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Coventry Reviews

larry jr.

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Hey, how about I start?

I got back earlier this morning since we (me, Dancing Bear and another dude) decided it would be better to beat the traffic and DB had to catch a flight from Montreal today so no risking that.

This was my 15th show (and 16th if you count both nights), but first since the big Limestone event in '98.

1) First of all, Phish doesn't control the weather, but the way concert organizers handled the announcement was piss poor. They didn't say the show was cancelled. They said that everyone who hadn't gotten in from the I-91 had to turn around because they weren't going to be able to get in. Fortunately, once the temporary shock and angst wore off, I'm pretty sure the vast majority of people decided to park their cars somewhere and walk. We had it pretty easy...we turned around and went up the 5, parked a couple miles from the venue, and got a ride with a bunch of our stuff for most of the way. Why the band/organizers couldn't recommend that people park and walk, or take the 5, is beyond me. The announcement was so sombre and cryptic on the radio, and it didn't need to be.

2) The grounds were obviously in rough shape. At one point during the first night, my friend Andy said this: "It's beginning to smell a little like India." Now, he's been to India, so I hope nobody's offended, but the point is that there was serious mud, made somewhat better thanks to copious woodchips placed strategically and a few wooden bridges here and there. Still, many lost their shoes, which made me really want a Cavern.

Geezus, the dedication of some folks who literally walked 10-15 miles to see the show is just unbelievable. And really, even though the whole thing was an ordeal, there was something almost magical about seeing all these fans just ditching their cars and walking it. It was hardcore, I don't care if you like Phish or not.

3) The music - As a disclaimer, I sort of moved on from Phish a few years ago, but I'm still fond of the tunes, and I'm certainly grateful for all the amazing times. I have no patience for these wankers with no lives of their own who think Trey owes them something for some reason. They're friggin musicians. They don't owe you squat. Nobody ever put a gun to anyone's head and said, "Go spend money on Phish."

That being said, I thought both nights were sub-stellar...so much so that I skipped the last 2 sets of the 2nd night. There were definitely highlights and those peakish moments, but overall I thought the band was much looser than usual and pretty damn sloppy at times. They flubbed lyrics, and their timing was just off on too many occasions, and yeah, Trey was the biggest culprit but I find that more unfortunate than maddening. As usual, I thought Mike was solid as a rock. They seemed to seriously lack energy, and I think there were a lot of reasons behind this.

For one, it was their last show and god knows what was going on in their minds and hearts. Two, they don't practice like they used to. Three, the crowd had to deal with a lot of crap just to get there and I think most people were already drained before the music started. Anyone who knows anything knows there's a feedback/energy thing with the audience, and neither was clicking right in my view. I really thought that was too bad. I was really looking forward to that buzz and anticipation before they came on the first afternoon, but it just wasn't there. I couldn't feel the celebratory mood I was looking forward to.

I'm glad I went, but I think I moved on from that sort of scene a long time ago. You know, as you get older, I think it's hard not to get more jaded. You notice things changing...there were no 18 year olds on their cellphones when I was at Plattsburg in 96; I didn't used to notice the amount of trash and disregard so many show for the grounds back then; I was so pissed off about paying $3 for a friggin bottle of water on the grounds after all the crap we went through; and frankly, I was just younger and more wild-eyed about the whole thing back then.

I'll always cherish the amazing times I had seeing Phish, and I wish all of them nothing but the best. I also hope people can close this chapter of their lives and look back on the adventures for what they were, and remember what it was that kept them coming back for more [color:"black"] ...

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