both days of coventry

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please review the show, not the other reviews....

Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 11:39:34 -0400 From: KenneyCM Subject: Both Days at Coventry - A Letter to the band Dear Trey, Page, Mike and Fish: It has been more than a week since your last show in VT. I have listened to tales from fellow fans, read John Paluska‚^ņ^Ŕs statement, and was a first hand participant at the festival. Needless to say, it will take me longer than the 11 days that have passed to put into perspective what transpired at that venue. I feel it necessary to write this letter, and if it reaches any of you, that‚^ņ^Ŕs great; if not, I at least had the opportunity to get this weight off of my chest. This letter is long, so I will start with where Coventry began for me, which was Camden, NJ. My husband and I thought it very important to go to the Camden show. We are both born and bred NJ residents, and decided to see one of our favorite band‚^ņ^Ŕs last area performances, even though we knew we were taking a risk of not making it to Coventry. The show was great. The ‚^ņ^‹Sneaking Sally‚^ņ^› and ‚^ņ^‹Rock and Roll‚^ņ^› Velvet Underground cover was absolutely amazing. We knew we would have to leave at encore to get a jump on the traffic, so at the end of second set we made our way to the door, and when we heard the first few notes of the Frankenstein double encore, we knew it was time to leave. Thank God my husband is intelligent because on our mad dash to the car, I was ready to hop on the NJ Turnpike and make the drive through CT, MA and VT. Instead, he planned a route taking I-87 through upstate NY, driving along the Canadian border and crossing the bridge over Lake Champlain. When I reminded him that the band repeatedly said that access to the concert would be from Route 91 only, he turned to me and said: ‚^ņ^‹Well, what if you live in northern Vermont or Canada? Plus what if we didn‚^ņ^Ŕt look at the website and read the band‚^ņ^Ŕs instructions?‚^ņ^› He was right, and by God, this was the smartest move we ever made. We left Camden, NJ at 11:45pm on Thursday and wound up in the parking lot/camping area at 1:30pm on Friday afternoon. The first person that we recognized was our friend named Smiley, who believe me, was far from smiling. He lives in nearby Burlington, and literally spent 33 hours getting into the venue. Because my husband and I have been to every Phish festival, including Sugarbush, we decided to walk down to the stage area for the traditional ‚^ņ^‹night before sound check.‚^ņ^› This is when we discovered that not only was the stage more than a mile away, but it was also across the street and down the block. Of course, security would not allow us to cross the road, so we hiked back (through an area that was NOT all that muddy, and could have supported camping) back to our campsite, which we did not pitch a tent due to the fact we were parked on concrete, and our tent leaks, and it started to rain again. (Little did we know, because of all the mud, this was a key spot.) By the time we got back to the car, we learned that we missed sound check, and it was broadcast over the radio. At least the both of us used the clean Porta-Potty‚^ņ^Ŕs down by the field because the rest of them were an atrocity and few in numbers. Due to exhaustion, we decided to sleep‚^ņ¶in the car‚^ņ¶basically sitting upright. Every friend and family member we ran into had the same horror story, and as Saturday afternoon approached, the tales of woe worsened. About four hours before the scheduled start of first set, an old friend approached. I happened to have burritos and offered her one. I was shocked when she immediately sat down on the ground and started devouring it. When I asked: ‚^ņ^‹Are you hungry?‚^ņ^› She replied: ‚^ņ^‹F&%$ yes! I got on line on Friday at like 2:00 in the morning, and just got here 15 minutes ago! I‚^ņ^Ŕm glad I didn‚^ņ^Ŕt listen to the band‚^ņ^Ŕs instructions and wait until the afternoon to leave.‚^ņ^› (Yes, the band once again lead their dedicated fans astray telling them to stay put to help with traffic.) I am amazed that a NASCAR event can bring in and park hundreds and thousands of people in a matter of hours, but within a 48-hour period, the hired parking companies were only able to get 60,000 people on to a 600 acre site. I don‚^ņ^Ŕt care if there was 25 inches of rain; there was no reason for this. We decided to start making our way to the stage area and as we were getting ready, turned on the radio to listen to the latest Phish news. This is when we heard fans with tickets were being turned away. I looked at my husband who simply proclaimed: ‚^ņ^‹I‚^ņ^Ŕd be going berserk right now if I was outside.‚^ņ^› The word ‚^ņ^‹berserk‚^ņ^› was an understatement, and this was apparent when we met up with our friend, Suzanne, who left her 2003 Volkswagen Jetta containing her food, camping supplies, and clothing on Route 91 and walked 15 miles into the show with a small backpack. We never saw our friend, Perry, but heard from others he actually walked 30 miles. I couldn‚^ņ^Ŕt help but think of all of the people who took time off of work, rented RVs, and purchased camping equipment and supplies only to wait for more than 15-48 hours to be turned away. (My friends, Margaret, John and their young son unfortunately were one of these victims.) We were confident Phish would blow our minds musically, thanking their fan base for enduring so much hardship. We were wrong. First and foremost, the sound system was so weak that if one was singing, they were drowning out the music. At previously festivals we remember enormous speakers hanging from huge chains, but they were not be seen at Coventry. Other than an effortless AC/DC Bag, Halley‚^ņ^Ŕs Comet, and Axila, the first night's show seemed like a complete bust. Trey‚^ņ^Ŕs egomania was apparent when he wasted a huge amount of time telling the story of the origin of David Bowie. Every other word out of his mouth was ‚^ņ^‹I‚^ņ^›. Hate to break it to you, Trey, but this was not your show. There are three other members in the band! The YEM would have been more enjoyable, but we had just heard it two nights before in Camden! We chalked up the lackluster performance to the band having respect for the fans who didn‚^ņ^Ŕt make it in. We were confident the following night would be much better. After an exhaustive walk through mud and muck back to the camping area, we decided to grab something to eat. The vendors, from their own pockets, paid for mulch to throw down on the soppy ground, and it seemed to do the trick. Apparently, Phish didn‚^ņ^Ŕt think it necessary to drop money on gravel or mulch or hay for their areas of the festival, and the land stayed swamp. Sure in various spots some mulch was put down, but nowhere near enough to support all of the fans making their way around the grounds. Of course, completely beat again, my husband and I spent the night passed out sitting up in our Honda Civic. When we awoke Sunday morning we were afraid we missedthe ‚^ņ^‹unannounced alternative set‚^ņ^› Phish usually plays at festivals (i.e. Tower set, Flatbed Truck set, etc.) We still have no idea if this set happened or not. Out of approximately the 20 people we spoke with, nobody physically saw this set although 50% of us heard the rumor that you played on that weird wagon stage thing in the middle of the Commons. However, at the time I was more concerned with my ankles that were swollen to the size of grapefruits, probably caused by being in an upright position for days, unable to lay down anywhere. The final day of the festival, the sun was shining and my husband put down blankets on the concrete in the morning for me to lay on, and sure enough, some of the damage to my ankles was healed. Once again, we gave Phish the benefit of the doubt and expected an amazing show. We were mistaken. The best song out of all of the sets was Glide, but nobody in the area we were standing knew this due to the fact that some idiot walked a nitrous tank into the concert area and was selling balloons during the show. Thankfully, my crew and some other agitated people let the guy know to take it out to the parking lot and he conformed. Once again, Trey‚^ņ^Ŕs ego was blazing in full force, talking up a storm telling the fans all about him and how he felt. I was incredibly saddened to see Page get so emotional during Velvet Sea, and then got angry when Trey commented on it, while starting to cry. Trey, it was more than apparent you were trying to ‚^ņ^‹outcry‚^ņ^› Page because hey, after all, as I stated earlier in this letter, you‚^ņ^Ŕre the only band member right? It would be a shame for any other member to have attention drawn to them without you making some sort of statement or declaration, huh? You just couldn't let it go. Then, the shock of my life came. I will never forget Trey saying: ‚^ņ^‹We have to thank one more person‚^ņ^› and then the band busting into Wilson. Wilson? That‚^ņ^Ŕs whom there is to thank? Not the Lizards? Not Colonel Forbin? Not Icculus, but Wilson? Talk about adding insult to injury! Then, you decided to end your musical career by playing Slave to the Traffic Light. That was the best you could do? Encore consisted of one song, The Curtain With. Amazingly, this is what tour was opened with in Brooklyn, NY and there, it was a thousand times better. Once again, Trey‚^ņ^Ŕs ego reared it‚^ņ^Ŕs ugly head because apparently, the ‚^ņ^‹With‚^ņ^› part was in the wrong key and he requested the band start it over again. It was more than evident when you took the final bow that tensions between all of you were so high, it was creepy. Lastly, Trey, I really do not appreciate you mocking the same people who brought the band fortune and fame. You saying that a symphony orchestra was going to come out and play Gamehendge was not even remotely amusing. It was a slap in the face. A lot of fans, including me, were expecting it. As a matter of fact, most of us were hoping Phish would play their entire musical repertoire from A-Z. Instead we got ‚^ņ^‹What Phish Played this Summer ‚^ņ^” A Review.‚^ņ^› Almost everything you performed was recycled. I guess it doesn‚^ņ^Ŕt matter anymore because it‚^ņ^Ŕs over. Whatever magic you once had, is gone. It‚^ņ^Ŕs heartbreaking to say the least, but such is life. Let me end this on a positive note by saying the hundred plus shows I‚^ņ^Ŕve attended over the years were the time of my life. I will always remember the Madison Square Garden Colonel Forbin on New Year's Eve, Long Island's Destiny Unbound, Philadelphia's Harpua and IT‚^ņ^Ŕs Dog Log as the best musical experiences of my existence. I will look back on my trip to the Gorge in Washington State during the summer of 1996 as the hottest time of my life (literally and figuratively). I have met some wonderful friends, and gained an incredible amount of life experience. At 30 years old, I do not feel sorry for me, but instead for the 20 year-old who just discovered you, and will never have the chance to explore with you. Thank you for the music and the memories. I am sorry it ended so horribly wrong‚^ņ¶for all of us. I wish you health, happiness and love and most importantly, peace. I hope all of you find whatever it is you‚^ņ^Ŕre looking for. Sincerely,Christina Kenney
Date: Sun, 29 Aug 2004 22:16:31 -0700 (PDT) From: LYNN ADAMS Subject: Phish show reviewview I know everyone has different tastes, and different likings, but the fact is we all share the common love for phish.† Im not gonna sit here and review the sets and complain or compliment about the show, Im just gonna say i had a great time, Coming from a newer generation phish lover (Not Phishead) I want to say thanks to everyone who made this a great time, I missed the first couple songs due to traffic, But thanks to a great man looking for tickets who informed me about an alternate route to get to the show, traffic free, we not only got there but also scored tickets for our van-full for face value, Now despite the music being good or bad, I had a great time.†And weather you want to admit it or not we all know its not just the songs they play or they way they play em, its the whole environment of going to a phish show that also plays a huge role and keeps the fans coming.†I love phish and i know you all do to, This was my last show due to the fact that we werent able to get†into coventry, But thank you to all you fellow fans who made the 30 hours in traffic enjoyable,†and One last thanks to you all who remain loyal... † † Connecticut...
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2004 13:55:54 -0700 (PDT) From: Dylan Avery Subject: Coventry Blah blah blah, they didn't play this, Trey fucked up that. Whatever. Coventry was by far†the most amazing and beautiful musical performance I have and will ever see in my entire life.† Page crying brought the whole thing home to me: this is Phish's last show ever.† And I couldn't have asked for anything more. -Dylan
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 10:06:17 -0400 From: John Tringle Subject: Coventry review Something is horribly wrong and I'm picking it up when I talk to people but I'm not picking it up from posts or from news articles. I think something went horribly wrong and you just can't go out like that. Let's go over some things here: 1. Trey tells everyone to delay their trip to Coventry because of the weather. The website does the same. But in reality that was not the right thing to do. The right thing to do would have been to reschedule the event. When you have record rains and land that hasn't been that bad in generations, you should reschedule. 2. You announce that there would be ONE entrance. I heard people got in other ways but how could you not allow EVERY entrance possible, with TRIPLE the number of check-in gates? I would pay 10% more per ticket to not spend 24 hours on a highway. How is it that NASCAR handle 200,000 people? 3. You and the Bunny radio station beg us not to "cut" even though many people were simply passed out in their cars. I personally saw a couple of accidents and other unsafe situations. In reality, it was these very cutters who got in! They were rewarded with a show while my family and I got turned around on a highway. 4. You still played!!!??!?!?! The setlist was average at BEST, the chemistry was odd, there were some bizzare comments made and very weird and uncomfortable moments between band members. Now I'm thinking I'm glad I didn't hike 15 miles to sit in a swamp! Most veterans tell me I should be more happy to get my money back. 5. I believe Mike, during his on-air apology, said they were "brainstorming" about what to do.........seems like you made the wrong decision, or, one band member maybe made the decision for all of you? So, after 12 years and many thousands of dollars, my last vision of PHISH is a line of police officers with rifles staring at me after 24 hours on a highway. Something is horribly horribly wrong. You can not go out like that. Thank you John Tringle
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 02:20:12 -0400 From: Jennifer Flanagan Subject: Phish show review conventry Coventry 2004, kellie mc in DE † What happen to the tours that it was rear to hear repeats? In a 20 show tour.† Besides the shows were poorly played( by Trey), there was no soul there. Didn't any one else notice it was like seeing the "trey Band" same show every night just different venue. News fast the conventry weekend replayed 21 songs they alright played in the past week, am sorry the past 5 days. What happen to the old days. What happen even in the past few months.† There were so many sick shows in the past year, Salt Lake 03, pittsburg 03, Albany 03( that Wolfsman, o my god), and the entire Maimi run(especially 12/29). I've seen close to or even over 100 shows I ve never left diappointed, maybe long for a certain song, or a funkyer show but never dissappointed.† That how I felt after coventry.† Anyone who can say those shows were good either love them to much and do not want to admit it, were either to fuck up to know better, or just don't fucken know what phish is... The best moments of my life are spead out all over the country at different venues, I am forever thankful for all and there are many.† But this for for me was not a bittersweet ending, it just left a bitter taste in my month. † I still do thank Phish for some of the best days† and some of the best friends in my life...
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 00:46:08 -0400 From: Jennifer Flanagan Subject: Phish show review I have have seen over 100 shows since 97 and never have never felt so let down like I did after Coventry.† In past tours(full tours) repeats were not often when they did occur, but tis last run was sad.† Mike's, Hydrogen, weeka. in that same order twice in one week, not to count the endless number of songs we heard that week repeated(Friday, 7 below, piper, wolfmans(which should have been retired after that sick version in Albany '03, ect...)).† Phish is mine(and many others) band, but Coventry left me hurt and very dissappoint!† I really can complain I saw so of the most incredible live music my generation could witness, I will never forget shows like Vernon Downs 98, spectum 97, Albany03.† I love everything phish is. For me this is not a bittersweet ending, it's just an ending, that left me with a bitter taste. Kellie
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 18:55:18 -0700 From: St. Michael Subject: Phish show review-you've posted all the others......post this one Dear crybaby pussies that say the show sucked........ † Hey man, guess what?, YOU SUCK BITCH † not one of you naysayin bitches has enough....... † 1.disipline 2.perseverance 3.vision 4.ability 5.creativity 6.education † to even hold Trey's ballsack, let alone his guitar....... † he's over your fuckin FLUFFHEADS, † he's over your fuckin OLD SCHOOL BULLSHIT † If he's on drugs, how in the fuck is he writing better shit with his band? † TREY BAND 2002 blows the fuck out of any hippie jamband bullshit you might THINK is brilliant............ † you fucks have the pleasure to get high to genius musicians, then have the gall to demonize them when they don't live up to your AVERAGE expectations † you can't figure it out STUPID? then allow me to spell it out † THEY TRASHED THE JOINT!!!!!!!!! † that's right, you heard me. TREY destroyed everything they had created over 20 years, and for good reason. † HE DOESN'T †WANT TO LOOK BACK, EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! † NOW THERE IS NOTHING TO LOOK BACK TO, IT'S ALL SMOLDERED RUBBLE.† I was smiling the whole time, wondering if they could kill the beast,† it was tough, even the devil has a heart † THAT WAS THE POINT YOU STUPID, UNREALISTIC, DISILLUSONED PHANS. † it was the last show...............for a reason † more than half of you fucks will just go to some other "KIND" band and the journey(hahaha) begins again sorry lameducks, I need genius to float my boat, not just any band wearin ty dye and playing bluegrass or funk in the wilderness somewhere wearing sandals † I LOVE PHISH 83-04- beat it on down the line. bitches! † C.S.-42 shows 95-04
Date: Sat, 28 Aug 2004 19:10:00 -0500 From: Bryan Harris Subject: Coventry Broke my Heart...a review of both nights As most folks on the reviews scene...I'm a long time Phish fan. My wife and I fell in love listening to Phish, and they have had indescribable impact on my appreciation for the power of music. Specifically, the transcendantal ability of a tight Phish set is godlike...when Phish is on they have the ability to harness a collective energy that, if it could ever be replicated or channeled to a specific cause, could do great good for humankind. So it goes without saying that I was bouncing before the festival. It had been several years since we had seen the boys and I could not sleep a few nights waiting for that first riff and the two nights of energy that awaited us. Forgetting the whole getting in bit, the shows were heart-wrenching. It pains me to type it...but poor Trey. I pray at night that he will get help, or he's destined to become a stereotpyical drugged out musician whose career and ability was suffocated early by a lack of self control. Which begs a more philosophical question....do we have any right to pity Trey...or feel angry or disappointed? As the cover band Phixband noted on their site right after the shows...Phish owes me nothing, and they owe YOU nothing. I am more ALIVE because Phish did their thing, and we all have profound memories and a belief in the power of vitality because of their magic. But I also can't help but think...is their an innate responsibilty to stay TRUE to a gift? Phish is comprised of indiviually talented musicians...but the sum is surely greater than the individual parts. If Trey is the primary reason for the breakup and melt down, then should we place a blame on him for not taking this magic all the way? Is the power of Phish music, and what it means to so many people, (and the responsibility of that power) greater than any one band member? Do we have a right to be mad at Trey? No I don't. Because why it breaks my heart that Trey died on stage the way he did in Coventry, and the band ended in a way that only fractionally represted what they were, Trey has shown us all that although the band has incredible powers...they are still human. Prone to bad decisions and personal weaknesses, some tragic just like the poor decisions in our own lives can be. I still love Trey and the boys. Long live Phish...in our hearts and in our memories... I pray for Trey's recovery. Bryan Harris
Date: Fri, 27 Aug 2004 18:52:53 -0700 (PDT) From: Dave Marley Subject: Phish show review - coventry both nites first of all, the most satisfying thing about the suicide of phish is never again having to slog thru the "community" to get to the music. coventry was the worst festival i've ever attended, truly the bloated carcass of phish jumping the shark, but the music was sporadically totally brilliant. i haven't listened to much of this since, and all these reviews are far too long, so i'm just gonna pick out my best moments (and i don't care about the composed sections; of course they destroy them, that's a large reason why they broke up!): walls was a great opener on paper, but it was too quiet a song to start the weekend to....their stacks needed to be much louder.... jim thru yem was great free jam was very cool drowned jam - my favorite "rock jam" of the weekend hood - VERY cool when the band let the audience sing the refrain reba's gorgeous in a giant field chalkdust ruled as usual "sexy bump" was funny taste was super energetic, it really felt like the last one dwd - of course.... velvet sea - heartbreaking glide - awful & more heartbreak honestly velvet sea thru "we're gonna blow off some steam" was the most vulnerable i've ever seen ANY artist on any stage....they always find some new way to surprise and impress me melt > ghost was just wicked.....weird and alive 7 below was very good with an almost-bisco feel to the jam with lyric-shouting simple always rules, although the only thing they could remember was in a band was skyscrapers..... piper was as hard as i've ever seen it played bruno (twiddle those knobs!) and dicky were fun wilson was super-energetic ("heavy metal now!") and revealing slave - gorgeous closer curtain with - didn't quite work for me as the encore, probably since they were so jittery with it...... i loved trey talking thru the whole weekend, he was talking all tour and it was refreshing....reminded me of tapes of long ago... glad i went, see you next year dave marley south jersey
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2004 20:57:59 -0400 From: Ricky Chiarenza Subject: Coventry 8.14-8.15 review Hey all- I've been a phish fan since late 97- went to Cypress- IT - and coventry obviously- I just want to say ( and i hope Trey reads this, deeply) and also ask- why couldnt you get your act together for your last show EVER - dont do drugs- dont drink- dont look like a f#cking Zombie- ( with those wide eyes and a dropped jaw)And play what your fans wanted to hear- and WELL! Trey Anastasio is no longer a good musician in my opinion- to the rest of the boys- thanks for tryin to cover up Treys sloppiness.... It obviously didnt work all that well as you can tell from reading most reviews. After Cypress, they might as well have called the rest of their touring experience "downhill from here." Anyone who can say that phish was playing well, well- actually Trey,mostly, is in denial i think. Thank god they ended when they did because I honestly would have never gone to see a show again anyway. I know there are many Trey-haters or people that aren't too fond of him now; sadly, i've fallen into that category. People come for the music TREY, remember that next time( with your fake wanna be jerry-band)- not see your beliggerent ass conducting the band in a shitty manner- only to continuously screw up a countless number of times. I could say a lot more about the preparation for the fiasco in coventry but i'll hold off. It's saddening to see your favorite band plunder into the ground. Mikey, Page, Fishman > hope to see you soon rockin out with some other real musicians- ...Trey........... Oh Trey. I'm sure you can think of somehting i'd say to you- so it doesnt need to be said- And to all the people Trey has under a spell- Have fun paying $50 + for his shitbox tour coming up to a city near you!!-- Never In My Life- Ricky- from Rochester, NY
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2004 23:07:58 -0400 From: "M@" Subject: Phish show review Coventry Review (both days) Typed this review a few times and then deleted it all. We had a great time and I was enthralled by the music both nights as I always am at a Phish concert. Thank you to the band and the people who put this show on. I got what I paid for, a weekend full of memories and music. I've been reading a lot of reviews in a lot of different places online about this show. Here's my review: "Memorable, very very memorable." M@
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2004 16:47:59 -0500 From: Jon Hansen my coventry weekend The best and most memorable part of my coventry weekend was when I purchased a digeradoo from a friendly vendor. It even came with a video in which a wise, white haired hippie will eventually teach me how to circle breath so I can produce mellow sounding mediating tunes which are pleasing to the ear. Unfortunately, the only thing that I got in me ears this weekend was pure shit. Seriously, if I hadn't bought my digeradoo, it would have been total waste of a weekend. And like my folks say, you hate to waste a summer weekend. As if the cock deep mud wasn't enough to deal with, all 68,000 people in attendance had to put up with a performance that wasn't worth two shits. Trey sounded like ass, fucking up every song like you wouldn't believe. The Wedge was one that particularly stands out in my mind. Oh wait, that wasn't The Wedge he played, it was a bunch of shit. Tweeezer and Tube were two songs I was hoping to hear, but now I'm glad they didn't play them, sparing them from the debauchery that was Coventry. At least those songs were retired with dignity, not shame and terrible terribleness. And if people who were there don't agree with that, then we have on our hands a lot of people with serious issues that need addressing. And to top it all off, how about that pause/keychange during the last song. That was real swell. I enjoyed that about as much as packing a fatty bowl at the tent and not even getting to hit it because there's so many people mooching of me. I just wanted to get blown out so I didn't have to deal with shitty weather, shitty music, and shitty Trey. So thank God for the digeradoo, because had it not been for that, I would be loathing this weekend for the rest of my life. I'm not that good yet, but me on digeradoo is a lot better than Trey on guitar. So I will drown out my sorrows on it now, trying to forget the woes of Coventry past. Big ups. tyler e.
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 12:04:49 -0400 From: Maria Subject: Phish show review August 20th, 2004 I survived...yeah!!! It always comes down to the experience of the awakening, YOU GUYS always seem to jump start that for me....My body can't help but move to your vibe! THANKS FOR DROPPING THE BEAT...nice huh? Had to hood it out, green style like....understand????? In love and light, maria
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 21:21:55 -0700 (PDT) From: Daniel Raznick Subject: Phish show review: Coventry Coventry † I'm reminded of some words of Italian soccer star Roberto Baggio.† He stated some years back something to the effect of this:† "When you win, everyone loves you.† But when you lose, everyone hates you.† At that time, you practice really hard, because when you win again, everyone embraces you." † Trey, you lost today.† You're sure to win tomorrow.† Coventry will be like a bad memory in one sense.† The next victory will make Coventry a neccessary step in your personal evolution, an unmistakable, neccessary step that leads you to greater and better things.† † Thank you for all of your efforts. † Daniel
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 11:57:58 -0400 From: Todd Amodeo Subject: Coventry review (both days) I'm slowing crawling out of my psychological shell... Waking up....coming back to life... Shaking the last of the mud off my shoes and thoughts. Coventry (and in particular Sunday night) was one of the most profoundly emotional and mystical experiences of my life. I've had some deep, deep experiences down in the trenches at Grateful Dead shows, but this was just something completely different. Those four boys dug DEEP into their souls, tore their hearts out and showed them to all of us to share in their joy and pain. No band in the history of Rock & Roll has ever had such a deep communal ritual with their audience as happened here. It's just plain unprecedented. Did they miss a few notes on David Bowie, Guyute, etc? My god, yes. Would it have been nice to hear a Tweezer or Divided Sky or Destiny Unbound? Hell yea! Do I have ANY complaints? After what I saw and experienced...NO WAY. The whole weekend to me felt like the Lord of the Rings Quest. Through the traffic and the mud and the no more cars announcement and the chaos and confusion. And then we reached the pinnacle moment at Mount Doom. Covered in dirt and tears and sadness... Surrounded by the mountains...the Sky bursting with energy and fire....The Explosions. I imagine Samwise Gamgee waking up the day after the event in Mount Doom...Still in shock and awe. Was it all just a dream? Plain and simple...These four boys and this community changed my life forever. I thought I had a picture of the realm of possibilities. Here's the little box that my reality fits in. And they just exploded it through the years and saved their greatest mind-f*ck for their final night. This show wasn't a good show. It wasn't a bad show. It was just beyond anything I've ever experienced. And I am so unbelievable grateful and appreciative for everything I saw and experienced. On top of all this there was...the stunning Vermont Northern Kingdom landscape, all the kind local people waving and helping (thanks for the rides in the pickup trucks!) and all of the special, beautiful Phish-head friends that I met along the way. When Jerry Garcia died, Mickey Hart said something at the memorial like...Ok...now we've all experienced this beautiful thing together. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH IT? You need to continue this groove... So I hope and pray (and know) that Phish will continue to inspire and resonate. And I hope that each of you that has been touched by them will take it up a notch (or ten) in your own lives. Now...What are YOU going to do with it? Thanks for listening, -todd amodeo
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 12:52:28 -0700 From: Jed Sharpe Subject: Phish show review I always wait to add my two cents simply to see what everyone else saw. The great thing about these shows are the personal experience they provoke. I don't like telling someone I didn't like any certain part of a show because to that particular person it may have been a mind bending freeing experience, a combination of factors at the right moment that takes them to the place they were hoping to go. You don't want to rain on anyone's parade. However, I feel compelled to write. Why? Let me tell you. I remember seeing the Grateful Dead's last tour, and in particular their last show and feeling like I had enetered some cult. I would watch Jerry (God Love Him) totally flop and fall apart on stage reapeatedly. It was sad to see. The worst part were the throngs of people who would go nuts for it. After ward the same people would tell you how much Jerry rocked. BUllSHIT people. Jerry was sick and doing heroin and he didn't want to be there anymore. He died not long afterward. Phish is not a cult. We're a family yes, but not a cult. That is to say, convincing yourself that Phish played the kind of show they like to play is narrow minded and really, kind of scary. I keep seeing these reviews where people are telling me how great certain songs were that last set. I've even heard a few "best evers". Are you mad? Have you lived in a box devoid of music? I'm glad I was there. I would do it again, but the boys (one in particular) really played poorly. You can love Phish but you don't have to lie to yourself to prove it. Phish has changed our lives, no Phish has made us better people. Phish rocked like no band has ever rocked and changed the music, and yes, Phish really sucked eggs their last show.
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 11:54:04 -0400 From: Matthew_J_Cardullo Subject: PHish review-Coventry plus. Coventry was one of the greatest concert *experiences* of my life. † †My perspective is a lot different from most of the reviews of read so far. †This is a rather lengthy story, so if you want you could simply skip to the last paragraph for the Coventry review. † I saw the majority of my shows in 94/95, thought that that was the golden age of Phish and the standard to which Phish should be held to. †I went to each of the festival shows through the years, with the exception of Big Cypress. I enjoyed most of 97, some of 98, less of 99, etc. †In fact, when Trey started touring with TAB, and Phish moved to the *ambient* style of jamming, I pretty much just stopped listening. †The shows that I saw in 99 and 2000 didn't have that many highlights, although there were a few here and there. †When they announced the hiatus, I thought it would be good for them, maybe revitalize them. I saw TAB, and didn't really enjoy it. †I saw Vida Blue and loved it. †After they came back, †I went down to Hampton to catch the Jan 03 shows, and had a great time. I think it was more about the emotion that they were back than the actual quality of their playing. †Trey had a few flubs. †I didn't care. †They had to restart YEM. †I didn't care. †I thought it was great that they were not satisfied with playing it wrong, and started it again. I thought they were back. †I didn't enjoy Worcester 03 at all.and started to wonder †if maybe it wasn't the band's direction in the music but my own direction in the appreciation of it, especially when I read the reviews of that show, and people swore it was the best show of the run. †So, when Phish announced IT, I decided that IT would be my last Phish concert ever. †I sat in 24 hours of traffic (but I had an RV so it wasn't too bad), walked thru deep mud (which I hated and ended up losing my shoes in), †saw a lot scene that was truly disturbing with the types of drugs being slung around (I never expected to hear people selling Oxycontins and Heroin at a Phish show), and during the band's rendition of Spread it Round, I finally felt the sensation of Trey pissing in my ears. †(I did catch the entire Tower Set which was completely cool. †Pretty sad when the musical highlight of your weekend, is when the boys aren't actually playing any Phish songs). When I left that concert, I was secure in my decision to stop seeing them. †In fact, I stopped listening to Phish entirely. †Of course, my friends Jer and Jim continued to follow Phish around, and would tell me how great they sounded. †Jim swore by the Miami shows as the greatest run ever. † I still had no interest after the sour experience at IT and just didn't care. When Summer Tour 04 got announced, Jim and Jer †informed me that they were doing the entire run (of course), and that I'd be a fool to miss the GW shows. †When the shows went on sale, I didn't even bother getting tickets. †I had noticed that the lawn hadn't even sold out, and I thought that if I had the need, I could always pick one up later. †Coventry sounded interesting, but after IT, I wasn't sure I was up for another Phish festival, and didn't think the cost would be worth it. †May 28th, 2004. †Trey announces the band is done. † Coventry will be the last show. † I go to get GW tickets, and all of a sudden they are sold out. †I call up Jeremy. †He tells me that he has tickets for me for both nights of Mansfield, but wants to know if I'll still go to Coventry. † I had some bills to pay and couldn't swing the ticket at the time, but promised that I would pick one up as soon as I got some cash in. †I get the call from Brooklyn, about the Curtain With that I had missed again. † The Curtain has long been my favorite song as they used to play it as an opener quite often in 93/94/95, and I hadn't seen one since GW 99. †Once I heard that, I knew that I had to make sure I got to Coventry. † The next day I went to buy my Coventry ticket and I got an email saying that it had sold out. †I was crushed. †I looked and looked for a ticket, but all the agencies wanted $900 a ticket. †Ebay prices were out of control. †I thought the Phish *auction* made sense from a charity perspective, but paying $1200 for two tickets just wasn't doing it for me. †Then Hampton got announced. † The Friday ticket sale was so easy that I was able to get thru and get Jeremy tickets without a problem. After thinking about it, I decided that maybe the easiest way to Coventry was to get some Hampton tickets, go down to VA and see if I could get a Coventry with 3 of them. (A lot of people seemed to have this idea but many didn't seem to plan on going to the shows which I thought kind of sucked). †I ended up getting tickets on Saturday for myself but only was able to get 2. †At this point, I decided to just bite the bullet and bought a Coventry ticket at a ridiculous price. I told myself that I would rather pay more than face, then be one of the people showing up to Coventry without a ticket. I still feel solid in that decision because the experience was worth double to me. †I then contacted J&J and told them that I was in for the last run. I went on the tour having not listened to any Phish since August of 03. †I decided before it started that as it was the last 6 shows ever, that I would make sure that I enjoyed each song as it very well could be the last rendition of it. Hampton. † Left Sunday at midnight, arrived in VA Beach at 7 a.m. †swam with the dolphins. †rolled to the venue. †hung out with Jer, Jim, and Mitch. †enjoyed the scene. †great weather. †went into the show. †thought the energy was palpable in the first set. Gin, Jim, Loving Cup, great. †Second set. †Loved lifeboy, zero, contact, bowie. †all in all, thought it was a great show. left venue at 12:00, drove back arrived in CT at 7 a.m. Monday. Read people's reviews and laughed. †I was so glad that I had no expectations and thought the show was great as compared to the rest of the people that seemed to be there and were disappointed by it. †Went to GW on Tuesday, had a great time, felt it was THE show. †Got to hang with all of my friends, Phair, TD, Johnny Mac, plus the "entire tour" crew. †Ac/dc bag started it off right, I really enjoyed Heavy Things for the first time ever, and the rest of the set was just awesome. †I was so happy at setbreak that the smile would not leave my face. The second set was also fantastic. †Mike's opener, ASIHTOS is a fantastic new tune, and the Dog Faced boy was perfect placement from my view. †With a Hood closer, and a Possum encore, I knew that catching the last shows was the right thing to do. †Drove back to CT, didn't wait in any traffic, as we put up the cash to park in a lot by the exit, †and then came back the next day. † After 2nd night GW, I was convinced that it was THE show. † Divided opener, Suzy, my favorite Caspian ever (as I knew it was finally the last one I'd catch), and Scent of a mule, which I was pumped to see. †Again, a great opening set only to be outdone by the 2nd. †Antelope>2001. †Wow. † Golgi, Waves, Tweezer, it was all good. †Old school hold your head up, nice, slow and drawn out. †Fishman comes out to play the vacuum. †Terrapin. Funny stuff. †I love the Fishman tune, although Terrapin is probably my 2nd least favorite after Minute by Minute (9-13-90, ugh). I also love the Fishman bowing. † I thought the Trey and Fish drum jam to open up Timber was great. † I think the thing that I enjoyed most about the GW shows was the fact that Trey was opening up. † He was telling us about how they came up with these songs (with an explanation about Weekapaug the first night and how they came up with ASIHTOS the second) , and was really being chatty overall. †You never get to hear that, so I felt privileged to be there. †I thought it was fitting that they had a Bouncing encore, as by my perspective, the Fishman tune made the show, and everything else was gravy. †Drove back to CT, picked up the Coventry RV on the way home, and made preparations for the Coventry trip. †Ended up leaving late for Camden, got stuck in traffic, and didn't make it to the show until the 3rd song of the first set. †I was unable to get a ticket, so I spent the show outside the venue, listening to it. † I was a little surprised that there were repeats, but the Rock and Roll seemed to make the show from where I was listening. †I wished I was inside, but I knew I still had Coventry coming up. †I got on the phone with Johnny Mac, and heard about the Coventry conditions, and the fact that the organizers suggested waiting until Friday night/Saturday a.m, which was then echoed by Trey at the end of the show. † After being on tour all week, there was no way I was going to wait to go up to Coventry. †We got back home, populated the RV, and left for Coventry at 3:30 a.m. on Friday. † Here's where my experience starts to veer from the others that I have read about. Now, I know that Phish said there's only one way into Coventry and that's 91N to the 5. † Well, I live in NH. † I know VT. †There's a million ways to get anywhere. †We got some directions from a friend of Jim's (Thanks, Art!), and ended up taking 89N to 2 West to 100 N. † It was all back roads thru towns that only had a post office. †Beautiful, rural country. †Perfect for an 8:00 a.m. drive. † I took that up, and connected to the 5 about 4 miles outside the venue. † I did not sit in traffic at all up to that point. † We arrived in line on the 5 at 11:30 in the morning. †Once we pulled into line, we got out and asked the car in front of us how long they had been in traffic. †28 hours was the answer. † I couldn't believe it. †Stories from the Bunny were out of control. †I-91 had 20 miles of traffic. †people were not moving. †I couldn't understand why someone would not just turn around, look at a map, and try to figure something else out. †I guess that's what happens when you're overtired. †Anyway, it started to rain, again. † I got back into the RV, and decided to rest for a bit. †I felt so bad for those who were driving up in cars, or walking into the concert. †The rain, and mud, was not a recipe for a pleasant camping trip. †Add in the hours of traffic, and I was expecting a complete nightmare for most people. †However, we were in an RV. † Weather is not a factor when you have an RV. if it rains, go inside. †if its too sunny, go inside. †tired?go to sleep on the bed. †hungry?, cook something up on the stove. †The RV experience changes everything. †I really believe that this is one of the main reasons why I loved Coventry, and many other people did not. †Sitting in traffic for a day, or walking in the rain can bring you down. †We spent about 7 hours in traffic moving those last 4 miles into the venue. †Once inside, & nbsp;a couple of mounted police escorted us down and †parked us right on Shakedown. †We got the camp somewhat setup by about 8 o'clock Friday night. †We all hung out for a while, put the mast up on our RV, and put up the IT sail. †I'm not sure if you've seen the RV we were using, but we had a full sail off of the top of it and we ended up talking like Pirates all weekend. †Aarrrgghh, land ahoy, watch the sail matey, that kind of silly stuff. † On to Saturday. †The sun was shining in the morning. †I walked down to get a cup of coffee and take a look around. †That's when I heard the news. †The band had decided to close the venue and not allow anymore cars in . I was pissed. †If people had followed Trey's message (or as he said the production company's) and not left until Friday night or Saturday a.m. and had taken 91N as instructed, they were screwed. †I couldn't even imagine being told to turn around. †I remember thinking "hell, i'd pull my car over and walk". †Little did I know that many of our phriends did just that. † We had brought a new sail for the Coventry show, and our resident artist, Darren spent the day decorating the new sail, and asking those who walked by to contribute to it. †By the end of the day, the blue and yellow Coventry sail was flying. We left for the show at about 4:30 that day. † I was well rested, but I believe that our crew was in the minority in that aspect. † people just looked exhausted. † obviously, it was a rough experience getting in. †I moved down to about 15 feet from Trey. † I watched part of the 1st set from there, but although I was close, I didnt' like the lack of space down front, so I decided to go check out the back forty while I still could. †I love the little side "cities" that Phish puts in the concert field. † After walking around that for a while, I watched the raging Antelope from afar, and caught one of the greatest versions of Fire that I could remember. †I walked back to the RV, changed up, and got ready for set number 2. †We had some people show up, and set up their tent between our RVs during the first set, which I at first was annoyed with, but when they told me that they had just sat in 38 hours of traffic, how could I say no? †In the end, it was all good as we all got along perfectly. † †Since it was the first set break, and I mistimed it, I ended up missing the AC/DC Bag, and came in during 46 days. †I thought Halley's was fantastic, loved the YaMar, and thought that the band nailed Bowie. Again, Trey went into a story about the Bowie, and even though he's a little incoherent at times, I imagine I'd probably be as well, if I was talking to 70000 fans on the eve of my last Phish shows ever. When Zero closed the set, I thought that the set was just too short, and I needed more. †I had a great time during the 3rd set as well. † Twist was really jammed out, the wedge was a nice surprise, stash had another jam that was just out there, and Mike was dropping bombs during Free. †I greatly enjoyed the Trey-Mike interplay during Free. †Guyute was decent, but the Drowned was where it was at. † The version was just fantastic. †I believe that Drowned was the only cover they performed during Coventry. † If they were only going to play one, they picked the right one to play. † Drowned brought me to some new heights during that jam. †Friday was a chance to take a break, and when the band started up Hood as an encore, I thought it was perfect. †Although I'm not sure of the effect that Trey and Mike had on the jam by playing on top of the rocks, I thought it was good to see Trey getting out there and really enjoying himself. † Back at the RV after the show, some friends stopped by to tell me how much Trey had flubbed up his parts, how he was all f'd up on something, and how he was letting down his fans. † I couldn't believe it. †I wondered how these people had the audicity to bash Phish on their last shows. †The shows weren't for us. †They were for them. †I've heard this statement a thousand times, and I echo it completely. †Maybe Trey was f'd up. †I didn't care. If that's what he wants to do, then let him do it. †Don't bitch, just try to enjoy the fact that you're in, whereas other people got turned around and lastly keep a positive attitude about what you're hearing and seeing because 5 years from now, you'll be pissed that you weren't able to enjoy the shows because it wasn't the "perfect" version. † I tried to stress that it was more about enjoying the moment, then looking for perfection in the composed parts. Perhaps, they weren't the best musical versions, but I'd take those versions over anything I'd hear on the radio these days. † I spent Saturday night watching people walk up and down Shakedown. †The scene was exactly as I had remembered it from IT. † Drugs everywhere, but I tried not to pay attention. † I sat at the RV, drank some beers, and watched people get all f'd up on drugs that I was never interested in. Instead, we spent time with each other discussing the coming show and the one we had just attended. Sunday, the last Phish show ever. † †I had met people from all over who had walked in. † I was proud to be associated with such dedicated fans. † I met a couple of guys from Indiana that had walked 25 miles to get in. † All they had were the packs on their backs. † We invited them over to the RV to eat and drink. † We met up with another few friends that had an RV that was originally supposed to caravan with us. † Problem was they took 91N, ended up parking it in some farmer's barn, and walked in as well. †The worst part? † They had left 3 hours before us, and didn't arrive until Saturday. † †After getting everything ready for the last show, we headed in right about 5 o'clock. † Got our spot up on the lawn, with the crew. †The Mike's > Hydro>Weekapaug was a great way to kick off the phinal show. †I was pumped that they went into Reba after Anything but me. † I remember looking at my friend Lisa before the jam in Reba and telling her that the chill jam was probably one of my favorite parts of a Phish show. †During that jam, she turned to me and said "you can not only hear the sadness in these notes, you can feel them". † I agreed. †The rest of the first set was fantastic for me. † I couldn't believe how long it was, I thought it might never end. † After that set, we went back to the RV to get some blankets, tarps and some warmer clothes for the final 2 sets ever. †I truly enjoyed the DWD that kicked off the second set. † I don't know if it was the jam or the 10,000 piece glow stick war that stuck out most. † I had never seen a glow stick war that rivaled that one. † I'm not even sure if the Simulcast people got to see the war. †It was simply amazing. † After that, the band went into Wading. † I've never been a big fan of this song, but this one hit home. †At first I thought that Page had simply forgotten the words, but w hen I saw him start to tear up, the gravity of the show hit me. †It was truly an emotional moment and not the last one either. Trey seemed to pick up off that, and moved the band into †Glide. † Glide was tough. † Trey sounded really, really off. † It was the one song of the weekend where I wished they would just stop and move on. †However, the vocals at the end of the song were right on. † Once I heard Trey speak, and start to breakdown, I knew why the band was off. †They were just emotionally overwhelmed. † When Trey said that they were just going to "blow off some steam" and went into Melt, I was ready. †That Melt ended up being the greatest one I have ever seen. †I thought the jam just raged. † When they kicked right into Ghost, and ripped that to shreds, I was really starting to forget that this was the second to last set left, and was just one of the best I had ever caught. †On an emotional level. †because that's what I cared about. †I had seen technical sets in the past. †this was pure emotion. † Setbreak. † Sat down on our tarp/blanket and got ready for the last set of Phish that I would ever see. † † I thought the FEFY opener was great. †it wasn't really fast enough for me, but I still needed to catch my wind after the Melt>Ghost. †I enjoyed seven below, and although they butchered the lyrics in Simple, I still had a great time dancing to it. †Piper was a rager, and when Trey started doing the crew intros, I knew it was really getting close to the end. †Our crew loved the Bruno, and I thought that tune and the next were just vintage Phish. †One of the things I love about the band, is that they never took themselves too seriously. It was nice to see Trey laughing and we laughed along with him. After Dickie Scotland, Trey told us that he was going to start up Wilson. Wilson rocked as always with 70k people screaming "wilson", but the Slave was where it was at. †I hadn't heard Slave in a while. † It was nice to close my eyes, and just hear the song without any other distractions. † I loved it. †I remembered all the times that Slave had made the show for me. †NYE 94. † †When they stepped off stage, I thought back about the shows I had caught over the years and how thankful I was for getting into this band. † I remembering turning to my friend Jer, and saying, "well, I didn't get my Curtain, but overall the experience was incredible". † Imagine my complete joy when the boys came back out and started up the "Curtain with". † I completely lost it. †After going to so many shows and missing my favorite song, to have the boys end their career with it, was just so much to handle. † I stood there and took it all in. † I didn't care if the band was off at parts. † In my head, I knew how it went. †I was just happy to be there. † Now I know that Trey had to restart the "with" section. †You know what, it was just like the Hampton YEM. †I was psyched that they decided to start it over, to make sure that it was right. † When it ended, I felt complete. † Just standing there, watching the boys walk off stage, and seeing the tour buses drive away up Airport road, just seemed right. † I thought it was the perfect ending to an unbelievable week. † I will always remember Coventry as just that. † The perfect ending to a great career. †Thank you Phish for all of the great times, and great people that I've met over the last eleven years. † Without you, my life would not be the same. † Jim, Jerry, Johnny Mac, Mitch, Darren, little Matt, and Lisa, you're the best and thank you for being part of one of the greatest weeks I've ever had.
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 22:15:19 -0400 From: Ray Miller Subject: Phish show review † Definitely mixed emotions as I left the theatre Sunday night.† Devastated that I couldn't be there live to experience it in person, disappointed that I'll never get to cruise the parking lot making new friends and getting ready for a jamming show, debating the previous night's set lists trying to guess what would be coming next.† I'll miss the weeklong camping trips, cross country drives, all night sessions in the AOL Phishbowl making new friends in faraway places.†I saw my first Phish show 10 years ago, just as I was getting ready to go to college,†it's been†like the soundtrack to life since then.† I amassed a tape collection of nearly 500, just in time for everyone to switch to CDs.† Couldn't tell you how many classes I skipped doing B&Ps for newbies trying to get into the taping scene. † When I saw my first shows after the hiatus I was blown away at how much better the band sounded.† You could tell that the time they spent fronting their own bands had really had an effect on the boys (especially Page), and to me it was almost like seeing a "supergroup".† Four of the very best individuals at their respective instruments, with the added bonus that they had been playing together for 20 years so they could read each other's mind.† Just awesome. † So that is what I was thinking about headed to the theatre this weekend.† I was looking at the weekend's shows as more of an event than a true concert, and I pretty much expected the breakdowns that we saw emotionally on Sunday.† And I really wasn't expecting them to put on the greatest show of all-time or anything like that.† Phish's best shows have always been the ones that you don't expect, and I really don't think they can just decide, "Alright, let's go put on a legendary show".† The stars have to be aligned right or something, I don't know.† It's just Phish.† † I was at the theatre Sunday night, and was really pumped after the first set.† I thought they sounded great, they played tight and were having a good time.† I'm not going to bother with individual songs because I think that's a matter of personal preference as to what you like and what you don't.† But the Mikes Groove was f'kn great, Wolfman's was cool and it was a nice touch bringing the moms out. † Then the wheels fell off.† Look, I can appreciate their playing being off due to emotions, but for those of you that are denying that they sounded like sh*t you just could not have been listening.† Or you're trying so hard to be a "phan" that you forget what made Phish different in the first place.† They literally butchered Glide...and to be honest I don't know why they tried it in the first place because it's a really difficult song to pull off even on their best night.† I thought Melt was cool, and what they needed to do to get through...just "blow off some fucking steam" and jam for awhile.† † They took the jams in SOAM and Ghost way†out there and I thought they had gotten it together after strong FEFY and 7 Below's, but wtf happened with Simple?† People, if you can't recognize that Trey blowing a song that he's probably played 100 times than they literally could "piss in your ear" and you'd call it the greatest thing ever.† The rest of the band even tried to reign him back in, but it just wasn't happening.† It's not my place to speculate what the problem was, but I do have a right to say that I was disappointed and a little embarrased for them.† The Slave was great and I was glad they closed with that, but†again, Trey was so far off on The Curtain that I couldn't believe what I was hearing.† I loved it as a closing song, but†just couldn't believe how off key he was. † Seriously people, if you thought that the weekend's shows were Phish (or anybody for that matter) at their best then you†really need to expand your musical horizons.† I AM NOT COMPLAINING, and would gladly jump in a time machine, plunk down $200 and sit in traffic for 50 hours†to watch the weekend's shows, but I'm not going to blindly praise the music when it honestly wasn't up to par.† Like I said, the weekend was more about an event than a concert, so the fact that they weren't the best shows is besides the point.
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 03:12:03 -0400 From: Jared Ezyske Subject: Phish show review - Both Days of Coventry I was not at Coventry, except for 6 hours in traffic before turning around and heading home tired and disappointed - but I paid for my ticket, and I want to put my 2 cents in too.† Turning around, I was bitter at the time, but I'm really not anymore.† At first glace, the setlist was glaringly devoid of early classics.† I just can't believe there is no Tela, no Lizards, no Foam, or no Fluffhead.† It's not that I don't LIKE some of these newer songs, I think they reminded us that Phish were always great songwriters.† It looked like it was missing something.† Give us stuff we MISSED!† Uncle Pen, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Harpua maybe?!† I'm getting myself worked up thinking about this. † That said, I've been a fan of the band for about 7 years, faithfully attending as many shows as I could within reason (unfortunately not attending my first until 99 when my friends could drive) and scrambling to get anything I could.† And as we all have, I've listened to a great many hours of Phish music.† Setlist complaints are never a good argument alone, which brings me to the music.† Again, I wasn't there but I'm good enough at combing through reviews to get the general feeling of the show.† What I gathered was that Trey was wasted, inanimate, inaccurate, and otherwise out of it.† I get the general feeling that - with some notable exceptions - his guitar playing was either heavily distored and erratic or aimless and ambient.† For being so obviously intoxicated and lifeless... I think the fans deserved better on the last time.† And it's not just the mistakes.† In the past, a mistake meant a one-note blunder in a complicated but otherwise perfect composed (but slightly improvised) section of a tough song.† People were saying he was off key for measures at a time - even requesting the other band members to change keys on The Curtain With?† The sad thing was, I had no problem believing the reports.† I also got the impression that Page, Mike, and Fish were excellent and occasionally tried to lead Trey back on track. † All of this considered, I am no longer upset I didn't see Coventry.† I am not angry with Trey, or the rest of the band.† I have not a doubt in my mind that they did everything they could to make this festival happen.† I REFUSE to believe anything but that the crew worked without sleep trying to fix the situation.† Remarkably, the entire episode has left me with a renewed appreciation.† I can't possibly be mad at anyone in the band. †Everyone knows that every member of Phish gave us nothing short of their heart and soul through music over an incredible span of music history.† The odds are none of us has ever conversed with a member of the band, but we all felt like we knew them.† There is a very good reason for that.† I feel like them like I feel about The Beatles.† I cherish the laughter most. † The last thing I want to say to the band is thank you.† Obviously for the shows - the music and the feeling we got dancing at your shows.† The memories of how I felt about this band and their music in my younger years will always be my most prized posession of Phish.† The second thing I would thank them for is the vast digital archive of themselves.† I am so thankful that I will be able to listen to these shows literally for the rest of my life - in crystal clear quality (thank you for FLAC!) and the mastered CDs.† I'll be able to show my kids Phish (they certainly have enough silly songs) and hopefully they will appreciate their place in music history, and through them become a well-rounded music lover. † We all know they lost a step.† Sure, we know they still give us "scents and subtle sounds" of their old magic, but you can't listen to Vol 10, or 12, or 20, or 2, or 7 and tell me they are even close these past few years. †Believe me, they know it too.† But a warm heartfelt thank you for the memories, and the archive - I will cherish them both, and keep all my Phish CDs on the same shelf as The Beatles anthology.† We should always be thankful we were there, because we will never see a band like this again.
Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2004 11:58:13 -0400 From: "West, Scott" Subject: Phish show review this is my review...mostly for coventry but for much more. everyone seems so surprised that coventry was a 'wash' where have you all been since big cypress. ive seen my share of shows (around 100) and ive been disappointed with 95% of the music since new years '00. while i enjoyed the times with my friends and families at the shows, they just have not been 'on' so why did everyone expect the 'last show' to be something it wasnt. gamehenge?- yea right! † sorry to be blunt, as i love those guys, but sometimes the truth hurts. so quit crying and get a good '95 (i suggest dayton/louisville/KC....) show and remember what its all about! † sw
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2004 23:39:47 -0400 From: Deborah Subject: Phish show review - Coventry 8/14-15 After all the shit that everyone went through to get in, Phish set the mood for the entire festival with a sloppy Walls of a Cave.† I'm not going to go on and on about the songs I wish that they played, because that really is not the point.† The point is the songs that they did play were among the worst versions ever, due mainly to Trey not remembering the guitar part and melodies to his own songs.† It used to be that an off version of a Phish song was the band not connecting in a jam.† Since the hiatus, songs that the band would breeze through (by PRACTICING them)†now sounded like they were being played by a bad Phish cover band.†† Between my wife and I, we've seen over 75 Phish shows and the 8/14 3rd set during Stash was†the first time either of us ever walked out.† It was just too painful and embarrassing to watch them butcher their own songs.† I got back to my tent and listened to the rest of the show on the Bunny and witnessed a dreary Friday and the worst version of Hood ever.† Now I realize they were on rocks but come on.† I so want to make excuses.† Nerves and emotions are very real, we were all feeling them.† But the fact is that since the NYC comeback show the band just hasn't been the same (mainly Trey).† When I first heard Trey fuck up the beginning of YEM at Hampton 1/3/03 and start over I though†it was just nerves but now I know†it wasn't.† He fucked it up again on 8/14 and many in between.† The second night was without a doubt full of emotion. †Fast Enough For You (one of my favorites) and Page during Velvet Sea had me weeping.††Disease and Piper had me jumping up and down.† But all and all they†were probably the worst shows I have ever seen.† What bothers me most is that I feel†I am supposed to pretend like everything†was (to use an overused expression) "all good".† I have talked to other people who think the show ruled and that I am some kind of jerk to entertain any idea other than that.† It†was undeniable that Trey was fucking up all weekend and I'm not talking about a few bad notes.† ENTIRE guitar melodies were missing! Solos erased (The Wedge 8/14)!†† Lyrics completely fumbled (Simple 8/15)!† Playing†songs in the wrong key (The Curtain With 8/15)!† To hold a farewell concert for 70 thousand people plus and not practice for it and flub up songs that mean the world to many people is very very sad.† Although I am severely broken up at the thought of not seeing Phish again I am so glad that they are not going to continue playing these songs half ass over the next number of years. † I really felt the need to write this, not†out of hate but as someone who deeply loves this band and will miss them tremendously.† I†feel†you need to be honest with†people†you love and respect.††Phish†has been the soundtrack of my life for a decade, I have seen 48 shows since 94.† They inspired me to†be in band†and play music for 7 years touring the Northeast in a school bus.† They have always been there when I needed that release and the memories and friends made†are unparalleled.†Although the last few years have been questionable (the scene and the band) I will never forget the feeling of floating on air and goosebumps at those moments when the band could do no wrong.†† Thank you. † And silence contagious in moments like these. † Jay Fuller
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2004 17:40:44 -0700 (PDT) From: John Paglio Subject: Phish show reviewview You know what I was impressed with a few songs and excited for a few. But seriously, Trey has problems beyond the fact of 21 years coming to an end. Don't come out on stage coked up beyond control and try and play the music you've been playing for 21 years. It won't sound good and it didn't. For the other guys they played very well, Trey wanted to end it and he made a pretty visible point on why. He also proved to 95,000 fans and more that he just didn't have it in him any longer. Some of the worst renditions of Wilson, Glide, Ghost, and Possum and then to end it with The Curtain With and not come back at all. It left me in awe that he could do that to us all, nobody walked away pumped up or excited, we all walked away in disbelief and in a very somber mood and some of us very disappointed. Thanks for leaving us on a high note Trey!
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2004 23:01:30 -0700 (PDT) From: Eric Geffner Subject: Phish show review Hello there, What a weekend, it is so hard to say goodbye, I was touched by the emotional level on stage, anyways, this is my first time ever on your site, I was trying to look up infomation on my first show, it was 4.13.91 in Chicago at Biddy Mulligan's.† Biddy muligan's a small bar/music room, there is a long stage and the dancing area has an equally long bar in the center that transverse the dance space.† Unfortunately, I do not know much at all about what they played, as it was my first exposure to Phish, and I did not know any of the song titles, But I do recall a long song that reminded me of Frank Zappa and I am sort of certain it was announced that it was a Zappa song, so if they were playing any zappa that tour it was certainly played that night.† † On a less certain level I think it highly likely that there was a †Mike's Song-> I Am Hydrogen-> Weekapaug Groove†because was able to recogize this as familure late on, but this is less certain than the zappa like tune, which, could have been possum, well, I know that this is worthless dribble so I will touch bases with my pal that dragged me there, now there is a good friend, in the next month and see if I can get any more info... Eric Geffner, AKA drgeff †I will check with my friend to see if he can recall any of the other tunes.
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2004 16:42:56 -0700 (PDT) From: Jason Lewis Subject: Coventry Review 9/3/04 † I have never reviewed a Phish show to be placed online or anywhere else for that matter but after 12 years of listening to Phish I wanted to have a say.† First off I want to thank the band for being one of the greatest rock bands in history.† It's not just the live shows which were a source of joy, inspiration and excitement but the composing of the music.† Phish is a seminal rock band, I just hope history will recognize that.† † My first full Phish show was in '93 at Red Rocks and to this day still ranks up there as one of my favorite shows.† For the fans who never had the chance to see these guys pre '97 the band's decision to stop may make less sense.† If you were fortunate to see them when they were on the rise, with something to prove,†it †was a revelation and a powerful expression of musical beauty, humor, love and balls out fun.† The band changed in '97 with the focus on funk and seemingly an approach to lay more of a foundation to jam off of.†It felt less spontaneous.††I liked the music still, †however there was a definite sense that they were no longer exploring their music in the same way and to me, that was the beginning of the end.† Despite that feeling, I saw some great shows post '97. † Coventry will be remembered for me, as a way to say goodbye.† That's all.† Trey was making so many mistakes (touching his nose so much I thought the drugs would fall out) and there was so much emotion that I can't rate it like I would their previous performances.† Objectively it sucked.† The worst Phish show I ever saw but once I got past the idea that I'd get into the music like I normally do,†I watched it as simply a way for them to play their swan song.† † I really wish all the guys the best on their futures.† I respect this decision and understand the honor of ending it the way they have.† Thank you Phish for all the great moments and times.† You have made my life better for having been a part of it. † -Jason San Diego, CA
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2004 02:05:54 -0400 From: Barbara Fokos Subject: Coventry 8.14-8.15 review This review is intended to be for both days of Coventry. So the rain was wet and long-term, so the mud was soupy, sticky and ankle deep on it's best day. So the mud turned into a human trap everywhere we walked. So the wooden palletts were wet, dirty, slimy, and a general health hazard to human mobility skills. So there were people sardined into every available open space because 50% of the parking was lost due to the above mentioned rain and mud. So the traffic jam was 30 miles long, and double parked. So there were troops in fatigues with semiautomatic rifles at the car check-point. So there was horse-poo every 10 feet all along both runways. So the porto-johns were funky before the end of the first day. So there were so flubs here and there.... But you know what, most of you loved the hell out of it all while you were there. I got out and about, I saw the people, everywhere....people were super happy, super energetic, super cool, friendly people. I haven't seen a scene this cool in a long long time. Seriously people, tell me you weren't all uber-psyched when you were there and the sun was shining, and it was warm and your feet were dry and you were just chillin everywhere you went. You know you were, it's okay to admit it. There are so so many critics writing reviews about all the flubs. Yes, we were there for the music, and yes, we went to see a band do it's utmost to perform at the highest, most flawless level. Sorry, but Big Cypress only happens once. However, to submit my own 2 cents.....I gotta say, this weekend was out of hand. All music flubs aside, when I look at the big picture, when I look at it all as a whole, greater than the sum of its parts....this weekend got knocked way the hell out of the ballpark in my opinion. A popular bumper sticker reads "I might be crazy, but I'm not the only one." Well, that saying applies here, so I'm gonna represent those people out there (you know who you are) who had mental orgasms all weekend because of the music. Going back over the mp3 downloads.....what I am talking about can be best summed up with a good, intensely focused listen to the Split Open and Melt>Ghost...... You just can't beat that sh*t with a stick.....hands down pure genious, comletely out of hand, so good it makes me feel violated in very naughty ways. That alone paid for the cost of the ticket, all costs to travel to Coventry, the 2 pairs of shoes that were lost to the boggy quagmire, the 2-3 days of rain, the stuck cars, the waiting in cars, the waiting in cars, the waiting in cars, and I can't forget all of the waiting in cars. Every single little thing that might have pissed you all off........blew my freakin mind with its absolute sense of ironic perfectness.... Of COURSE it would rain,.....we all wanted sun. Of course it would be muddy as hell....we all wanted yellow brick roads and grassy knolls. Of course there was a traffic jam.....we all wanted to be there as soon as possible and stay as long as we possibly could. Of course there would be flubs....we expected technical perfection from a band that chose to disband due to a general lack of technical perfection in recent times. We set the bar higher on a band that raised the bar higher on "the quality of music" that is available in this world. We got the exact, polar, perfectly ironic opposite.......and it was great. I truly truly loved every minute of it, it was just too perfect in its own imperfect ways. Maybe I'm getting old, maybe I'm jaded or something....but I'm just coming around to truly appreciating and embracing imperfection by changing my perception......"is this truly bad, or was I the one with too many expectations?" I will admit that there were periods of "ok, this is noise, and that was a total flub right there...." but my sole mission for attending a Phish show is this: I seek to attain a level of transcendence, not through substance abuse, but through intense focus that opens me to being so tuned into the music that I cannot control my motions and emotions, the music tells me what to do, sometimes I follow the bass groove, sometimes I'm riding the cymbal....sometimes I need a little more cowbell ;) Sometimes I'm wiggling in the mud to some multi-faceted organ induced alien space wiggle, and sometimes I'm running and jumping off the top of Mt. Everest after the peak of a soaring, searing Trey solo. Sometimes, just sometimes.....and these are the times I seek.....sometimes I am tuned into every instrument all at once....being aggressively, intensely passive to every sound that enters my ears and decodes in my brain into some form of motion, be it a toe, and arm, my head, my neck, sometimes an eyeball or a finger twitch. No joke...it is at these times that I am so focused on every note and every space in between every note that I lose all sense of perception of people around me, and often of my own body, it is a ridiculously surreal moment. Some may call it an "out of body" experience, but I don't wan't to call it quite that, it's not a view of myself from above or aside, so much as it is more like a sense of being without borders, as though I am a point of vision in space, invisible, but there...it is almost like feeling like light, or pure energy, just a beam, a particle, a wave....it is the only feeling that I can truly describe as being miraculous. And, there are only two ways that I have ever been able to achieve this feeling... At a Phish show, or having some really good sex with my fiance while being really really drunk or high .....seriously...it is a certain sense of "becoming one-ness" between multiple entities. It sounds crazy, but some of you out there might have felt this before. Well, that's what I seek...."that sense of being one-ness, without borders, a point in space, a particle, a beam, a wave...transcendent to an elevated sense of perception and being that is only attainable through intense focus, while remaining open to suggestion and whim." And at Coventry, despite mud, rain, traffic delays, and music flubs...I got to that place, it happened during Split Open and Melt > Ghost.......and for that alone....I would go through all of this again, every day, for the rest of my life...to reach that point, to receive that miracle.....nothing can replace that or top it, and nothing can take it away from me. I had a great weekend, I enjoyed the friends I went with, I enjoyed the friends I made, even if they were only a friend for a brief moment in time. The atmosphere was great, there was a true sense of camraderie, of community, of unity, of "phamily". And, during my moment of trancendence, that momentary burst of blissful perfection....... I honestly could have sworm I was right back in Big Cypress during that midnight set........and there is no better feeling in the whole world. Thank you for everything everyone did, said, and stood for at Coventry. Band, Staff, and "Phans" alike....you all helped shape this weekend....don't trash it too much by focusing only on flubs and technicalities....in the "Grand Scheme" of things.... -"...it doesn't matter....."-Bug I wish you all wonderful lives in wherever the wind takes you....as for me, I'm on to the next phase in my life. -Chris Fauteux
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 14:36:38 -0700 From: Michael Blum Subject: Phish show review: Coventry Both Nights At Coventry, Phish played nine of the songs they played when they first blew my mind at the Michigan Theater in December 1992. On that night so long ago, I HAD to know: how were they ripping holes in the middle of songs, playing round the lips, touching the depth of the crevice, and then sewing it back up?! It was that combination of complexity and risk-taking that grabbed me then and that has held me ever since. And if adulthood starts around 18, the sixty-some shows I‚^ņ^Ŕve seen since 1992 span 75% of my adult life. A life filled with such gorgeous art!! And Coventry did not disappoint. On day one, the band did what they do best, that is: they jammed. Walls was a great opener because it‚^ņ^Ŕs an epic tune that doesn‚^ņ^Ŕt carry too much baggage for the band or fans. In Jim and Jibboo, Trey showed up bursting at the seams with ideas. The YEM and Antelope hit me hard with the sense that I would MISS these songs. I‚^ņ^Ŕll MISS hearing them live and being surprised and tickled with twists and turns not just new in themselves, but meaningful in comparison to the twists and turns the band took me through each of those other times. Set two was the highlight of the first day. Final AC/DC Bag and final Bowie lived up to expectations because Phish took risks. The same risks that have kept you coming back for more and more over years and miles. Risks laid out in the mud for you to savor one last time. And how the crowd loved Halley‚^ņ^Ŕs Comet!! How I loved it!!! I‚^ņ^Ŕm smiling so big right now as I write. And the highlight of the night was that WOW that f*ing character zero that ripped through us like a ferocious flame. The first half of set three (Twist->Wedge, Stash-> Free) was again gorgeous and again fresh. More risk taking, this band would play each of those songs for the last time unlike any time any of those songs had been played before (except the traditional version of Wedge, which I‚^ņ^Ŕll take any day in any form anyway). A delicate Stash highlighted by Page. Missed hearing the usual last few chords of Free. Listened to Hood from the Ferris Wheel. Day two. A lot of us cried at Coventry. Round Room came out around the time of the birth of my daughter and I dubbed Anything But Me onto a five minute home video of her called simply, ‚^ņ^‹Four Months Old.‚^ņ^› I‚^ņ^Ŕve held her so tight and danced to that song (though I think she prefers the climactic bridge of Jibboo, which was one of her first words/requests). Anything But Me seemed to bring out all those feelings I have for her, for Phish, for the autumn of this phase of my life. OK, now let me say one thing about Chalkdust: Fishman LED that jam. Check it out. Day two, set two was the most beautiful thing I have ever heard from Phish, from any artist. A channeled expression of pain, beauty, sadness, accomplishment, conclusion, and love. Phish again took risks, and on this last night they took musical risk-taking to a level I have never seen. This band has made a career, and a style, of risk taking. But over the years they‚^ņ^Ŕve learned means of recovering from the risks that didn‚^ņ^Ŕt work or that played themselves out. The result is that their language of risk is punctuated with clich√©s of recovery. That‚^ņ^Ŕs the way they‚^ņ^Ŕve surprised us over and over without (often) falling flat on their faces. Well, during this second set on Phish‚^ņ^Ŕs last night, that band REFUSED to rely on any of those clich√©s. I‚^ņ^Ŕve read reviews that suggested they were somehow ‚^ņ^‹off.‚^ņ^› I beg to differ. I heard music during that set unlike anything I‚^ņ^Ŕve ever heard. I heard a delicate connection with heaven. I heard four musicians finally, after all of these years, get OUT OF THE WAY, and let the music just happen. And how it did happen. Phish wrung and tore music with such emotion, power, and truth, I could almost not bear it. I wanted the second set never to end. So if you spent that set longing for the clich√©s of safety we and they have used as crutches for so long, listen to the tapes and let go: you will hear boundaries dissolve. Glimpses of the same during the third, more light-hearted, set. Highlighted by an exciting and emotional Seven Below, some fun on-the-spot song writing, and a touching Curtain With encore. I have never experienced art more gripping or personal than this. Thank you Phish, again, with love.
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 16:02:23 -0400 From: "Lavazza, Craig" Subject: Coventry Both Nights Who would have thought that northern Vermont would get swamped by record breaking rain the week of the festival! Me and my buddies left CT Thursday night in our rented camper and headed north. Everything went great till around 2 p.m. when traffic on 91 came to a halt a little north of Exit 24. At first I wasn't concerned I figured the traffic would be slow going the rest of the way and we would be setting up camp sometime Friday afternoon. I dozed off...I woke† up around 5am to find out we were still in the same place although it seemed traffic was moving a little. Come to find out people sleeping in their cars were blocking traffic from moving for a few miles. So we started weaving in and out of the lanes to get around sleepers. We advanced about 4 or 5 miles only to come to another dead stop about 4 miles south of exit 25. Throughout Friday morning we inched up to a little pass exit 25. At this point I was getting a little concerned because of rumors that most of the site was flooded and they were only parking 150 cars at a clip but the "Bunny" kept saying everything was slow but ok! By the way, the Bunny was totally worthless and added nothing to this festival....Then the big halt came.... About a half a mile north of exit 25 around 2.p.m. we came to a complete stop. We stayed in this place until the announcement sat morning at which time I was pretty pissed but determined to get into the show. Looking back I kinda wished I stayed in the left lane and or took route 5 north at exit 25 but I didn't want to disobey the highway patrol and or Phish as I felt they had everything under control!! Anyways, after the announcement people started to turn around and head home..we figured we would try to get north of exit 26 and then take back roads as close as possible to the site. We hoped in the left lane and started towards exit 26 passing hundreds of fans who bailed their cars on both sides of 91. It was surreal and re-ignited my energy! A few hundred feet south of exit 26 the police made everyone turn around so we did and pulled off to the side of the highway to re-group. I was leery of leaving a rented camper on the side of the highway so we headed back for Exit 25 and headed north on 5. Pulling into a snack stand overwhelmed by fans someone came up to me and told me that a local landowner was allowing people to park for free on his land and then shuttling them down as close as possible to the site. We followed a bunch of cars to a beautiful piece of land on a hill overlooking Orleans valley. We sent up camp loaded as much beer as possible into our limited number of packs and hitched a ride down to the †††††††††† River road security checkpoint at which time he joined hundreds of others in hiking about 3 miles to the site. Upon arriving on we passed the George Stephanpoulis lot and immediately understand the scope of the flooding/mud. We headed over to the special needs parking area where my buddy was able to get a dry parking spot a stone throw away from the center commerce area or shall we call it mudpit. I thought Sat. night was a good solid show nothing to spectacular but given the circumstances all including the band had faced over the last 48 hours it was fine by me!! Getting into the concert venue area was a little tricky.. a few more truckloads of wood chips would have been greatly appreciated but what can do!! After the show we walked down airport road to route 5. It seemed like a long walk and I guess it was. Luckily, we were able to pay a local $10 a head to drive us back to our campsite in Orleans about 8 miles away. I would have paid $50 a that point as my feet were killing me. Arriving back at our private site away from the mud we dosed off rather quickly. On Sunday we hitched another ride from some local kids who were working at the site pulling cars out of the mud. They brought us all the way into the site. We were all grateful as nobody was looking forward to hauling a bunch of beers 3 miles by foot. Sunday just seemed to reflect what a Phish show is all about! The sun was shining the ground was drying and energy was abound. We walked in a little late missing Mike's and Weekapaug but I have heard these tunes so many times that I didn't really care. The rest of the first set I positioned myself on Mike's side about 300 feet south of the beer tent. The first set was pretty solid. The sun was setting and I realized that this was it! I enjoyed the second set.. Glide is an old favorite of mine and Split was nice to hear. For the third set I abandoned my friends who were content with staying the the area we were occupying, again Mike's side south of the beer tent, and headed down as far as I could. I got pretty close to dead center about 80 yards from the stage and settled in. Fast Enough was great I think it is a beautiful song that rivals IF I Could on an emotional level. Simple and Piper were solid although I am not sure they belonged in the last Phish set ever. Wilson was emotional as it was one of the fist Phish songs I ever listened to make 1993..it also meant that we would not be treated to a final Gamehendge. Emotions, excitement, and appreciation built in Slave which I feel is one of Phish's best tunes and I was and will always be grateful they played it to end the set and their career. After the fireworks, I looked around and saw so many faces that seemed to be overcome by emotion and appreciation. It was truly one of the moments when you just close your eyes and be one with everything around you. I came to Coventry wanted to hear a Colonial Forbin's into Mockingbird one last time and I hoped the encore would grant me this wish. I kinda felt Harpua would be the lost song the boys would play so I was a little surprised by Curtain which I hadn't heard live for years. It was beautiful and a great way to end such an epic journey. After trey gently placed his guitar onto the stage and walked away as the final chord was fading, I for the first time felt really emotional. After growing up and following these guys for 12+ years I knew that I would never again be in such a warm and inviting environment where music, fun, and friendship all melting into a giant sea of happiness. I was disappointed the boys didn't come back out for a second encore but you can't dwell on it. Walking back towards the camping area, periodically stopping to glance back at the stage which provided me with countless hours of joy over so many years, I realized that it is true when people say you don't appreciate something enough until it is gone forever! † I would be remiss not to state the following.. I agree with those who say that Trey is not the same as he was a few years ago. I don't know if his heart is in another place or whether other personal problems were interfering with his commitment to the band but his playing has been going down hill for the past few years. I have always felt that Phish's best days were behind them, but never-the-less, I can only hope he pulls himself together and reconsiders his decision as even with all the recent flaws, this band, this community, is something too special to let vanish into the misty hills of northern Vermont.....................
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 14:19:16 +0000 From: David Elin Subject: Coventry Review..thoughs Coventry VT. Here's a few thoughts. My friends and I got in at sunrise Friday morning after a rockin' show by a friend who played really well. It was just a few minutes away so we left afterwards. Being that we are local we knew a short cut to avoid the cars and got right in....26 cars of our own.....it was an assault on the Newport area to say the least. This is an experienced crew I should say....between those people at our camp we've seen lots of shows...in the hundreds (thousands combined)....some into two hundreds and some.......wow!!! Anyway, looking back now I want to say something I have never said after a show....It wasn't about the music being good or bad. It was about the experience. See we don't go to Phish for the party....we go for the music, but this time was different. We needed to be there to see OUR band in their last moments, good or bad. I wouldn't trade these shows for the best I ever saw because these were the way they needed to be.....Trey played tired sad licks; some were flat and some were right on. We needed to see him screw up over and over. We needed to see that this ending meant as much to them as it does to us. I want to say thank you to Phish. Thank for showing us how human you can be...like we didn't already know....thanks for not being able to sing Velvet Sea and crying as much as we did......thank you for the BEST Piper I've ever heard and kick ass rip roaring Slave and for starting Curtin With over again......thank you for my family whom I would not know if it were not for you....and after all these years of being with these people they are my brothers and sisters. Peace and love Phish.....boyMANGOdshit
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 00:27:32 EDT From: SUGARMAG56 Subject: Phish show review First of all, I would like to thank†Page, Mike, Fish, and Trey†for the many, many great years that they gave us. † I have not been to too many Phish shows, maybe around 9 or 10, but I have been to a whole lot of concerts and numerous festivals.† This†"festival" †was one of the worst-ran things that I have ever attended.† I understand that nobody can change the weather, but come†on people, PREPARE.† And, why do people†think that they have to get out of their†cars when traffic actually starts to move.† If people would stay in their cars traffic would at least move a little bit more smoothly.† The whole "road-washing-out" ordeal was total bullshit.† Whoever was in charge of planning this event could have and should have put a little bit more thought into providing alternative access to the venue.† I want to thank the many kind locals, who graciously accepted the weirdness of this whole event.† I had the privilege of spending 7 hours of hellbound traffic comfortably on the side of the road, under a nice canopy, with a slightly older couple who were kindly providing our crazy†crowd with food and drinks.† Thank you to them again.† † *****Hats off to the environmental-friendly poser hippies for trashing the streets of this beautiful town.† I am not stating this to everybody,†but you know who you are.† Way to go!!† That is absolutely the worst†impression to leave, to worsen†the already bad stereotype of this crowd.† And even more to the stupid people who enjoyed pissing†everywhere, knowing that†everyone was walking around barefoot.† I hope noone got hepatitis.*****† † As for the shows, I†had my ups and my downs....and†so did the†band.† I thought that it was a perfect way to kick off the weekend with Walls of the Cave.† The rest of the first set was pretty solid, with an intimate YEM.† Lucky to†whoever came out with the trampolines.† I thought that the second set kicked ass.† The Bag opener was awesome, along with a good Halley's Comet into the best Ya Mar†I've ever seen, and probably ever heard.† Thanks†to the guys again for sharing†stories with us such as†the story behind David Bowie.† Character†0 needs no explanation, NICE!† Third set, Trey?† Was that Stash??† On the other hand, hats off to Free and Drowned - Most ripping jam all night.† Harry Hood on the rocks was delicious. † Sunday brought me many first timers.† Mike's Groove was great.† Reba is probably my favorite†tune - Thank you Phish for pleasuring me with that - It was beautiful, perfect!††Props to the moms for dancing a jig.† DWD was sick -†nice glowsticks Trey.† Velvet Sea - We love you†Page!† Glide†was another first timer for me and it was great along with Ghost!!!!† The†rest of the show was awesome.† I need to send out props to my buddy Biff aka A-smooth for calling the†phinale song, The Curtain With. † A note on†Performance:† The band did not play together as well as even I have seen them, but come on everyone, give them the credit they deserve.† Yeah, they have been doing this for 21+ years now, but I am sure that any of us, in their shoes, would be nervous as hell playing in front of 80,000+?† I don't want to criticize the†band in any way because I know of only a few people who can do the things that they do musically.† Yeah, Trey could have remembered a few more songs, but he had more of a right to be celebrating the Phinale than any of us.† † As for trying to leave the swamp, thank you to the guys from GA for helping me push my car out and to the guy on the tractor for pulling us out of another sinkpit.† The traffic leaving was even worse than coming in, which is absolutely ridiculous.† They might as well have been checking tickets to leave.† I know for a fact that there were more accessible roads.† On top of that, people need to realize when things are over.† I am not your mother, but slamming whiskey while walking around†in front of†traffic at 8:00†on a Monday morning is absurd.† Get in your car, get out of†the way,†and go home. † As for the unlucky ones who got turned away, including two of my friends who drove up from AL, I am terribly sorry.† From what I understand, tickets were being sold at the gates for $200.† If that is true, that really pisses me off.† My friends, who have had tickets before Phish announced their dreadful announcement, got turned away so $50 more per head could be made.† If room is questionable, don't sell sooo many tickets - It is that simple.† † Props to the deadicated phans who trekked it through the woods for miles to get in.† And also thank you to the troopers who helped people find their way and were kind enough to just deal with what was going on.† † After leaving and looking back on the whole weekend, it was well worth the mud, the rain, the traffic, and the journey. † Thank you again Page, Trey, Fish, and Mike for years of inspiration and I think that I am speaking for everybody when I say that you guys deserve it!!† † We love you and you will be missed! † JGB
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2004 22:52:00 -0700 From: Josh Silverman Subject: Phish show review Ahhh Coventry........ † Well, I want to say how sorry I am about the whole traffic thing but, if you've been to any of the other big Phish festivals then you should have expected it.† As far as turning people away, yeah it was a shitty situation but it was not the band's fault, there was simply no where to park everyone because the whole place was turning into a huge mud pit!† Cars were getting stuck all over and that was just making everything move extra slowly.† I was among the "lucky ones".† I got to the area Thursday afternoon and waited about seven hours to get in but we came from the north so we skipped all the interstate traffic all together.† Thank you so much to Phish and The Bunny for broadcasting the Jersey show on Thursday night as that made the wait sooooo much more bearable.† Now on to the show; on Saturday night I was down pretty close in front so I could really see the bands reactions to everything, plus they had the big screen monitors which made it all that much easier to see facial expressions, ect.† The first set was standard.† Some really sick jams but not that great of a song selection in my opinion.† Trey seemed a little subdued and maybe doped up. Second set was better for song selection and the playing was allright but nothing spectacular. It was basically the Trey Anistasio Show all night and Trey seemed to be giving extra attention to Mike.†What I read into this is that, because Mike is the one who is not ok with the breakup, Trey was trying to make him feel better, or something (one of my favorite stickers at the fest was "Mike says NO!").† By the third set, things got ugly.† I mean real ugly.† Trey was obviously fucked up, more so than I have ever seen him and Page looked dissgusted (or maybe just annoyed).† Several times he shook his head and laughed at Trey.† Trey could not play three chords on his guitar without wiping his nose and blowing coke snot all over the stage.† He was stopping songs to blabber about nonsense, making passes at a particular girl in the front row (which is even more disgusting when you consider that his wife and parents we're sitting right off to the side of the stage), and he almost fell off of the big boulders down in front of the stage when him and Mike took thier instruments down to play on the rocks.† He completely butchered Stash and Guyute in particular, as well as pretty much all of the composed sections to all the songs.† Now, dont get me wrong, I have a great appreciation for how complicated these sections are and to the fact that the band doesnt practice anymore but listen to the SBD's when they come out.† Trey didint even try to play his parts in Stash.† And after reading a quote by him in the Burlington Free Press the day before the fest saying how when he worked on the song Guyute with the Vermont Youth orchestra it was the hardest he had ever worked on anything, it was pretty sad to see him butcher it like that.† Basically at the end of the night it was obvious to me why the band is breaking up and I am thankful for their decision.† I did think, however that the second night was alot better.† I thought Reba was played flawlessly, Glide was pretty sloppy but fun none the less, SOAM was sick, as well as Ghost.† DWD was nice and I thought they did a pretty good job with Curtain, which was quite the surprise closer.† Trey seemed less intoxicated and they were having a genuenly good time.† I didnt really dig all the fooling around with the made up songs for the crew and what not.† It was amusing but, come on.† Last set ever?† I want to hear them fucking rock, not mess around.† But all in all, I'd say Phish did what they always do- the exact oppisite of what everyone expects them to do and thats what I love about them.† They didnt bust out anything too unusual; no Gamehendge, no GCH, not even a Harpua (or our beloved Fluffhead, although I dont think they could have pulled off Fluffs Travels wi thout some serious practice).† It was pretty much a typical 2004 Phish show and we should accept that.† One more thing I want to say, I really think the breakup has a lot to do with Trey's drug problems and I comend him/them for making that decision.† I wish Jerry had done the same thing and said, "y'know guys, we're starting to suck. Lets call it quits while we are still somewhat respected."† If he had done that and gone and lived in the woods for a few years and cleaned himself up, we'd still be seeing JerryBand shows.† So if it means that I'll never see another Phish show but in 10 years I can go see a TreyBand show, I'm stoked.† And remember what Trey himself said in Bittersweet Motel, that if they ever do a "reunion tour" we should all show up and throw tomatoes.† I know I'll be front row with my tomato in hand.†R.I.P PHISH.††††††††††††††††††††††† Sincerely, †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† buddhachef36@hotmail.com
Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2004 01:05:22 EDT From: GordonFunkSquad Subject: Phish show review 8-14/15 †††††††††† shame on any of you who say that it sucked and all that bull shit the fact of the matter is it was their last show(maybe) and they were filled with emotion but anyway pretty much everything was sick trey did make mistakes but if you want to run your mouth then go out there and play glide while you are crying in front of 60000 people.† Pipes Gordon is all anyone needs to hear anyway.† Pipes is definetly an alien or an android.† †††††††††† thank you phish i had an awesome time and i speak for countless people when i say that we love you and well miss you.† oh yeah and mike g if you want to jam email me
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2004 23:30:14 -0500 From: Evan James Subject: Phish show review Never done a show review before, but here it goes.† This was around my 50th show or so.† I need to recount.† Started when I was 13 years old back in 1994 and have seen them go through a lot of change.†There are a very different band than they were then.† I've read a lot of rabid critiques so far and everyone is entitled to their opinion.† I wouldn't say this was necessarily a good show but I thought it was a great experience.† Yeah, the traffic sucked but walking down the interstate, hopping on a flat-bed trailer truck, more walking, hopping on the front of an ATV, more walking, made this an adventure.† It will make the show much more memorable for me.† The mere spectacle on the interstate, watching people park and abandon their cars on the interstate, the medians, rest area, then seeing people walking down the interstate as far as the eye could see made me emotional already.† It is a true testament to how incredible this band was, and how much they meant to all of us.† Say what you want about this show, but for me it evoked 10 years of memories, and you know what, they are all good.† Phish has always played bad shows.† Phish at their worst is still more fun to me than a lot of other bands at their best.† Expectations, including mine,†for this show were high, and I was pretty disappointed with Trey after the first night.† I finally told myself to accept the mistakes, the mud, the walking, and it made it that much better.† I relaxed and had fun. † Now more technical.† I thought the first set was smoking and maybe the best. Walls of the Cave was pretty standard and Runaway Jim was its usual meandering self, which it has been for years. Nothing too special.† Jibboo was up there with one of the best I've seen.† As for YEM, yeah, Trey screwed up the intro, but who doesn't expect that possibility.† I thought the jam was one of my favorite YEM jams ever.† It was to the point from its inception and just rocked.† I don't know if many of you saw this, but in the part where they bring out the trampolines and they are just playing chords, when it hits the second half and the drums pick up, Trey pumped his fists twice instead of playing the chords, but picked it back up perfectly, which was awesome.† Cool to see them handing out the tramps.† Sample-standard.† Trey f'd up the intro though.† Axilla-slight Trey mistakes but usual rockin' self.† Poor Heart†was good, they gave all the soloing to Page which is always welcome.† I thought Antelope absolutely ruled.† It was very different.† Towards the end of the jam, Trey was just playing those wailing bends and holding them out.† I thought it was cool.† Fire-got weird when they started playing space but is always welcome. † Second set- Bag jammed out long and kind of went nowhere.† The rest of these songs in this set were abruptly cut short with no jams.† Bowie, yes Trey messed up again but the jam was good but standard.† Character Zero was THE BEST one I've ever seen.† Despite Trey starting to talk a lot and annoy me, he absolutely tore this one up like I've never seen him before. † Third set-catastrophic.† I think part of this was the fact I had one hour of sleep and was getting tired but most of it was Trey was so f*#$ed this set like I have NEVER seen him before.† His ego was flying.† He kept talking.† I was disgusted.† Trey had been pretty sloppy since some point of the second set and it was getting worse.† The composed section of Stash was ruined.† Somehow the jam was alright-different.† The band waves and Trey talking more got on my nerves.† What the f*$k was he doing with that Dr. Evile 'million dollars' thing he was doing?† At this point, I knew Trey was absolutley out of his mind.† When he said, "here is the song about the ugly pig," I knew it was disaster from the start.† This might be the worst version I've ever seen of any song.† So sloppy.† Drowned- always pretty fun but at some point in the jam Trey did this completely off-rhythm power chord progression, which was absolutley horrible. Being a guitarist, I thought this one of the worst brief moments I've ever heard.† Being tired, fed up with Trey, and thinking that was the set closer, I started walking back.† As I was doing so this jam picked up and really started to rock.† I was tired, heard Friday and Hood from a distance and didn't really care.† another note- Trey seemed so loud this last set.† I don't know why Languedoc never turned him down, especially when he is so off.† Too late for that I guess. † OK.† It was at this point, my friend pointed out to me how I was so critical of Trey.† I'm a guitarist and can play pretty much every Phish song and know every note.† Plus, I devoted ten years of my life to Phish and know every note anyway.† My two friends I was with are Phish fans but not die-hard know it alls.† They know pretty much every song but not note for note like I do.† To them, everything sounded pretty good.† It was at this point, I decided that I would just relax the next night and not be so critical, and you know what I had a blast.† Looking back on the bad songs, I still had fun. † Next night was just good fun.† Nothing mind blowing realy but nothing terrible.† Everything was pretty emotional for me.† Some†definite Trey mistakes, during Glide, SOAM, and The Curtain With†in particular but I†just let them go.††The composed section of Reba was almost†nailed, so I was pretty happy.† Great Reba jam, too.† † I didn't think Trey was messed up at all this show, he was just emotional and nervous.† Once again, I'm a musician and these songs aren't easy to play sober, even for virtuosos like Trey.† Age may have something to play.† I'm a better musician now at 24 than I was at 20, but because I know more and have expanded my knowledge of music.† But, I'll tell you what, i definitely get lost a lot easier in a song than I used to...and I'm only 24!!!† Just my thoughts. † I thought The Curtain With was a perfect last song.† Trey put everything together and made it sound perfect.† I wasn't expecting it since they've never really played at near the end of a show, but the song title and lyrics all made sense.† It's funny that Trey said that because I remember when I was 16 I was wasted at a party and went in to my car with a friend to jam out some Phish for a while.† I specifically played him "The Curtain" and told him it was my favorite Phish song and the definitive Phish song.† Guess I wasn't the only one who thought so.† † I'm glad I went.† I'm sad.† But Phish had runs its course.† Overall, a great experience.† † EJ
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2004 20:05:48 -0400 From: D. Schroeder Subject: Phish show review I came from Knoxville to see the last Phish show.† After first hearing them in '92 and growing up with their music, this was something I felt I had to do.† To sum the show up in one word, it was sad.† † We came from the north and camped just outside of Newport, VT, because I knew, after my Bonnaroo experience, that I didn't want to camp at the festival.† It was no problem to park in town and hike in; it only took a couple hours.† I felt terrible for the folks caught on the highway, forced to turn back.† Not to make them feel any worse, but Newport had lots of room - campsites, open hotels, etc - it would've been no problem to walk in from there.† The commons in the festival was actually better kept up than this year's Bonnaroo.† Wood chips saved the day.† † The show...well, let me start by saying that I was taken aback by the hiatus announcement in 2000.† After a bit of pondering, it made sense to me - they weren't playing like they were in years past.† I was glad to see them get back together in '02, and managed to make it to Atlanta in 2k3.† That was an absolutely killer show - great playing, great jams, great sets.† I had that kind of performance in mind as I approached the stage for their first set at Coventry.† I couldn't have predicted what happened then. † Saturday's performance basically sucked.† While I shed a few tears during "Walls of the Cave," the first set was stiff, the second was extremely mediocre, and the third, well, Trey was so wasted he basically forgot how to play guitar.† I couldn't believe it.† I alternated between laughter - "OMG, how many notes can you miss - how many beats can you drop!?" - and annoyance - "um, I spent alot of money to get here, dealt with the less than stellar conditions, and now I'm watching Trey self destruct."† † Sunday was much better, but the reasons for the breakup were evident.† Page, Mike and Fish played really well both nights, but it's obvious Trey is just done with the Phish repertoire.† He's forgotten parts of songs, and seems to not care about brushing up on them - even for the last performance!† I realize that his self-stated nervousness may have played a role there, and can I sympathize with that.† In Sunday's second set, when Page was too broken up to sing "Wading in the Velvet Sea," it really hit home.† Tears were streaming down my face.† I remembered how much Phish has meant to me throughout the years - strengthening friendships, educating me about music, stimulating my imagination.† My respect for those four guys knows no bounds - their geekiness and enthusiasm in the early years (look at the picture of them in Junta!), their musicianship and eclectic tastes, their absolutely transcendant performances - all of these factors made them so immensely great in my mind.† I'm a music major - currently getting a graduate degree.† My top benchmark for music is when it makes me jealous.† When I hear music and feel jealousy, I consider it extremely significant.††Phish's music does this to me.† As I stood there on Sunday, tears in my eyes, watching those four guys struggle with the reality of the moment...it was a thing of magnitude.† The playing was emotional.† The end of Glide was crushing - the†impact of the†vocal ending taking even them by suprise, spasms of near weeping sending the harmony†out of tune.† Several jams†that night were very good.† Again in the last set,†Trey was visibly†hopped up...looked like cocaine this time.† Maybe he needed something to carry him through.† The last set was rather†short.† After the last long bow, Trey†leaned heavily on Mike as they walked off the stage.† I†was†fairly close to the stage, and had a view of the road behind it.† There was an ambulance there, lights flashing. (?)††Shortly after the band left the stage, four tour busses made their escape.† The stage lights shut off.† The crowd stood stupified and bewildered, then began to†saunter solemnly†out of the venue.† † My†brother and I have talked about†the whole thing alot, before, during, and after.† It's†amazing to me that these guys, with†likely the most adoring audience in the history of rock music, able to sell out any venue†anywhere, having developed their group improvisatory skills to such a high level (I can't think of any band that compares), and with friendship alive and well are calling the whole thing quits.† It seems like an extreme move to me.† I mean, is saying, "no, we'll never perform again together, ever" really necessary?† Take another hiatus maybe?† Only do a very short tour every year - a couple weeks?† Trey even admitted this weekend, 'there is confusion.'†† At the same time, I think I understand.† They've been doing this for quite awhile.† They (especially Trey) want to do new things, and they don't want to be a nostalgia act.† It would be selfish of me to say, "hey, please stay together so once or twice a year when I want to come and stare at you for a few hours you'll be there."† It was painful to watch this show, and I know it was painful for them to play it.† It's like deciding to get a divorce from someone you have children with and still love.† 'Was it for this my life I sought?† Maybe so, and maybe not.'† As†Trey said in Bittersweet Motel - "All of this - the bigness - can really†get in the way of†what you set out to do."† † I'm sad that the phenomenon came to an end...but maybe it was ended because it became exactly that.† I look forward to seeing what other musical endeavors the guys pursue.† After seeing this show, I hope Trey doesn't end up like Lane Staley.† I have to struggle a bit to set aside my dissappointment in order to†convey a heartfelt 'thank you' to the band, but they deserve it.† I feel confident that they are the most important rock band of the last 20 years, and their music will always be dear to me.† † As we drove home, we popped in a show from '93 with several Gamehendge tunes on it, and celebrated the greatness of Phish.
Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2004 17:48:57 -0700 From: Jon Claffey Subject: Phish show review OK. I was there. I spent 42 hours in traffic and made it in without walking. I was one of the "Car People" surrounded by the "pilgrims", whom we helped out as much as we could with "car people" amenities. It was a classic scene, as were the days waking up to the sunrise with a line full of cars in front of you, passing the "sleepers" that looked like a graveyard of cars on the way in and the eerie fog that we drove through for 2 straight nights. Yes, my crew and I got into bitch fights. Yes we were bewildered, frustrated and helpless. But in the end, it was all about the experience. I thought Gamhendge. I thought Fluffhead. I thought Harpua. I thought it was going to the best, mist ripping shows ever. I was wrong. But...I was there with my friends having a good time for the last time. It wasn't about the weird way Trey was singing 1st night, or the missed riffs throughout. It was about the experience. One more bang with the band, the people who follow the band and happen to be some of the coolest people on the face of the earth, and my friends. It truly was an experience I wont forget. There WERE musical highlights, (Reba, Carini, Chalkdust, Wolfman's, DWD, Fast Enough, YEM, Axilla, Antleope, Fire,) it just wasn't the best thing ever. It was a fine goodbye. An experience I wouldn't pass up if it came my way again. I just hope Trey can come back and play again. I agree with one of these posts that it seems like something maybe wrong with his fingers. But we all know why. Yah-Orin. I don't know what he's on, but he needs help. The Jerry syndrome finally caught up to his guitar playing. Or maybe its that he is now consumed with other music. I don't know. It was a pleasure to meet all the fans for the last time, groove to my band one last time and pass a stage in my life. I must say the organizers did a good job with what they faced. The traffic was a joke and they could have done some things much better, but the amount of work they did to actually make it happen was amazing. Jusr like my crew, we had ups and downs, the event had ups and downs and the band had ups and downs. It was a roller coaster ride that was worth all of the money, time and energy. That's it. I'm out.
Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2004 17:04:27 EDT From: Crypton420 Subject: Phish show review Coventry Phish's final shows...so much in such a short period of time. It all started Monday 7 hour drive to sit in traffic for 18.† We started off†on the North bound side of 91.† After†we realized we weren't getting anywhere we†U-turn up an exit and hit the South bound side where we hit the end of the line a mile from the exit.†After 18 hours of†partying with my new nabors we made†about a half a mile of progress. It was about 9 or so in the morning†I remember mike coming on the radio.† If you were there you heard his message if not you can imagine.† Sorry.,..turning people away....go home. pretty much sums it up.† Go home, yeah right more like start walking.† 10 mile up to the grounds and I would do it again. The rain held off for the entire weekend including my walk.† The people were awesome like at all shows. No one complained about the mud the music or the walking. The first night was good. I give a†B. the fans and band alike were beat. it was a long day and I may not have made it through the night if the show was too good. We all needed our sleep and I think that night we all got it. And by the way when they gave away the trapolines. My god it hit that this was the end. The next day was beautiful. We hiked down through the mud to the show and got down while "Mike's" was starting. I've heard plenty of "grooves" but this one was nessacary I think.† I thought the first set rocked and we were all ready for one final rager.† Second set, the first thing I remember was Page trying to sing Velvet Sea and he could not stop crying.† I guess it hit them all around then and they were thrown off from there. They couldn't sing the songs. Couldn't play properly, and just didn't seem all there at the show.† I give it an A+ and ill tell you why... After 10 years I've heard every song I could want to here. I've heard them absolutely tare up songs I've loved and songs I didn't think were too special. I've seen rare songs broken out ("Unbound"- Nassau Feb. 03 I think)†Some of my favorites played†so long I thought they'd never end ("Ghost" @†IT and "Gin"- same Nassau show) This last show was an ending to so many years†for so many people and no one more then the band.† The ending was emotional and you felt a connection with these guys. I wasn't only sad cause it was my last show but I felt for these guys. It was a perfect ending to an amazing 10 years of music. It must be said I would have loved those heard one last "Fluffed" and don't believe it didn't happen. You Phans know what I mean.† And there were plenty of songs I wish I could have heard but that's how it works. I would like to think they may have thought the last night would last longer like we all did but could play anymore. And that joke about an orchestra doing "Gamehendge" not funny thousands of Phans waiting for something big to happen that would†have been IT. I don't even want to think about it. It would have been crazy and called for and†we would†have never forgotten something like that.† So nothing crazy happen no Sheryl Crow, no Kid rock, Dave, Willie, or Eminem (thank god) and yeah i actual all those and more.†and I didn't think anyone would be there this was a†Phish show and no one else should be there. To all the people who walked like i did god bless i think we made it happen And to my boys in the band thanks, not for the weekend but for 10 years ill talk about for ever they made music mean what it means to me today. Phish will live in my heart forever††† --TheFling†
Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2004 17:46:59 -0400 From: Chris Phair Subject: Phish show review- Coventry First off I need to agree with the person that stated the trash situation was ridiculous.† I knew this was true while walking through the venue and seeing hundred of beer cans and bottles sitting in the mud waiting for someone to cut their foot open on it.† Then latter on the†ride home seeing sh*t everywhere on the highway was a disgrace.† After that I will not agree with any of you!!! † We all need to remember that Phish is Trey, Page, Mike, and Fishman's†life that they have shared with us over these past 20 or so years.† Sure we've given them lots of our money and attention, but that has been our choice and I don't think that many of us would regret it.† This was their weekend, not ours.† This was their occupation and brainchild coming to an end.† They had every single right to get hammered and play the way they did in the 3rd set night one.† Trey was obviously drunk from point one, it happens and I'll be honest it bummed me out.†But it was his night and Set I was raging (and before I go any further I have seen about 60 shows starting with the Greatwoods Gamehenge in 94.† I was very much into the band until 96 when "The Phans" started 4 nights of fighting with the police in Red Rocks.† You're all lucky they didn't stop after that, followed by an immature Trey storming off the stage at the Clifford Ball because a hanglider took off too early keeping them from finishing Harpua.). "I'm leaving you a message, I'm leaving you a trace" Is there anymore fitting way to start the goodbye? Honestly, to anyone who didn't get the chance to go, Set I was raging and full of emotion.† Seeing Trey give the fans the trampolines was like a knife to the heart!!! Knowing that it was the last Antelope hit me again.†If you weren't holding back tears in set I then you aren't a true fan. And for all of those who were pissed about the traffic situation and how the band treated you, did you not hear Trey's statement before "Fire", he didn't want people turned away.† Now on that note, for all of you complaining about the traffic situation, buy a map next time you go on a road trip.† I left Boston at 9 am on Sat and by 3 pm my tent was up, I was cooking food,† I drank a few beers, and oh yeah I had†found a ticket as well.† I was in the show at 4.† The shows in Limestone were more of a hassle then this because many back roads existed in all different directions surrounding 91. Set II not great but not bad, I loved hearing Trey think back to when he was writting songs before they were big.† You could hear the excitement back in his voice thinking back to when he showed those guys Bowie for the first time.† I read someone comment on Trey's lack of soul.† Many people who don't like phish often comment on the lack of soul and depth to their music, I could always see what they were talking about.† It was never enough to push me away, but I understood.† At these two shows, Trey had soul!! Listen to the tapes and listen for the enthusiasm in his voice, listen for page crying.† Soul is all about emotion and not sounding the way you sounded last week, or last year, or on an album.† Soul is not perfection. Trey had the most soul I've ever heard him have.† Why, because it was the last few days of his baby!!! † Day II, rocked!!† It's that simple, the glowstick wars?!!† Come on, I've never been a fan of the wars, but the mass of sticks was beyond compare.† FEFY, Glide, Piper, Wolfmans? Gotta love it!! Sure not the greatest Reba or Slave or any of the other epics, but the best ones haven't been played since 93. The made up on the fly songs, again their night, their way to salute the guys that have kept their sound crisp and their tours rolling.† I've heard people complain about these 2 songs and chalk it up to their lack of skill or "addictions", but I bet all of you complainers were screaming "Bruno, Bruno, Bruno, Bruno...." over and over for several minutes. The Curtain With!!!!† Sure Trey had to stop and make an ajustment, but I didn't care.† I knew this was their last song and I wanted to savor it.†† I didn't want them to play stupid covers that I loved, I didn't want them to suprise me with guests that would have pumped all of us up, I wanted them to be Phish.† And what I've learned from going to the big Phish shows, they haven't always pulled out the big stops at them.† They didn't do that up there, and it was more fitting.† † Right around 96-97 I swore up and down that I was done with phish.† I would stop going to check them out I would say, but I would still go a couple times a year.† Every once in awhile I would have a good time, but most of the time I was very disappointed.† I was very happy that Phish made the desicion to go on the hiatus because at that time they sucked. I did not think that they took enough time off.† When they came back, they sounded worse than before.† I saw them twice in 2003 and they were easily the worst 2 phish shows I have ever seen (the Dec fleet center 20th anni show, and one at the worcester centrum in feb).† I was hardly a phish fan anymore and had no ambition to go again.† Something deep down inside forced me to go to Coventry.† And I am very glad that I went.† I can honestly say that they played a great show and pulled me back in as a phish fan!!!† I'm sorry that many of you didn't enjoy yourselves.† Maybe your expectations were too high or something.† I didn't even have expectations to go.† Once saturday reached my only ambition was to go to the show and see the band that helped me grow up one last time.† They were f'n tremendous!! The best shows I've seen in years. Phish if you for some reason read this, only pay attention to all of us that you inspired.† We Love you and everything you've done for us!!!! † † Chris
Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2004 17:55:56 -0400 From: Alejandro Tamargo Subject: Coventry Review (Combo both nights) Wow! How can I possibly sum up this past weekend in one review? I noticed that other people^“s reviews were very short. Mine will not be. Just a warning, this will be very, very, very long. If you don^“t have the patience for it, scroll down now. I^“m talking about both nights of music plus the journey getting in. I^“ll try to shorten it a little by forgoing the song by song reviewing and only pointing out the songs that really stand out. But I simply can^“t write a review without telling the tale of getting to the show, and I hope that others also include that part of the experience in their reviews as well. There was so much more to this experience than the music itself. Everyone who was there has a story to tell and I for one am interested in reading them. So here^“s mine. My girlfriend and I have the good fortune of living directly off of I-91 in Massachusetts, just south of the Vermont border, a mere 3 hours from Coventry on any normal day. We had the luxury of staying at home and keeping an eye on weather updates. We, and the two friends of ours who drove up from Virginia to go to the show with us, scrapped our plans to drive up early Friday morning and waited for the weather and traffic to clear. Or so we thought. Based on our experience at IT last year (which also had a little problem with rain and mud) we figured, the later you leave, the less traffic you will have. Following that logic we decided to get up at 5:00 on Saturday morning and drive to the show. Little did we know how much worse the situation was this year than it was last year at IT. On Saturday morning, we called the police hotline and they told us that there was still a 25-mile backup on 91, but only a Ĺ mile backup on 58. So we bailed out of 91 early, taking I-89 to rt. 100 to rt. 58. After driving just a few miles on 58, we were excited to get to what we thought was the beginning of show traffic. But it was weird. People weren^“t really sitting in traffic. They seemed to be all pulling over to the side of the road. And a few people were turning around. It was then that we tuned into the Bunny and heard the news. ^”WHAT??!!!!!^‘ my girlfriend and I both screamed. ^”IS THIS FOR FUCKING REAL??!!!^‘ We were absolutely devastated. We didn^“t know what the hell to do. We and our friends behind us pulled off to the side of the road to try and figure things out. We happened to be parked in front of the yard of a local woman who seemed to be letting people park their cars and camp there. It was a mere 3 miles to the venue, people told us. We could set up our tents there and walk back after the show. That^“s what a lot of people were doing. But we soon found out that this woman was asking $100 per car!! No fucking way in hell were we paying that. There were also a bunch of people who were just abandoning their cars on the side of the road. That was free. I was all for that, but a couple people in our group were concerned about our cars being towed. There was also the fact that they kept telling us on the Bunny ^”Do not abandon your car. Do not walk in.^‘ We actually considered leaving, possibly looking into a simulcast in Burlington (we weren^“t even sure if there was such a thing) or possibly camping somewhere within broadcast range of the Bunny, so that we could listen to the show. After all, with the majority of the people being forced to turn around, there was no way this could be the last show. Surely they would play one more for all those who were turned around. Before we did that though, I thought we should at least take a little walk and ask the state trooper down the road if they were going to stop people from walking in and if they were going to tow cars parked on the side of the road. He told us that no they weren^“t stopping anyone from walking in, but he recommended parking in someone^“s yard, because anyone on the side of the road would be towed. But that still left the dilemma of not wanting to pay $100. Then, our guardian angel, a kid on a bike, rolled up and told us that there were these nice people just a Ĺ mile down the road charging $5 a car to park, and an additional $5 a head to shuttle us in. Hell yeah! So we did that, and soon discovered that we were not 3 miles from the venue, but 12. Those poor schlums who paid that woman $100 and set their tents up thinking they were coming back there at night were in for a huge surprise. I^“m not sure if she^“s the one who told them that it was a 3 mile walk, but she certainly didn^“t say anything to diffuse that rumor. That is just so wrong in so many ways. So anyway, the nice woman who was only charging us $5 told us that we were going to be shuttled in 9 miles to the farthest point that they were allowed to drive and then would have to walk the last 3 miles. That estimate turned out to be wrong as well. We actually ended up walking 6 miles. We had to abandon most of our stuff: all of our beer, most of our water, our camp stove, cooking utensils, and all the food we were going to cook so as to avoid having to buy food. Rumors were abound that water trucks couldn^“t get in and food vendors couldn^“t be re-supplied. This was a very worrisome thought. But I chose to believe that Phish would cancel their festival before they allowed their phans to starve or go without water. So we took our chances with very little water and only a few snack foods to eat. And of course the rumor turned out to be false. It was too bad because we own great backpacks and a nice small backpacking stove that would have been perfect for this situation, but we had left them at home because we had not the slightest clue that we would need them. So we had to make due with one small backpack and two canvas grocery bags, plus our tent and sleeping bags. And it was really freaking hot. It was really hard and really painful to walk 6 miles like this, but I knew it would be worth it. We couldn^“t miss Phish, especially if it really was going to be the last show. I knew also, that we didn^“t have the worst of it. I^“m sure that right now some people reading this are playing the world^“s smallest violins for us, because at least we didn^“t drive from all the way across the country, sit in traffic for 40 hours, and THEN walk 6 miles or twice that much with all this heavy stuff. We were really really lucky to live so close and to not have to sit in any traffic at all. And for that I am grateful. As bad as it was it really could have been much much worse. But that still doesn^“t mean that it was fun walking in. When we finally reached the venue after a long, arduous walk, we heard a guy say ^”Not a single person here arrived the way they planned.^‘ We laughed. It was the truest statement I^“d heard all day. So finally, the show. By the time we had picked a spot, set everything up, and walked to the concert area, they were halfway through Jiboo. I was bummed to have missed Walls, a beautiful song and very appropriate for the phinal tour. Oh well, I can^“t complain having seen one in SPAC and another in Hampton. Runaway Jim I had also seen in both SPAC and Hampton and I^“m not all that into it, so I wasn^“t disappointed to miss it. The portion of the Jibboo jam that we heard was really funky/ groovy boogie down music. I wish we could have caught the whole thing. Then came YEM, which contained the saddest moment of Saturday^“s show. Trey gave away the trampolines. This was it. There would be no makeup show for those who got turned away. This was the end. They were never going to use the trampolines again. So sad. So devastating. I was really surprised to see YEM and Antelope show up so early in the weekend, when so many people had just arrived and many more had yet to arrive. Sample, Axilla, and Poorheart were all the type of songs I would have expected in the first set of the weekend. But I would have thought they^“d hold out on all the big guns until at least the second set. The Antelope seemed really low key. It didn^“t have the usual energy of an Antelope. However, I was grateful to see a finished Antelope. Because even though the one at Great Woods was mind blowing, they never finished it. So I was happy to see it^“s conclusion one more time, and I was happy, although not at all surprised, to see Tom Marshall being the one to finish it. At some point in this set, I don^“t remember then, Trey thanked all of those who walked in and expressed his ^”deep deep love^‘ for us. That made us feel better that at least we were appreciated. I really wish he had said something about those people who actually listened to what the cop on the Bunny was saying and turned around. Those people got the worst of it, especially if they drove long distances and sat in 40 hours of traffic only to turn around. I hope the band hasn^“t completely forgotten them just because they are in the minority. Back to the music: second set started with an AC/DC Bag that I was so happy for because we were late to first night Tweeter (after busting our asses to get up there from Hampton) and we missed it. We sorely hoped that they would play one more Bag for us. And this one was truly amazing. Best jam of the night by far. They did not want to stop, they jammed hard for what seemed like at least 30 minutes. Another song I was psyched to see was Haley^“s, a song I^“d only seen 3 times ever and none since 98. Very happy to get my Haley^“s. The Bowie wasn^“t a very unique Bowie, but the story Trey told about the writing it and one other song in a log cabin not far from Coventry caught my interest. According to Trey, it was in this song writing session that he had a real breakthrough in songwriting. It was after that, that Phish became a real band. What was that other song? I had a few ideas: Divided Sky, Slave, Hood, or Fluffhead. Of course, I would turn out to be dead wrong on all of those. But anyway, back to the music, I^“d say that overall it was the best set of the night. Bag, 46 Days, Haley^“s, Yamar, and believe it or not Character Zero were all personal highlights. The Twist that opened set III was no match for SPAC^“s version, but who could expect it to be? It was still a pretty damn good jam in it^“s own right. It contained some similar kinds of funky dance grooves that made the SPAC Twist so great. The Wedge was great to hear because the last time I heard it I was too busy being harassed by Masshole security to enjoy it (see my 12/2/03 review). They really nailed it too. Really psyched. The only other real highlight in this set for me was the incredible jam out of Drowned. Incredible if you ignore the annoying part when Trey stopped in the middle of the jam to ask Kuroda to turn down the lights so he can see the crowd. We later heard from the guy camped next to us, who was up front for this set, that Trey was really fucked up, and all the people up front, as well as the other band members were really annoyed with him. That was a disappointing thing to hear, especially after the ^”tall cool glass of soymilk^‘ line in the Great Woods Makisupa. I thought he had supposedly cleaned up. Apparently not. Too bad. I truly hope that now that Phish is gone he can get his shit together. I believe he can, because I believe that it is a large part of the reason he called that meeting to end Phish. He wants to clean up, but it^“s impossible as long as Phish is a part of his life. Or at least, that^“s my theory. One thing for sure, Trey^“s excessive drug use didn^“t keep him from jamming his ass off, not just in the Drowned but in the Hood encore. A perfect last Hood! Very well jammed, beautiful climax! Overall the first night of Coventry was a solid although not spectacular show, and one that I probably would have enjoyed a lot more if not for the fact that every bone in my body was sore, aching, or stiff in every way imaginable. I think a lot of people felt the same, because the energy was very low. So now onto the last Phish show ever. What can I say. It was a powerful, emotional, experience. I was really disheartened when I came home and read all these horrible things being said about this show in reviews and on message boards. ^”Worst show I^“ve ever seen^‘ ^”Flubbentry^‘ and so on. If you feel that this final show had too many flubs or that they didn^“t play the songs you wanted to hear and that ruined your experience, I feel sorry for you. I feel sorry that you let a few flubs or lack of bustouts ruin your last precious moments with the band you love (or supposedly love). I for one, savored every second of it, no matter what they played or how many mistakes they made. (Also, I might add, many people are severely exaggerating how bad the flubs were. They weren^“t THAT bad.) Besides you really got to cut them some slack for the structural mistakes. You got to put things in perspective. Remember what Trey said on Charlie Rose, ^”No one loves Phish more than me. No one.^‘ You might think you are the most upset to see Phish go because you^“ve seen 100 or 200 Phish shows in the last 10 or 15 years. Well guess what, these four guys have been to EVERY Phish show in 21 years!! No one is sadder to see Phish go than they are. NO ONE!! I know, I know, it was their choice to call it quits, but think of it this way: It^“s like when you break up with your boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, or husband, after many years of being together. You know it^“s the right thing for both of you to call it quits and move on to a new phase of your lives, but that doesn^“t mean you don^“t spend several days in a puddle of tears! No matter how sad you think you are, these guys are a thousand times sadder. Of course they are going to be emotional on stage. Of course they are not going to be able to play flawless sets. There is guaranteed to be structural mistakes abound. I expected it. Hell, I give them credit just for standing out there on stage and going through with it. As you all heard Trey said, this is the first time in all these years that he^“s been nervous for a Phish show. And if you weren^“t too busy sulking over all the meaningless flubs in the structured parts of the songs, you may have noticed that all their powerful emotions were released in absolutely astounding, extremely powerful, emotionally driven, mind-bending jams. I can^“t remember the last time I^“ve seen this much powerful jamming in one show. Okay, I^“m going to step off of my soapbox and continue with this review. Onto the sets: Set I began with a Mike^“s Groove, and then Anything But Me. Up to this point, it seemed like just any other Phish show. A nice rocking Mike^“s Groove to open the show, and a nice little ballad so that we can all catch our breath. I almost tricked myself into believing that this was any other show, that there would be more Phish after Coventry. But then, Trey makes that announcement I mentioned before about being nervous at a Phish show for the first time ever. A slap in the face. This is it folks. Three more sets and they^“re done. Trey^“s nerves showed in the composed part of Reba, not well executed. But as I said, who cares? The ending part of Reba was soul moving. The Carini was nice surprise. No nerves here. A downright evil version perfectly jammed into my least favorite Phish song of them all- Chalkdust. But I was just so grateful to be spending one last show with the band that has had such a profound impact on my life, that even the Chalkdust was enjoyable. It was Phish, and it didn^“t matter anymore what they played. And besides, this jam became very un-Chalkdust like. It was very groove oriented jamming. This went into a rocking Possum, and then the Wolfman^“s. I heard one of those classic lines from a Phish Phan soon after Page started wailing on the funky clav. This guy next to us spontaneously yells at the top of his lungs to no one in particular ^”See I told you Page wasn^“t gay!^‘ This guy was so funny. He was tripping his balls off. Set II opened predictably with Disease. This version went out there, although maybe not as much as the one in Tweeter. But this one at least, was able to triumphantly return to the dramatic Disease theme before heading into more sick jamming. Now the part of the show that had thousands in Vermont, and thousands more in movie theaters across the country, standing in a puddle of tears. Page just couldn^“t sing Wading. He tried once, was too broken up, got his self together, tried again, and burst into tears. I looked at my girlfriend and she was bawling. Next thing I know, so was I. The Glide was a nice tribute to all of the phans who went through so much to get there. ^”We^“re glad glad glad that you^“ve arrived.^‘ I was happy to hear that. Not just for that reason, but also because I^“ve only seen them play that song once before, and that was in 97. It was after the Glide that things just got to be too much. First it was Fishman thanking all of us for walking in; saying it was the biggest compliment we could give. Then it was Trey, who got so emotional he burst into tears, and so did tens of thousands of other people. This was getting to be too much. I think we all needed to get it all out and have a good cry. But I was hoping that the whole show wasn^“t going to be like this. Then after the pool of tears, Trey apparently said something about blowing off some steam, although I didn^“t actually hear that. That was when the Split came. Not surprisingly, Trey had a hard time singing it. I felt as if they were trying to get through the structured part of the song so that they could ^”blow of their steam.^‘ It was all about the jamming. That was their comfort zone. That was how they were able to release all those overwhelming emotions that had been building up. This jam was so powerful, so driven with emotion, it was almost too much. I can^“t even put this jam into words. Unbelievable. Then the same with Ghost. Trey completely flubbed the whole song. But again, I felt as if they were just trying to get through the obligatory structured part of the song so they could hurry up and get into their safety zone: the jamming. Another powerful jam. They drew it out as long as they could, until finally they realized they had to take a set break. Amazing. I^“m willing to be that there was a lot of emotions, and a lot of tears backstage. The final set of Phish music ever. I couldn^“t believe it. I only had one more set and it was all over. It turned out to be the best of the weekend. It opened strangely with Fast Enough. But that was it for the slow songs. Next came 7 Below, with the very poignant lyric: ^”Splinter and grow^‘ It^“s time for us all to splinter from the main tree, Phish, and grow on our own, without Phish. It^“s like parents letting their children go to be on their own. I guess this isn^“t the case for all phans. But for my girlfriend and I at least, we both feel like we grew so much as people during our years with Phish, and in many ways the music was like a guide, a mentor. But now it^“s time for us to grow on our own. Anyway, this 7 Below was not flubbed. Beautifully played, and beautifully jammed. The jam was full of energy and full of life, giving me hope that maybe they had moved on from the tearful part of the show, and moved onto more energetic, more joy filled jamming. The trend continued with Simple, and then Piper. A very well played, very well jammed version that got into this really rocking grooving kind of jam that Trey turned into a tribute to ^”Bruno^‘, the band^“s monitor technician. This part of the show was great for two reasons. One, after the tearfest in set II, it was so good to see the band able to be their old silly selves, and to laugh again. And it was good for me to laugh again too. It was a very nice release. One more laugh with Phish. It was soooooo funny to hear Trey sing ^”Every one do the Bruno. The latest Dance Craze. Turn the knob to the left, turn the knob to the right,^‘ as he imitated the motions of turning the monitor up and down. I laughed so hard and had so much fun. The second reason that this was great was that this was a much better way to pay tribute to the crew than the way I thought he was going to. I thought that before the encore Trey was going to give this long sappy speech thanking everyone and their mother like a bad Oscar acceptance speech that goes on way too long. Meanwhile, the rest of the band starts playing Oscar-like cutoff music to try to get him to shut up and simulcasts across the country suddenly cut to commercial. The Bruno song, and then the Dickie Scotland song that followed were much better ways to pay tribute to the crew. Trey seemed to feel a lot better too, after this release of laughter and silliness. He had regained confidence as he said. ^”We have another old friend we want to sing about. And we want you to help us- one last time.^‘ The opening chords of Wilson. Then the chants of 65,000 people in Coventry, and I imagined, thousands more in theaters. It was beautiful. Then the most beautiful part of the entire weekend. My favorite Phish song, and the one I^“ve been dying to hear again since I last saw it in Big Cypress. Slave to the Traffic Light. No flubs. Just beautiful. While it is impossible for any version of this song to top 7/4/99 in my mind, this one came damned close. The climatic end jam moved through my soul and moved my aching body like only a beautifully played Phish jam can. I didn^“t want it to ever end. And I believe the band felt the exact same way. On several occasions they had reached enough of a climax where they could have easily ended the song. But they kept going, they kept taking it higher and higher. It was as if they didn^“t ever want to stop. They wanted to milk it for every last possible note that they could. There may have been a tear in my eye, but this time it was a tear of joy. Now the last song. That mysterious second song that Trey had written along with Bowie while locked away in a cabin near Coventry with only Marley and his guitar to accompany him. Trey refreshed us on what he had said the day before, and told us that they chose this to be the last Phish song because they had come full circle. And now, he told us, here it is. By this time I was 100% convinced that we were about to hear the opening notes of Fluffhead. But I was stunned instead to hear the opening notes of the Curtain! Out of all the possible last songs I had thought of this one never even crossed my mind. And I don^“t know of anyone else who predicted it either. I guess no one was really aware of how significant this song was in the evolution of the band. And guess what folks, by the end of the song, no one was happier than me that they played this instead of Fluffhead. And that^“s the truth. Many people in fact were quite unhappy that they didn^“t play Fluffhead. But you know what, this was a much much better last song than Fluffhead. We^“re talking about a silly song about some crazy guy on drugs. Is that what you want the last song to be? Besides, they were clearly having trouble with complicated songs that night, so you know they would have flubbed it, and everyone would still have bitched. Compare that to The Curtain With, a song which features the lines ^”Please we have no regrets.^‘ It was very very surreal. I really felt strongly that the band was speaking directly to us in song. ^”Please we have no regrets. And you shouldn^“t either. It^“s okay. We^“re moving on. And you can too. So now follow the lines going South and go out into the world and grow. You don^“t need us any more.^‘ My friends jokingly pointed out the one flaw in that interpretation is that it excludes the people who came down from Canada. But how many of them were there really? 99% of us I think were heading south after the show (and following the lines of traffic I might add.) It wasn^“t just the lyrics of this song, but the music of the ^”With^‘ part also felt very right to me. It felt like the perfect goodbye music. Trey felt the need to restart the slow Rift part to get it just right, but I didn^“t think that was necessary. It was just perfect as is. After the ^”With^‘ part, the band drifted off into a brief ambient jam, as if trying to get in every last note they could, because they knew when they stopped playing, that was it. They were done. It was exactly how I wanted it to end. I heard someone say that he thought it would be cool if they ended it with a song like Reba where they just stopped on a dime and walked off stage. The thought of that was horrifying to me. I wanted them to drag it out for every last note they could, and gradually ease us into a life without Phish. I could not have asked for a better ending. An amazing weekend. Although, I admit, if you are judging it just based on musicality, it was not as they say ^”a top ten show.^‘ But nor was it bad as some people make it out to be. Musicly, I^“d say it was average- a show without a lot of ups and downs, some great jams and not so great playing. However, there was so much more to this show than just the music. It is rivaled only by Big Cypress as one of the most profound, most memorable Phish show experiences of my life. I am so grateful to have had that one last experience with the band I love. Thank you so much Phish for 61 of the greatest nights of my life. Onward with love. Alex Treebeard_tamargo@hotmail.com
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