Downloads Interviews  Show Reviews Contact Us Merchandise Contests

Phish ~ June 28th & 29th, 2012 ~ Klipsch Music Center ~ Nobesville, IN

The weather report slated for Thursday and Friday was simple.  HOT and more HOT with record breaking highs.  Close By, Sleepy Bear, and Green Acres campgrounds were filled, as it’s the normal thing to do for this venue, but those that booked hotels in nearby locations definitely appreciated the air conditioning and clean showers.  Needless to say, Phish obliged and brought the heat and the funk to the corn field stage, making up for their absence of 2011, showing up their awesome performance of 2010, and marking their 21st and 22nd time played at Deer Creek.  Yes, it will always be known as Deer Creek.

Pre-show Night 1, Kuroda can be found getting his tools ready.  The new light setup is phenomenal and has been well received by fans so far.  Page is onstage early, playing some light Thelonius Monk tunes in front of a handful of security, team Phish employees, venue volunteers and the such.  Doors open at 6pm and fans begin their purchase of $8 tallboys and their hustle of “which” pavilion seat they’ll snag.  Lights go on at 8:07 and the crowd stands up.  Fans are greeted with all 4 members standing at the microphone, in true acapella form, with Trey donning a Philadelphia Flyers shirt, for “The Birdwatcher”.  “The Curtain With” had thousands chanting words from a song, as it made its 2012 debut.  “Fuck Your Face” turned the moat into a smiling dance party.  The Dillards’ tune “The Old Home Place” showed up at the Creek in 2003 and returned again with its 100+ show gap from LTP (last time played).  “Pebbles and Marbles” definitely started a blaze and treated us for the next  11 minutes, proving to be a jam taxi with some heavy play by Trey.  Some will claim they called the “Weigh” that came next, but let’s be honest and acknowledge that it had only been played six times since ’97, also marking a return to Deer Creek (’98).  The torture of Chalk Dust shows its jammy face, on average, every 4 shows; but disappoint, it did not.  “Wolfman’s Brother” apparently misdialed Liz, detailing the phlub when Trey forgot the 2nd set of lyrics.  WB held up to his righteous standards, bringing the funk and fantastic riff play by Red for another ten plus minute jam.  As a reminder of the heat outside and fire onstage, Velvet Underground’s “Cool It Down” graced us with its presence, taking many a fan back to Vegas ‘98’s Halloween show.  “Tweezer” showed up with back to back shows, giving the Hater Phans something to complain about and the Lover Phans another reason to keep their bodies spinning. Clocking in at over eleven and a half minutes, the jam contained some soulful, deep digging melodic tunes that left planet Earth with a real slow outtro. “Tela” did her part to Keep Gamehendge Alive.  First set would end with a Cliff Bar and some cold green tea with “Stealing Time From A Faulty Plan”.  First set witnessed eight out of twelve songs appearing for the first time in 2012, as well as a pause between every song. 

The sun had finally set and the lights went out, beginning the second set with “Mike’s Song”, a common second set tune used to open so many doors and some of Phish’s most beloved moments in history.  This one held its own, transitioning down that hard crunching downward spiral right into …”McGrupp & Watchful Hosemasters”…what? This isn’t your typical segue out of Mike’s, happening only three times, but nothing about this show was typical.  “McGrupp” allowed Page to shine as he traded some licks back and forth with Trey and Mike.  The merger was cut short when a weird transition occurred, taking only a minute to get “Back On The Train”, as well as a minute for the crowd to join too. Phish made up for it with a trippy jam through space, going type 2 with “No Quarter’esque” sounds and “Psycho Killer” teases.  The beginning of true Phishiness was starting.  Fishman’s favorite tune, “Hold Your Head Up” would soon segue and then stop as Jon would leave the drum kit, approach front center and have some fun with the crowd.  Trey asks Fish to sing “Sexual Healing” but he’s forgotten the lyrics.  Page reminds Fish that he “could just tuck”, he obliges and begins Pink Floyd’s “Bike”, complete with vacuum, Trey on drums, full band introduction and a self introduction as “Henrietta”.  “Bike” marked another Deer Creek ’98 return.  “Hold Your Head Up” rolled back in with Trey still on drums then accompanied by Jon for a duel effort.  Fishman returned to the guitar as Mike Gordon starts “Weekapaug Groove”, while Trey stayed on the drum kit.  Fishman makes a laughing attempt at nailing down Trey’s intro part of “Weekapaug” and then tells the crowd that he “thinks the band is better this way”.  It truly is experiences like this that keep the band alive and the crowd returning.  “Weekapaug” finishes strong as “Caspian” and bathroom breaks begin.  “Waves” erupted for the first time in 2012, providing some expressive listening and trippy bass lines from Gordon, setting the stage for a welcomed “Bug”.  Some always guess “Maze”, some always guess “David Bowie”, either way, when Fishman starts that high hat riff, you know it’s going to be the tops.  Bowie got the nod from Trey and his ferocious shredding closed out the second set.

When encore time rolls around, Trey and Page brought tender voice to “Show of Life”.  Perhaps, in spite of it cooling down, the boys ignited the dancing fire with a visit to the expected “Tweeprise”, nailing it to a T for the last few minutes of the show.

Post show would unveil a thriving, lively lot scene holding anything and everything that could be expected.  With the following Alpine Valley shows nixing vending of any kind, those on Shakedown were offering up serious deals.  Worthy of mention were the poster artists, of the “phanart” variety, that were stirring around.  Otto, Tripp, and Isadora, to name a few, were present, selling their creations.  Masthay’s piece sold well too.  A lot of this was due in part to the fans’ general disapproval of what came from the official artist, Brosmind.  A piece of poster paper, covered in corn kernels with the word “Phish” splattered across it, just simply didn’t have the pop to please the majority of a very tough crowd.  Likewise, your basic grilled cheese isn’t cutting it anymore.  Blurry eyed, starving fans wanted huge meat wraps with sliced ribeye, covered in mac n cheese or something from the pizza truck, sporting an actual brick oven.   

The 29th would gladly welcome a stout, hail filled storm that blew through around 5pm. Even though Phish postponed the opening of doors by one hour, bonuses were everywhere as the lot received a much needed bath and the temperature would drop ten degrees.  The yin and yang of Phish tour crept up again, as the lights of our ride were left on when we pulled in, draining the battery.  A helpful fan would give us a jump off the cables after the show, restoring a little karma.

Lights off and show time!  Mike comes out with crazy, tight, bright red pants or, in other words, typical fashion.  “Crowd Control” did not come with the crowd standing still and proved that it could open a show elsewhere than Merriweather. “Crowd Control” continued the trend, from the night before, of playing songs new for 2012 and with few repeats from earlier tour stops.  One of their oldest came next with “Dinner and a Movie”; nothing special, nothing terrible, just good Junta lovin’.  Lou Reed’s energy was tapped again when that slow, crunchy guitar riff, coupled with Page’s voice, began “Sweet Jane”, another Vegas Halloween ’98 gem showing up some 352 shows after its last time played.  “Sweet Jane” was a highlight in true bust out manner and the cause of much envy from those across Phishland that were not attending.

Signs at shows:  you love ‘em or you hate ’em.  Okay, they’re mostly hated.  There’s nothing quite like scoring a pit ticket and having to stand behind a neon orange sign for three hours, as the sign holder demands the band to play a song from 1991.  After “Sweet Jane”, Trey acknowledged this and “notified” sign holders that, as the band, they see them and they see them the first time and would they please put the signs down and let the rest of the crowd enjoy the show.  Page then dedicated “Limb By Limb” to the sign holders.  Next came “Possum”, which has become the national anthem of Phish, appearing at one third of their shows, 2nd in total times played behind “YEM”.  A fan wearing a “Play Mound, Dammit” shirt was all smiles when it started with its slow, off beat drum schedule and bluesy guitar riff.  “Life on Mars?” is one of those rare treats we’ve come to learn that Phish usually plays when something in the space exploration or science world has occurred.  At this time, the significance is unknown (Higgs-Boson particle work, perhaps?) but the funky David Bowie original was savored.  “The Mango Song” contains some offbeat lyrics, interpreted many a different way, but well loved by geniuses when it’s played.  Perhaps “Mango” was just a little appetizer in the middle of a Martian sandwich.  “BBFCFM” tore the house down with its punk rock roots and screaming yelling to boot, letting Kuroda go nuts with the lights in an attempt to keep up with the tempo.  Halfway through this atypical song, an infant in the crowd, attending her 7th show, had a full, epic meltdown on the lawn.  “Strange Design” is a beautiful song, hands down, as with just about any selection Page takes lead vocals on.  Fans relate to wanting to take a few companions along for the ride and gave full ovation at its ending.  “Birds of a Feather” flew in with its drum roll and rocked on with some quality playtime by Trey before going space again with its trip on “Haley’s Comet”.  Who doesn’t like spaghetti and who doesn’t like checking into Facebook at “Central part of town” when this is played?  George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” closed out the first set.  Trey nailed the guitar licks but struggled with some of those high pitched vocals.

Kudos to Deer Creek for providing several filtered water re-fill stations and misting tents throughout the venue.  These were a big hit throughout both nights but especially at set break.  The crowd used their time to flock to the beer tents, smelly grills, merchandise stand, Waterwheel booth, and a spot highlighted by yellow balloons.

Mike’s trippy bass intro leaves little mystery to what’s about to rage when “Down With Disease” starts the second set.  It had been a week, four shows, and a stop in Cincinnati since its last appearance, so it was only fitting to open the second set with it.  Total Type 2 and stretching way out into the fifteen minute range, with No Quarter-esque sounds, “Disease” transitioned into “Sand” quite nicely, keeping the dance party going with another selection of Mike’s bass dominance.  Just like the “Tweezer” from the night before, “Sand” ended with a slow, out of tune exit right into another tasty version of “Twist”.    Cincinnati was treated with a great version of this song and although Deer Creek’s version was much shorter, it WILL compete.  With moving letters all around, Mike and Page’s name was spoken several different ways.  Cutting it short, “Rift” grew out of “Twist” and told its story while Trey and Page battle their instruments and trade off vocals.  Keeping the second set seamless, Page went nuts on the keys to crack open the “Bathtub Gin”, which swept nicely into glow stick favorite, “Fluffhead”.  Nowhere to be found in 2.0, Fluff has been a regular in 3.0 and for good reason.  Fans simply eat up the complex, shape shifting, twirlathon.  Crowd Energy 11 happened next as one of Phish’s oldest and least played covers materialized from paper to sound when Blues Image’s “Ride Captain Ride” graced our presence.  Trey has made a career out of blending teases and even whole songs into “Run Like An Antelope” and worked his magic again, assuming the crowd didn’t get enough of the previous song.  Antelope’s legendary mid-song build up screams “rage” and fans love it.  This song caught a couple more of Mike’s dub step, electronica bass bombs, some more Twistful play on words, and a little pool time fun with a crowd/band “Marco/Polo” session to end the set.

The time was near for an encore and “Cavern” brought its Trey and Mike dance-along and could’ve fit the shoe well as a single encore, but some “Sanity” would take over.  Without question, few finer ways exist to close out this awesome two night run than a Jedi inspired “First Tube”.  Mike’s never ending bass lets Jon drop some serious beats and gives Page and Trey the chance to build each other up into a serious crowd pleasing finale.

With 21 songs making their 2012 debut, the feeling of being blessed to have caught these two shows was strong and felt by all upon leaving the venue.  Big thanks to the Phish.

More 28th Photos     More 29th Photos

Review by: Roger Patteson

Edited by: Rosemary A.W. Roberts

Photos by: Keith Griner

Copyright 2012 Jamsplus.com.  All Rights Reserved