Deer Creek’s Demise

Ten Best Grateful Dead and Phish Shows at Deer Creek

B List

10. 6/24/04 Phish (Live Phish link)
9. 6/7/91 GD (the rest come from Sugarmegs)
8. 6/28/92 GD
7. 7/18/90 GD
6. 8/2/98 Phish
5. 7/15/89 GD
4. 8/12/96 Phish
3. 6/6/91 GD
2. 8/3/98 Phish
1. 7/25/99 Phish

Scotty left it off his list, but I’m a yuge fan of the 7/11/00 shenanigans from Deer Creek (the Chalk Dust reprise, Drowned and Moby Dick shit is craisins). But what was your favorite Deer Creek memories? Let us know…

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11 Responses

  1. keller said it best………

    I was there at Deer Creek back in 1995
    I think it was June maybe July
    But Jerry was still alive

    All the kids in that parking lot
    They tore that fence down
    And I blamed them
    For the second show getting cancelled.

    I really wanted to go
    I saved up all of my dough
    I didn’t go to any other shows
    And I got my tickets M.O.ed
    And I never missed a Deer Creek show
    From ’89 to ’95
    I was happy just to be alive
    On my yearly Indiana vacation

    But that was cut short by a bunch of jealous,
    party bashin’, buzz thrashin’, gate crashin’, stinky bastards

    And if you’re one of them
    And you hear this song

    Fuck you
    You cock sucking motherfucker

    Fuck You
    You cock sucking motherfucker

    Fuck You

  2. I think that #4 8/12/96 is probably going to win the battle of the Phish Deer Creek shows. Even before it was released as a LivePhish it was lauded as a top flight concert. I’m surprised you ranked, not one, but two Phish shows ahead of it. Could this be a case of “I had a great time so it was the best musically”?

  3. Scotty you’re clearly the man, but would appreciate some splainin’ here

    by the way check out my blog at where the friday encores are afterthoughts and trey is always happy and healthy….

  4. 7/25/99 and 8/3/98 don’t just have tight playing and great jams they have bustouts. In the case of 8/3/98 Rhinoceros was never played again and Ride Captain Ride was played twice in the next six years. 7/25/99 featured banter throughout the show, tbe once every twenty years version of Whipping Post and a setlist that just wouldn’t quit.

    8/12/96 – I actually put down the wrong show, I was refering to 8/13/96 which is the Live Phish show. I think it’s a good show but overrated. The first set is epic but the second set outside of the Mike’s is filler. I liked the mini acoustic sets at Red Rocks and the Ball better. What is your definition of a top flight concert? I look for setlist construction, energy, tightness, jams, and bustouts. 8/13/96 comes through on a few of those categories while the other two shows come through on all the categories.

  5. I think my favorite Deer Creek show was the third night of ’03, 7/23/2003.

    Scents (20 minute opener), Disease, Sneakin’ Sally and Antelope were all real good…

  6. i think deer creek 8/13/96 was my favorite div sky->tube->tela->maze one of my favorite openers, bag-mikes-lifeboy->paug was unbelievable, one of the best openers i saw topped by 10-31-96 sanity->hwy to hell->DWD->YEM

  7. What I loved the most was how everyone gathered at the campgrounds at night and partied like crazy and then during the day would make their way to the Temple for the evenings festivities and then go back to the campground, rinse and repeat. Like little villages in the corn fields.

    What a place. Really a home away from home.

    Phish ’95, my first time there, was great.

    The Rhinocerous, Ride Capt Ride show was great.

    My fav was probably:
    08-10-97 Deer Creek Music Center, Noblesville, IN
    1: Bathtub Gin-> Sparkle, Down With Disease, Dirt, Cars Trucks Buses, Billy Breathes, Split Open and Melt*, Bye Bye Foot, Ginseng Sullivan, Harry Hood
    2: Cities**-> Good Times Bad Times-> Rotation Jam#-> Rocko William, David Bowie^
    E: Cavern

  8. I was at the Dead Show that went haywire. More than that I was in the midst of it all. It was the summer of 1995 and I was 22 years old and even though I had waited in line for the entire night to get tickets. It was due to some new computer program’s confusion that most of us waiting were denied tickets to the Deer Creek shows. I had the money in my hand. I was not about to skip the show seeing as how I had tickets to St. Louis and planned to go to Chicago and I wasn’t about to miss the campground scene at Deer Creek. We had at least ten cars going on tour and I was along for the ride. Deer Creek was just on the itinerary. So when the day came we all piled in the back of Dave P.’s pick-up truck and hit the road.

    Two days later I was sitting in a crowd of thousands of people who also must have gotten confused about ticket purchase as we were all outside the show hoping to hear a few wisps of the music we all loved so much. Even thought there were so many people we had gotten a good spot in the front closest to the outside of the venue. I was there with my good friend Shane H. We were stoked to even be there. The show started and I settled down upon my blanket. The Grateful Dead had only played a couple of tunes and the vibe was good. People were dancing and smiling. As I looked on towards the hill that hid the show from non paying eyes and listened to the tunes float about on the wind, I watched as one young man ran up the hill in a weak attempt to distract the two guards that were there to stop thousands of people from walking up the hill to hear the music a little better, It was scary because we all watched as he ran in a desperate and lonely stride. He made it about half way to the fence before both security officers and their attack dogs (totally necessary) caught up with the unlucky individual. He was mauled. There had been talk all day of a rush on the gates but no hippie within a thousand miles could have seen what was to happen next. At the very moment that he was tackled people started to stand up and look on in shock and awe and then with one fail swoop arms went up as if in protest. There was the general shock of seeing someone taken down by German shepherds. Then there was a brief moment of silence which couldn’t have lasted more than a second and then all around cries of “Go now!” were heard across the grassy plain. I looked behind me and saw the remaining masses of people standing up and I grabbed my stuff for fear of losing it. Everyone started to run and I was no different. I started running away from the crowd, which just happened to point me in the direction of the venue. I was running for my life. As I ran up that hill the first thing I noticed was that it was a lot steeper than it looked, and the second thing I noticed was how tall that fence was as it approached. I couldn’t look back for fear that I would lose my momentum and fall back down the hill where I knew that the police were probably already moving in. I was oblivious to what actually was occurring behind me. I was just trying to avoid a bad scene that I was in the middle of. As I approached the fence it got even taller and by the time I reached it, it seemed to loom completely out of reach. I thought about going back. I looked behind me just once and there was some right behind me. My mind raced. My adrenalin was coursing though my blood stream. I made a leap, put one foot on the fence, one hand on top of it and I was in the show without damaging anything.

    When I jumped over that fence and landed on the freshly trimmed greenery of the lawn I was immediately greeted with smiles and hugs. The look in the people’s eyes when they saw me was one of amazement. I guess I was one of the first heads to pop over the fence that night, which might leave the blame on me but as you can see I had little choice. For the first time I had realized what happened. I was in the show. You better believe that my smile grew across my face faster than you can say Jerry. I didn’t feel bad. I felt good. I began my trek down through the lawn when I realized that I had a little bit of the good old green and a small pipe to smoke it with in my pocket. I started smoking with anyone who would take it and at a Dead show that is almost everybody. Everyone smiled upon my tale of the hill and the fence. People were genuinely happy with my situation. I had lost my friends but was at a show I felt like I deserved to be at. The feeling of euphoria would slowly wane throughout the show as we watched the fence come down one board at a time. It was a great show. They played everything I wanted to hear. Later did I come to find out the real meaning behind New Speedway Boogie was that it was a bad scene and Then even Mighty Quinn was about the monkey see monkey do mentality. All throughout the rest of the show it slowly got more and more packed until we could hardly dance. So many people had rushed in that the place was filled to capacity and the seams were busting. After the show it took us 45 minutes to get from the lawn to the front gate in a slow crawl inch by inch. Now you could really see the impact considering this walk usually took 10 minutes at the most. It was an amazing sight. Even after the show people were happy to hear that we had gotten in. I found out that my friend Shane had gotten in also. I talked to people and they didn’t seem to be upset at the time. Everyone wanted to hear the story and most said that if they had been in closer they would have ran just as I did. It was sad that they tore down the fence. It was sad that they cancelled the last show. If you had tickets to the second show I am sorry but I couldn’t have changed it. It happened. I had friends that had only those tickets and I felt bad. They got angry only after they heard that it was cancelled. Up to then they were happy people. I think that incident changed a lot of people’s opinions. I watched as our group of friends slowly broke up after that. Some of which I still haven’t talked to since. Some people say that that occasion was the beginning of the end for Jerry. Some say it pushed him over the edge. I still believe that his heroin addiction was the cause of his death and our addiction to the Dead helped kill the scene.

    I don’t meet many Deadheads anymore. I miss the scene. I miss the feeling of getting close to a show and seeing like-minded people in VW busses just living to enjoy life. I don’t regret jumping over that fence that night at all. It just happened and in the history of happenings it is one I will not forget.
    As far as Keller Williams song about us gate crashers, I think he just needs to put himself in our shoes and lighten up a bit. A lot of people had the same idea at the same time and had he been sitting where I was, he might have come out with a different opinion.

    ~Jon Griffin

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