I'm not much of a writer so this won't be as good and detailed as Pauly's version, but I felt the need to blog it :). My flight left El Paso at 6:15am, after a day of flying I got into JFK around 6:00pm est. It was so wonderful to see Pauly :). It had been more than a year since we last hung out. We ran a few errands before we hit the road for Vermont. We spent most of the trip up talking and laughing. I snoozed here and there. By 3:30am we were in the 25 mile long line on I-91. For the next 6 hours we talked, took mini naps, and ate PB & J while we waited. At 6:30, Mike Gordon was on the radio, making an announcement. We were being told to go home, that we couldn't get into to Coventry because of the flooding the had resulted from heavy rains in the previous days. They had no more room for the thousands of cars waiting to get in. People were PISSED. More than pissed actually. As we turned the car around, I could tell it was taking everything Pauly had to remain calm. I tried my hardest not to cry, but the more I thought about it, the harder it was. I had waited months to find out if I was going to get to go. Pauly hooked me up with tickets and everything, and now we weren't going to get to see Phish play their last show? For a few seconds, I was in denial. I kept waiting for Mike to get back on and announce that they had figured something out. So, of course, I started crying. Pauly tried to console me "Don't cry Molly, it's ok, we'll try to score tickets to see the dead in Jones Beach, please don't cry." I calmed myself down and told my self to get over it. Pauly's friend the Joker had been waiting in line for TWO DAYS!!! As we drove south, he called and told Pauly that we could still go. All we had to do was turn around, park in one of the neighboring towns, and hike in. Pauly thought long and hard after he hung up with the Joker. He asked me what I thought. I said I was totally willing to do it. So we did it. We pulled over, gassed up, and packed the bare essentials: a change of clothes,money,and the tent. We had to leave the air matresses I had brought, plus the food and drinks that we had bought. We were determined to do it. Since I-91 was closed, Pauly had to figure out an alternate route to Newport City, a town just north of Coventry. We made it to the town and started looking for somewhere we could park. We were prepared to hike 5 .miles to coventry. As we searched we spotted a little girl hold a sign that said "Phish Park and Ride". Her dad was the owner of Shattuck's Motors, a car dealership. He was charging $25 for parking and a ride to Coventry. One of his employees dropped us off as close as he could get and we hiked the rest of the way in. Everywhere we looked we saw citizens of Newport giving Phish heads rides. We wouldn't have made it if it wasn't for the locals! We were so relieved and excited. When Pauly had spoken to the Joker earlier, he told Pauly to bring gollashes (spelling?), we thought he was joking, man I wish we'd had gollashes!! We found a decent place to pitch the tent, by the time we were finished with that, it was time to head to the show. We started walking, the further we walked, the worse the mud got. The only way to get to the actual venue was to walk through a huge,deep puddle of the stickiest mud I had ever seen. Thousands of people were trying to get through. I refused to do it. I informed Pauly that I would not cross the mud. I had only taken one pair of jeans and sneakers from the car, and I was wearing them. I explained this to Pauly. He sighed, "Do you want me to carry you?" "Yes please", I replied. I hopped on his back and Pauly carried me across the mud. What a gentleman! The mud was so deep that it was sucking people's shoes off, because of this Pauly almost fell twice, but we made it. We found a decent spot and got ready for Phish.
Phish, 8.14.04 Coventry, VT
Set 1: Walls of the Cave -> Runaway Jim -> Gotta Jibboo, You Enjoy Myself* -> Sample in a Jar, Axilla, Poor Heart, Run Like an Antelope**, Fire
Set 2: AC/DC Bag -> 46 Days -> Halley's Comet -> Ya Mar***, [Trey speech], David Bowie, Character Zero
Set 3: Twist -> The Wedge, Stash -> Free, [band waves; Trey speech], Guyute, Drowned -> jam -> Friday
Encore: Harry Hood****
*Trey gives away the trampolines to the crowd.
**Guest appearance by Tom Marshall.
***Bass solo with interactive clapping.
****Trey and Mike move closer to the audience and play on the rocks in front of the stage.
The show got off to a rough start, but it smoothed out after the 1st set. We had a great time listening to everything Trey had to say, even though he was a little wasted by the end of the 3rd set. The highlights for me were: YEM, Axilla, Poor Heart, Antelope,Halley's Comet, Ya Mar,THE WEDGE!!, and Harry Hood. I can't believe I forgot to put The Wedge on the list of songs I wanted to hear. I was psyched that they played it. I loved it when Trey and Mike waved at everyone, and I thought it was cool that they gave the trampolines away. We met some nice people from southern Vermont,they let us sit on their tarp in between sets. After the second set, it was getting pretty chilly. Pauly took off to fetch my sweater from the tent (again, what a gentleman!) and I sat and people watched. I noticed a guy stumbling around, at first I thought he was drunk, but after I heard him talking to himself "You're gonna be ok, it's ok, you'll be ok", I realized that he was having a bad acid trip. He dissapeared, and then reappeared a few minutes later. He stop in the puddle of mud I was sitting next to and said "I don't exist" and collapsed on his back in the mud. I fought back the laughter. It's a good thing I'm drug free, otherwise he would have really freaked me out. He lied there for a while, staring at the sky and squishing mud in his hands, then he stood up and proceeded to collapse face forward, back into the mud. By that time other people were beginning to notice. Some guy tried to help him out. After the show, we headed out of the amphitheater for some food. This time I took off my shoes and trudged through the mud barefoot. On our way back to the tent we witnessed some crusty wookie chick announcing "Yay yo for my puppy!" Like Pauly said, you don't trade your pets for drugs man.
Around 9:00 am the next morning, we were awoken by an obnoxious, drunken, yet hilarious neighbor. "Happy Sunday morning! Wake up! It's go time, you're on vacation!! Happy Sunday morning! High of 76 low of 72!". The guy had just finished shouting when the girl in the tent next to us moaned "Ughhh, I am never doing mushrooms again." By that time everyone in our little tent neighborhood was laughing hysterically. One thing drugged up,hippy,Phish heads are good for is a good hard laugh. I slept in kinda late, Pauly took off to go meet friends and grab food. That afternoon we sat in the shade and talked and watched really cool looking caterpillars walk by. We took it easy and relaxed for most of the day before it was time to head out for the second show.
Phish 8.15.04, Coventry, VT
Set 1: Mike's Song -> I am Hydrogen -> Weekapaug Groove, Anything But Me, Reba, Carini -> Chalkdust Torture -> Possum, Wolfman's Brother* -> jam (the sexy bump)** -> Wolfman's Brother -> Taste
Set 2: Down With Disease*** -> Wading in the Velvet Sea**** Glide, [band speech], Split Open and Melt -> jam (blowing off steam) -> Ghost
Set 3: Fast Enough for You, Seven Below -> Simple -> Piper -> Bruno***** -> Dickie Scotland****** -> Wilson -> Slave to the Traffic Light, [fireworks]
Encore: [Trey speech], The Curtain With
*The wolfman's brother is Fishman.
**Trey and Mike bring out their mothers and do the 'sexy bump' dance with them. Then later, 'sandwich' their manager, John Paluska with it.
***Trey plays his guitar with a glow stick.
****Page gets emotional.
*****The band spontaneously writes a song to acknowledge their monitor engineer Mark "Bruno" Bradley. Other crew acknowledgements.
******Same as above, but for Richard "Dickie Scotland" Glasgow
Highlights for me? Mike's, Weekapaug, Reba, Possum, Taste, DWD, Velvet Sea, Melt, Piper, Wilson, Slave, The Curtain With. It was an emotionally charged show. I couldn't believe my ears when I heard Page lose it in the middle of Wading in the Velvet Sea. I almost starting crying. After Trey cried, I started crying during the fireworks show. I realized how much Phish really means to me. I accidentally discovered them when I was 16. My dad had bought Billy Breathes and had it sitting in his stack of music. I picked it out, only because of the way the spelled the name. I started listening to them all the time, and then I discovered that there were a bunch of Phish heads at my high school. They changed the way I looked at music. Because of Phish I became good friends with Pauly. I was honored to have the priviledge of experiencing their last show. The last song they ever played was The Curtain With, which was unexpected but cool.
The next morning we got up, packed up and hiked out. Leaving Coventry was bittersweet. I wanted to leave and stay all at the same time. As soon as we were out of the campgrounds it started pouring. We hitched a ride in a pick up back to Newport. I was excited to see the Vermont country side. Talk about gorgeous! It's safe to say that Vermont is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. We made it back to NY around 8:00 and I finally got to take a shower! Oh, it was the best shower I've ever taken. I was sad to leave NY. I definetly missed Neto, but I certainly could have used a few more days with Pauly :). Thank you Pauly, thank you so much for making all of this possible. Without you I wouldn't have been able to experience the best trip I've ever taken. And thank you THE PHISH!