Guyute was one of the better I've heard. By the time they ended the set with Antelope, I felt like I had won the lottery. In set II, getting to see YEM from the front row was really something special.
    -Mike Jett
  • Definitely not one of my favorite shows. Everything was tripped out to the max, and I didn't feel that they were playing that well. I have to tip my hat to Guyute and Antelope in the first set, both amazing as usual. The Squirming Coil encore was great, beautiful solo by Page, but besides that, there was nothing special. Let me rephrase this: Bad show. Good Guyute.
    -R.J. Bee

8/2/98
Accessibility: IIII
Attendance: 42,158, 2 Shows
Capacity: 21,079
Tickets: $25-$27
Deer Creek Music Center, Noblesville, IN
I: Roggae, Divided Sky, Horse > Silent, Too Much of Everything, Boogie on Reggae Woman, Reba, Weigh, Birds
II: Possum, Ghost > Lifeboy > Bowie, I Get a Kick Out of You, Loving Cup
E: Harry Hood, Bittersweet Motel
"Possum" and "Divided Sky" teases in Bowie. Soundcheck: "I Can't Turn You Loose", "Too Much of Everything", "If You Need a Fool" (5x). Concert debut: "I Get a Kick Out of You".
  • This was my first show, and I must admint that I wasn't really sold on the idea of Phish being as good as my friends said they were. All I had heard was a few CD's, so I thought they were a decent band with a lot of hype. I was just tagging along for two days of camping and to maybe get an insight on this phenomenon that I didn't understand. Man, my preconceptions couldn't have been further from the truth. Although I only recognized about two or three of the songs they played that night, I was completely blown away. I had never experienced anything like it before. By the end of the show, I was genuinely sad to see them leave the stage. The only comfort I had was knowing that I'd be seeing them the next night. From that moment on, I knew that I was hooked and that I'd be seeing as many shows as possible.
    -Dan Bruce
  • I've always believed that Phish matured greatly as songwriters in 1998. Lyrically, Mr. Marshall explored much more serious territory in songs like Roggae, which opened this fine show during a cool evening breeze. The song selection at this show is easily overshadowed by the band's performance level. The tightest Divided I've heard since '93 was topped only by Bowie, which had jam-ending teases of Lizards, Posssum, and Divided. Kuroda projected a heavenly image during Lifeboy, as a very bright light from the top of the stage illuminated for the refrain of "God never listens...", And by the way, is anyone else besides myself a major fan of Bittersweet Motel?
    -Kevin Cassels

8/3/98
Accessibility: IIII
Attendance: 42,158, 2 Shows
Capacity: 21,079
Tickets: $25-$27
Deer Creek Music Center, Noblesville, IN
I: Rhinoceros, Halley's > I Didn't Know, Ride Captain Ride, CTB, Moma Dance, Strange Design, Character Zero
II: Gumbo, Axilla, Limb by Limb, Meat, Bike, Tube, Wedge
E: When the Circus Comes > Antelope
Fishman on Vacuum for I Didn't Know and Bike. Last Ride Captain Ride, 12/30/92 Springfield, MA [491 Shows]. Concert Debut: Rhinoceros.
  • By far the best Deer Crdek show of the '90's. Opening the show with an exceptional cover of the Smashing Pumpkin's Rhinoceros, Phish played a show for the ages. The first Ride Captain Ride in six years, a transcendent Halley's, and absolutely groundbreaking Gumbo. In fact, the theme of this particular Gumbo jam continued to appear in other songs throughout the next two years. Lightning crashed during Antelope, but the skies quickly cleared as soon as the show was over. There was a special feeling at this show, and only those who attended will ever fully understand.
    -Scott Matson
  • There were probably only ten or twenty people there who knew what was going on when they started Rhinoceros, and my friend and myself were some of the few--jumping up and down, screaming--total exhilaration! People kept coming to us and asked what is was...we could barely talk wee were so wound up by it! Follow this with an awesome Halley's and right off the bat this is one of the shows you go on tour for! This show isn't one of those jammed to the hilt shows, but with the bustouts and rarities (Ride Captain Ride and Bike!) you just gotta love this show!
    -Tony Moore
  • I was acting in a play in Chicago with performances on Saturday and Sunday, so I was forced to sell my Alpine and first night Deer Creek tickets. I joined my friends at the Creek with the party in the cornfields going full blast by the time I arrived late Sunday. Needless to say, I was psyched for my single show of the tour, and Phish didn't disappoint. The Rhinoceros opener was a bit puzzling, but turned out to be a great one-timer. Halley's Comet as the second song in the first set, are you kidding me? Tube is always at the top of my wish list, and to have it come so late in the show was a real treat and a genuine surprise (and funky, too). I guess this show for me was about surprises...Halley's, I Didn't Know, Ride Captain Ride, Bike, Tube (late), Wedge (to close) and Antelope in the encore. Phish had a single shot to blow me away in the summer of '98, and they did more than I could possibly ask in a single show. One of my favorites.
    -Mike Powers
  • I never imagined I would hear a Smashing Pumpkins cover at my third Phish show--never in my wildest dreams. The boys in Phish will never know what those Deer Creek shows did for me that year. I wasn't what you'd call and experienced phan, but I knew most of the songs. When the Circus Comes and Antelope were awesome encore tunes and left me smiling all the way back on the walk to my tent. Or maybe I was floating.
    -Jen Dranchak

7/25/99
Accessibility: IIII
Attendance: 34,659
Capacity: 34,659
Tickets: $26-$28
Deer Creek Music Center, Noblesville, IN
I: Meat, My Friend > My Left Toe > Whipping Post, Makisupa, I Saw It Again, Boogie on Reggae Woman, Cavern
II: Birds > Walk Away, Antelope, Suzie, Purple Rain, YEM
E: Loving Cup
"Happy Birthday" to Chris Kuroda during Makisupa, in which Trey instructed Chris to do a one minute "light solo." After Makisupa, Chris thanks the band from the lightboard microphone. "Stash" tease in Antelope. "I Wish" teases in Suzie. Fishman on vacuum for Purple Rain. Soundcheck: Mike's Song, Back at the Chicken Shack, Beauty of My Dreams, Day Tripper. Last Whipping Post, 8/10/96, East Troy, WI [207 shows]. Last Purple Rain, 8/6/96, Morrison, CO. [209 Shows].
  • Incredible show. The only My Friend of the tour, the first Trey-led Whipping Post in ages, and the first Purple Rain in over 200 shows. The Makisupa keyword championship was won tonight at Deer Creek: "Gooballs, brownies, stink kind, nugs, kief" and other asssorted references to greenery. Inside Makisupa, a special Happy Birthday was played for Chris with trey noting that they were going to get him wasted.
    -Bryan Sanders
  • I could have traveled from Winston-Salem, NC, to Noblesville, IN, just to see 7/25/99 and been quite content with going through the discomforts of camping in hot weather and sitting in a car for hours. The Meat opener was unexpected yet very welcomed; Mike was very solid for this version and pretty much the entire night. Right as Meat ended, we get a fairly rare classic--My Friend--which dissolved slowly into My Left Toe from The Siket Disc. Very different than the studio version, which is much shorter and controlled. Whipping post blew me away as I never imagined this being played again. The Makisupa to clebrate Chris Kuroda's birthdday is one that will always be remembered for the solo trilogy of Mike, Fish, and Chris (with a silent light solo). A jammed out Suzie and a very experimental Birds highlighted a second set that rivals the first. This show is the pefect example of why the entire Phish world comes to Deer Creek every year.
    -Broncie McClain
  • God, was it HOT! Just sitting around waiting for the shows at Deer Creek's campground (in a little tarp city my wife dubbed "Tarpua"), we sweltered and slowly melted. Then the evening came, and Phish made up for the fact that we had been liquifying. A heavy Whipping Post, MakiSUPER (with all the Chris tomfoolery and ganja references), and a classic Purple Rain screw-up courtesy of Johnny B. Fishman. A MUST-have show.
    -Adam Dickson
  • The religious experience that is this first set. Nothing compares to the beginning moments of Whipping Post, when you just know that there is no place in the world you would rather be than seeing Phish absolutely tear up this Allmans tune. It is times like these that make me feel sorry for all the people who don't understand.
    -Scott Nicholson

7/26/99
Accessibility: III
Attendance: 34,659
Capacity: 34,659
Tickets: $26-$28
Deer Creek Music Center, Noblesville, IN
I: Farmhouse, Back on the Train, Vultures, Sleep, Gumbo > NICU, Beauty of My Dreams, Bathtub Gin, Mountains, Axilla, Stash
II: Wolfman's, Piper, Theme > Down With Disease > Jam > Split
E: Woodstock > Julius
After Jam, Fishman began "2001" but Gordon played the Split bass line. Concert debut: Woodstock.
  • He did it again! Mike gave the big veto to 2001 for the second time in two weeks. Just like the first night in Mansfield, Fishman starts 2001 to a thunderous applause but Cactus starts the Split bass line. Had the boys done 2001, you know there would have been another song to follow. The best part of this show is Trey's speech at the end of Split. He gets very deep about how much they love what they're doing and how lucky they are to be in the situation they're in. He also mentioned the Woodstock riots a few days before, which planted the seeds for a Woodstock encore. It's pretty obvious that the band decided on the encore backstage because they completely butcher it. They stop right in the middle and begin Julius a verse too early, resulting in maybe the worst flub in the history of live Phish. I mean, it's bad stuff.
    -Kevin Cassels
  • Some friends and I were sitting in the Deer Creek campground relaxing before the show. All of the sudden I hear a somewhat loud bang and a scratching noise. I look back towards our car and I see my buddy being run over by a golf cart. Apparently, this security lady didn't know which pedal was which. She hit the gas instead of the brake and then ran into our van, causing a fairly large dent and scratch. She then ran into my other friend sitting in a lawnchair. We didn't get anything but a police report from these people. We were outraged for a short time but then we got a good hearty laugh out of it.
    -Mike Wereski
  • The only redeeming aspect of this show was the fact that Mike killed 2001 in favor of Split.
    -Peggy Jones