Phish performed their standout “Moby Dick” set at Deer Creek on this date in 2000. Falling toward the tail end of their Summer Tour 2000, the performance served as the second night of a three-night run in Noblesville, Indiana. The band delighted during the Tuesday showcase, offering up their second-ever “Chalk Dust Torture Reprise” as well as a jam-heavy second set built around Led Zeppelin’s “Moby Dick.”
The July 11, 2000 show was a barnburner by all accounts. While the second set gets the most attention from fans, Phish offered a high-octane performance from the show’s opening 10-minute “Ya Mar” onward. “The Moma Dance” detoured into a brief “Uncle Pen,” before the group offered up an all-time rendition of “Drowned.” With Mike Gordon and Jon Fishman leading the funky upbeat outro jam, Phish eventually built into a slowed-down “Chalk Dust Torture Reprise,” marking its second performance ever following its 1994 encore debut in Santa Monica, California.
The band used a series of stops in “Chalk Dust Torture Reprise” to build the energy of the tune, taking the number in a distinctly different direction than “Chalk Dust Torture.” However, the group eventually landed in a 10-minute rendition of the reprise’s namesake, with the combination serving as another highlight of the set. To close out set one, Phish offered up a final combination of “Theme From The Bottom” into “Cavern.”
The “Moby Dick” madness began during the second set, with the song appearing in one of the band’s setlist for the third time following performances in 1993 and 1997. The opening “2001” sported an extended jam, which transitioned into a blistering “Down With Disease” that housed the first appearance of the Led Zeppelin II track. From there, the band continued to weave the 1969 cover throughout the second set, with the band returning to “Moby Dick” following takes on “Runaway Jim,” “Back On The Train” (after which keyboardist Page McConnell asked the audience “Do you like ‘Moby Dick’?”) and “Harry Hood.”
While the band played “Hold Your Head Up,” Trey Anastasio introduced Fishman as “Russell Crowe,” joking that he was “just returning from his starring role in Gladiator.” Between sandwiching “Terrapin” and “Moby Dick” within “Hold Your Head Up,” Trey took over on drums while Fishman came front and center to play the vacuum during the “Hold Your Head Up” jam. A final “Character Zero” closed out the historic second set.
In returning for the encore, Phish cherrypicked the highlights from the set. The opening “First Tube” housed yet another taste of “Moby Dick,” using the Led Zeppelin number to transition into a final take on “Chalk Dust Torture Reprise.” With the band laughing during the faster-paced rendition, Trey took time to thank the crew and fans (“on behalf of Russell Crowe”) and give some sage advice to the crowd, “Have fun at the campground. … Don’t do anything we wouldn’t do.” After introducing the band as “the Phish from Vermont,” Trey’s banter continued, “If you haven’t had enough fun at the concert, don’t forget to buy the book and see the movie.”
Watch Phish’s July 11, 2000 show at Deer Creek below: