Phish Tour 2021 – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny: Noblesville

Phish Tour 2021 – Setlist, Recap & The Skinny: Noblesville

Phish tour brought the band back to Noblesville, Indiana for the first time since Summer Tour 2016. Friday’s opening night of a three-show run featured an inspired first set and a second set consisting of a 27-minute “Blaze On” that was soon followed by a 24-minute “Simple.”

A week and a half into their first full tour since December of 2019, and Phish seems to be unstoppable. Superlative shows (Alpharetta night two) and sets (Nashville night two, set two) have featured a bevy of +20-minute jams, including the longest ever “Carini” in Oak Mountain, Alpharetta’s first night “Chalk Dust Torture,” and a “Tweezer” on a second night that rivals its MSG, Tahoe, and Magnaball brothers.

Some old classics have been re-envisioned (Nashville’s “Space Gin”) and new tunes have been added to the repertoire. Both “I Never Needed You Like This Before” and “Evolve” were conceived during quarantine, recorded by guitarist Trey Anastasio, and debuted with his various pandemic projects (including “The Beacon Jams,” a three-night solo run at SPAC, and live streams from his apartment) before finding their way to the Phish stage. Bassist Mike Gordon debuted his latest tune, “Mull,” the first night in Nashville.

The band is dialed in, and they are clearly enjoying themselves. After a six-show run of that magnitude, perhaps we now have an answer to the question that the geeks online have been fiercely debating for at least a year: is this “Phish 4.0?” Southern fans have more than enough evidence to declare a new era, but it’s time for the Midwest to reach their own verdict, and where better to do so than at the legendary amphitheater-in-the-corn known simply as, “Deer Creek.”

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The three-night run was kicked off with a detonation of cheers and applause, as it was the first show of the tour for many. A second detonation followed, as the blistering metal chords of the opening “Carini” set a proper tone for the barrage that was to come. The dark tune quickly shifted to a major key and Trey guided his sunny solo to a quick peak.

“Wolfman’s Brother” found Page McConnell moving from a robotic synth-funk to spacey piano, while Gordon’s distorted bass bombs peppered the jam. A vivid tension-and-release whipped the crowd into a frenzy, and after the second of many extended ovations, the third jam vehicle of the night was taken for a spin. “Sand” rolled along at a similar danceable pace to its predecessors, guided by drummer Jon Fishman, who’s been relentless in the pocket this tour. A series of glistening guitar loops slowly built to a peak of signature sustain, and the third of three roughly 10-minute mini-jams came to a breathless end.

Trey dedicated “Lawn Boy” to the seemingly millions of fans treading upon the moist green organic before Page crooned the classic. A spirited shimmy through Kasvot Växt’s “We Are Come to Outlive Our Brains” followed. “Tube” got taken for a bit more of a ride than during its previous performance in Arkansas, and the subsequent “Nellie Kane” gave fans their first taste of bluegrass for the summer.

The band then presented three consecutive tracks from the same studio album: the melodic “Horn,” the eponymous “Rift,” and “The Wedge” which bobbed and glided to triumphant fruition. “Walls of the Cave” has become a go-to first set closer, due in part to its thrashing rock ‘n’ roll outro, and the 17th consecutive version in that setlist slot seemed to squeeze every last ounce of vigor from the frame (along with a spattering of greasy “Goin’ Out West” teases from Trey) before the lights came up.

Read on after The Skinny for the rest of the recap and more.

The Skinny

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The Setlist

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The Venue

Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center [See upcoming shows]


23 shows — 06/19/1995, 08/12/1996, 08/13/1996, 08/10/1997, 08/11/1997, 08/02/1998, 08/03/1998, 07/25/1999, 07/26/1999, 07/10/2000, 07/11/2000, 07/12/2000, 07/21/2003, 07/22/2003, 07/23/2003, 06/23/2004, 06/24/2004, 06/19/2009, 08/12/2010, 08/13/2010, 06/28/2012, 06/29/2012, 06/26/2016

The Music

11 songs / 7:55 pm to 9:21 pm (86 minutes)

9 songs / 9:51 pm to 11:31 pm (100 minutes)

20 songs / 19 originals / 1 cover


9.1 [Gap chart]


Lawn Boy, We Are Come To Outlive Our Brains, Nellie Cane, Horn, Wilson, Sanity

Sanity – LTP 06/23/2019 (39 Show Gap)

Blaze On – 27:47

Nellie Kane – 2:56

Lawn Boy – 1, Rift – 3, Hoist – 1, The Story of the Ghost – 1, Farmhouse – 1, Round Room – 1, Big Boat – 1, Kasvot Växt – 2, Misc. – 8, Covers – 1

The Rest

81° and Sunny at Showtime

Koa 4

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After the standard “15-minute” break for rest and refreshment, the lights dimmed and “AC/DC Bag” made its second appearance of the summer. A simple and straightforward reading of the Gamehendge classic gave way to “Blaze On,” which served as a launchpad for the first of two deep explorations into the musical unknown. The life-affirming lyrics of the pop-rock ditty came and went, and the tune slunk into psychedelic territory amidst pulsing guitar distortion. A circus of light from Chris Kuroda’s heavily heralded new rig blazed the trail, and Trey found a series of happy little riffs that scampered playfully atop Mike and Fish’s heavy rhythmic stomp. The well-lit melodic passageway wandered amidst shimmering euphoria and swampy morass, and after a rapid tempo change, the band reached an abundant and oh-so-Phishy peak. At 27-minutes, this became the longest version of “Blaze On” to date.

After another deluge of boisterous praise from the elated audience and a turbulent take on “Wilson,” an all-to-familiar guitar riff welcomed “Simple” to the second set. The celebratory anthem established a pleasant ebb and flow on the main theme, but then darkness washed over the jam. Spidery guitar meanderings crawled amidst the malevolent screams of Page’s synth, while Kuroda’s piercing geometries complimented Fish’s rumbling tom-toms. Akin to a horror-movie soundtrack, the ink-black dissonance filled every nook and cranny of the venue. A massive bass bomb uncovered a somehow even more terrifying chasm of heavy metal cacophony, filled with peril. And just as they’d reached the point of no return, a reprise of the “Simple” theme prompted a joyous sing-along and a massive finish.

The two unforgettable jams that defined the second set left just enough time for a patient Type-I “Harry Hood,” on the 25th anniversary of the very first Hood chant (Red Rocks 1996), followed by the second-ever “I Never Needed You Like This Before,” to close out the set. Seemingly as a nod to the madness earlier in the evening, “Sanity” kicked off the three-long encore, followed by a brief but focused “Limb by Limb” and a fist-pumping “Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S.”

Another legendary Deer Creek show in the books, with two more to go. Webcasts can be purchased through

Phish From The Road Photos