Yesterday, to mark its 20th anniversary we revisited the first of two shows Phish played at Deer Creek in Noblesville, Indiana in the summer of 1997. While much has been said about the wild night one, the band’s more straightforward show on August 11, 1997 was not without its high points – and there’s pro-shot video footage of several of them to prove it.
Video from 20 years ago capturing what was projected onto the large screens at Deer Creek made it into circulation. The footage begins toward the end of the first set with the conclusion of “Horn” and the closer “Run Like An Antelope” and includes the entire second set as well.
Unfortunately, the show opening “Makisupa Policeman” (with Trey Anastasio dropping a “schwag” keyword) and the blazing performance of the subsequent “Maze” didn’t make the video, nor did the “Water In The Sky,” “Guyute,” “Guelah Papyrus” and “Limb By Limb” played in the first set. Following the “Horn,” the performance of “Antelope” saw keyboardist Page McConnell shift to Theremin during a funky breakdown at the lyrical portion of the song.
Trey had some fun with fans at the end of “Antelope,” (continuing the joke from the “Harry Hood” the night before) notifying that the band would be back in “32 minutes,” and after setbreak, the foursome did return to open with “Timber (Jerry).” A concise bit of improvisation developed out of the second set opening cover, which eventually landed on the just the ninth live performance of “Piper.” Not yet the jam vehicle it would later develop into, “Piper” soon gave way to the just the eighth rendition of “Vultures.” Another 1997 debut and song regularly covered that summer, “My Soul” then took the show in a rocking direction.
Next came a huge “You Enjoy Myself” that stretches out almost to 30 minutes and features more funkiness from the rhythm section of bassist Mike Gordon and a tailored-suit-wearing, shaved-headed drummer Jon Fishman. The second set was brought to a close with another rocker as “Character Zero” made its Deer Creek debut. “The Squirming Coil” served as the night’s encore, bringing the show and the two-nights in Indiana to a close.
Below watch much of the Phish show from August 11, 1997, starting with “Horn” in set one:
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