Thursday, August 19, 2004

A Vermont Pharewell... Part II

"The phinest in the nation..."
Sunday Morning

Normally as an insomniac, I wake up several times in the middle of the night, usually never falling back to sleep. I passed out hard after the first show due to the serious sleep depravation I suffered from the entire week of being on the road seeing four shows spread out along the Eastern corridor. My first memory of Sunday morning were the wailing screams from a drunk guy. I wiped away the eye boogers and unzipped the door to my tent. It was 8:30am and I was greeted by a shirtless dude wandering around our camping area with a cocktail in his hand.

"Happy Sundaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay morning! It's go time! High temperatures 76, low of 72. Happy Sundaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay morning!!!! Time to get up. You're all on vacation. You're all in Vermont. Happy Sundaaaaaaaaaaay morning!!!!! It's go time!"

He repeated the same phrases for twenty minutes straight. He woke up everyone in our acre of wet grass and mud. Despite her ear plugs, Molly could still hear him. As soon as he calmed down, I heard the girl in the tent next to us utter, "I am never doing mushrooms again."

Everyone in their tents started a domino effect of uncontrollable laughing and giggling. The poor girl next to us from Kansas was still tripping when she woke up. Yeah, Dorothy, we've all been there. Dr. Pauly's advice.... smoke through it. And don't forget... no matter what you might think, you cannot fly.

"Happy Sundaaaaaaaaaaaaay morning. High temperatures 76!"

I stumbled out of our humid tent and began my ritualistic wake and bake session, my first ever in Vermont. That's when I saw the naked pregnant woman squatting down in the woods behind our tent. She was taking a shit. A nasty one too. I heard a several uncomfortable grunts and moans. Only at a Phish festival could you shrug off that scene. Sure it might have been the first strange thing I saw that day, but I was guaranteed that by Midnight, the naked pregnant chick taking a shit behind my tent would be the 136th weird-ass-happening that I'd experience. Now if she gave birth right there... then that would have been definitely blogworthy.

What does one say to a naked pregnant woman taking a shit in front of you while you're getting high?

"Ummm, er.... how about those Red Sox, huh? Want a hit?"

No, she probably didn't like baseball. Plus the Sox suck. That would have been bad. I wandered over to the Common Ground Cafe and I picked up two egg and cheese sandwiches on a wheat roll and two waters for me and Molly. I chatted with a few Canadian Mounties to get the weather report. There were plenty of people still up from the night before as they stumbled back to their tents. We ate a little bit and Molly called her stepfather to get the skinny on the weather via the Internet to verify the information the Mounties gave me. Technology vs. odd Canadians in red shirts on horses. Which do you trust when you're stoned out of your tits and see dark clouds rolling over the hills from the West?

We were going to be lucky because a band of rain was going to barely miss Vermont and hit Cape Cod and parts of Maine and New Hampshire instead. Very cool, I figured, since I had half expected to leave early if the weather got unbearable.


Even Homer Simpson made the show!

Molly fell back asleep and I tried to get in touch with everyone at the festival. I originally scheduled to have a meet and greet brunch at Noon, to allow all the various readers of my blogs and all my different circles of friends (from almost 15 years of my Phishtory) mingle and hang out together... and have a Six Degrees of Pauly group photo!! It was going to be a huge affair! I planned on using the same caterer as Paris Hilton and bring champagne and strawberries and kind nugs. Alas, I forgot the champagne on the ride up... but... I would have left it behind anyway, and not carried it on the hike in.

I checked my messages. Alea sent me a text: Trey super wasted set 3 :( Harry Hood :) have phun 2nite! I started to wonder who got in and who got shut out. Lori and the Joker called on their way inside. I knew they were at Coventry (although I hadn't seen them yet). I had not heard from Daddy, a fellow poker blogger, my friend Sarah from Seattle, nor the japhans Emi and Junko. I was very concerned with Emi and Junko. They flew in from Japan and I dreaded thinking that they possibly got shut out. Zobo had not heard from her either and was hoping I would run into her. That's why I wear the red blazer at shows. I'm easy to pick out of a crowd filled with freaks. My goal was to wander around enough that someone would notice me. If I was meant to bump into people... I would.

I made a mistake on our original meeting place for the Sunday brunch. I realized that the event lacked a central message board that other festivals had. Maybe I flat out missed it, but I could not locate one. I attempted to text message everyone that the meeting place changed to the General Store at Noon. I wandered inside and saw Lori and her friend Sean standing in line. She clutched a few Gatorades and looked exhausted. We hung outside for a few minutes sharing our tales about our walks into Coventry and the insanity of our respective camping areas. She had four people crammed into a four person tent! I had me and tiny Molly in a four person tent. And I forgot about the pile of shit that the naked pregnant chick left behind on my back porch. Lori recanted all the rumors she heard. Trey's a crackhead. Just kidding. You knew that one already. Mike's an alien. Did you know that?


Real celebs were there too. Thanks to Marnie Mitchell for the photo.

OK, here's what Lori really told me... that the security at the gate ran out of wrist bands, so pretty much anyone could walk in at that point. Also, that tickets were available at Will Call for $100 as of Saturday afternoon. I guessed that excess re-release could have been due to the folks who never got in and picked up their tickets. But the real rumor... the infamous fourth set rumor... modeled after the late night Tower Jam the year before at IT... was that Phish was going to play on the little platform/theatre that was in the middle of the Common Area. It was wired for sound and during the day, weird characters in costumes were putting on plays and other random events. Could it happen? Perhaps. But it was fun just thinking of the possibility. I said good bye to Lori and made my way back to the campsite. She was the only one who showed up for my brunch. Even sleepy Molly was too tired to make it!

After Molly got up we wandered around the runway for a bit, hoping to bump into people I knew. I bought a cheeseburger from one guy and we found some shade to settle into for a bit. I busted out my sign: Ask me any question? $1. I love the reaction from people. Some folks are humorless. Other's get it right away and chuckle. Some play along and give me a $1 and ask me a question. And yet others are annoying as hell, trying to figure out "the catch" and grilling me about all the specifics. Folks, I'm fucked up trying to score a few extra free waters! It's not a mortgage application. Drop the cheapskate act for three seconds and just have a fun time!

I got one guy to ask me: "How many tractors will it take to pull all the cars out of the mud?" My answer: 137. Score! I went over to the water guy and bought a free water. As we wandered around, I'd hold up my small sign. One kid from Northern California offered me a few drops of liquid THC for his question... "Do you want some liquid THC?" Now that kid totally got it!


The infamous upside down trees.

Sunday Afternoon

Shakedown was packed with people. I took a few random photos and was kinda irked that I didn't have my video camera to capture the entire scene. Within two minutes a hundred people streamed by us. Half of the folks were barefoot, their shins caked in mud. The rest of the lot used plastic bags and tied them around their ankles. Still others had full blown fishing gear and wading pants to brave the mud pits sporadically located throughout all of Coventry. Everyone had the drug, molly, to sell. I'd poke Molly in the ribs when kids would wander past and whisper "Molly," to us.

"How did they know your name?" I'd tease. It made me recall Haley's first and only Phish show in Albany last November. She had never quite experienced the parking lot scene at a Phish concert and had no idea the amount of shady stuff going down. When she heard hundreds of calls for "molly" she curiously turned to me and asked, "Does everyone know your friend Molly?"

"More or less," I muttered.

Flashback over. I saw plenty of freaks, like the kid wearing the skirt and holding the giant Chiquita banana, that the Joker and I saw in Brooklyn. And the fucked up gaggle of five sorority girls from Michigan, those Dave Matthews Band chicks, who were inhaling Jell-O shots like Britney Spears feasting on a huge cut of tube steak. Then there was the wookie who was passed out in the middle of the airport runway. One girl wearing angel wings was kind enough to leave him a bottle of water. Yeah, plenty of characters and that was all seen in a quick blink of 120 seconds.

A couple of Mounties were trying to hold up the sea of people wandering past a garbage truck that needed to make a necessary pickup of an overflowed dumpster. She was a heavyset woman, and I felt sorry for the horse that had to bear her head-shaking weight. She kept blowing her whistle, attempting to hold back the crowd.

"Get back!" she yelled. "Get back. Don't you kids understand what that means?"

Of course, in my smug, snarky, wise-ass NYC mind all I could come up with was, "No. We don't speak Canadian, eh?" And I blurted that out which got a few laughs from the held up crowd.

I ended up scoring a few Superman rolls from a couple of guys from Ohio. I was set for my last show. I was on a mission. I wanted to get snookered... and make an Al Can't Hang Happy Hour binge look like a choir girl from the Bible Belt enjoying some milk and cookies. Too bad the streets of NYC weren't like Shakedown Street at Phish shows. I'd love to stroll down Park Avenue in front of a few haughty taught yuppies and score a fat bag a shrooms from a crusty with three puppies. Speaking of puppies, the entire afternoon I'd wander through the dense crowd, holding Molly's hand, weaving in and out of all the wasted, semi-wasted, and obliterated kids, whispering, "Kind nugs for your puppy!" I'd walk up to people who had their dogs following them with hemp leashes and tried to barter a trade for their pets. No luck. I wasn't serious of course. Just being silly.

"Kind nugs for your puppy!"

Again, I got some bizarre stares from folks. A lot of them just chuckled under their breath. People will sell anything. And worse, some people will buy anything. I watched some guy hand-blow glass pipes in front of a small crowd. We wandered around some more, past a couple of adorable Phishy chicks selling disposable cameras for $10. Why didn't I think about that idea? I was bumming. I was supposed to bring in a book bag filled with t-shirts designed by my buddy Bruce. He sold eight in the Camden parking lot alone... they were kick ass designs, and I would have spent the better part of my Sunday afternoon taking pictures, getting video footage, and selling Bruce's t-shirts with Molly.

I devoured another BBQ chicken breast sandwich from the Common Ground cafe (the safe choice!) and Molly ate a hot dog. I actually ate two meals on Sunday! We went back to the tent to get ready for the show. I didn't want to take any chances. We packed up all of our gear and wrapped them in the large recycling bags that the Phish Green Crew passed out when we entered the campgrounds. If it started raining during the show, we could sprint back, grab our gear and hike back to the car. I was prepared to ditch my tarp and tent if there was a heavy down pour. At that point I must say we were lucky. No one had gone through our site when we were gone. At Big Cypress, the folks we camped with had gotten some things taken. Coventry was theft free.


Freaky sculptures at the back of the concert area.

The Last Show

We wandered into the concert area much earlier than Saturday. This time we were prepared. We took our rain gear and warm jackets. And most importantly, a plastic bag to sit on. No mud for us! I took my only disposable camera into the show. We found a decent spot, Mike's side... because I felt that Mike had been the MVP of the week... and he was playing the best out of the four. I sweated Page for the entire Vegas run.
Set 1: Mike's Song > Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Anything But Me, Reba, Carini > Chalkdust Torture > Possum, Wolfman's Brother > The Sexy Bump Jam > Wolfman's Brother > Taste
The boys started a little earlier than the day before. Mike's Song was not anything special. The crowd was more into the first set than Saturday, but the boys were a little off on the first few songs. Sure, Mike was solid... and he had been kicking ass all week. He was completely in the moment and hit a few highlights in Weekapaug. Trey walked over to Page after Weekapaug and then admitted to the crowd that he had never been nervous at a Phish show before. Uh oh. I guess that explained the subpar M > H >W. Then they started into a slow Round Room tune that gets plenty of groans from the crowd. Anything But Me was one of those songs that Zobo thinks it sounds like his three year-old nephew singing/whining. It was a perfect, Pauly's going to smoke a bowl song. But the lyrics were touching.
"I am just another shooting star
High above that you might see.
Until I have your full attention,
I'll be anything but me."
Maybe Trey's alluding to the fact that the crowds have been out of their tits wasted since 1998 and too fucked up to notice their sloppiness. It was too early to read into their song selection.


We have the same bald spot!

Reba got me going. Molly loves Reba. What Phishy chick doesn't? It wasn't as tight as the SPAC show opener, but I was pumped to hear it one last time. Somewhere just before Carini... the roll I took kicked in. I really enjoy Carini... one of my favorite songs where Trey goes off. I love jamming hard to Carini. I noticed a group next to us that were getting down as well. I kept giving one girl a thumbs up sign to share my approval of the tune.

Trey played his favorite song next... Chalkdust Torture, a song I can say I have seen almost 60 times... perhaps more? It gets stale after a while... but how would Trey handle his last performance of his favorite song.... ever? He struggled but had a few pretty smoking rifts. The older I get, the more the line... "Can't I live while I'm young?" ...has relevance.

And then they busted into Possum. For some reason my mind set had been focusing on the lyrics for each of the songs... for some hidden messages and meanings into the significance of their last time onstage. The last line of Possum is fitting.
"Your end is the road."
Wolfman's Brother is probably my favorite most popular Phish song or heavy hitter. I fuckin' love the chances they take when they go off the deep end into a funky improvisational jam. I've seen some epic versions... the one I caught in Nagoya with Senor still holds up as one of the best individual performances (of any song) of all time. Trey was a little goofy and giving everyone the historical background of Wolfman's during the song.
"And the telephone was ringing,
that's when I handed it to Liz."
He told us that was his friend Liz Durkin, and he actually handed a phone to her after it rang. And Trey also admitted the big secret all these years, "Everyone knows that the walrus was Paul. When I was 18, Fishman was the Wolfman's Brother."

That was cool to know. Then Trey brought out his mother and Mike's Mom for a a version of the Sexy Bump... before they tagged teamed their tour manager John Paluska.


Trey and his Mom do the Sexy Bump!

The boys ended the first set with Taste and they finally all played together. It's a song where Page can go off on. And he did! At setbreak, I jotted down a few notes, but I was starting to get too jittery, so I stopped writing. I saw Lawn Boy and Molly took a picture of us.
Set 2:Down With Disease > Velvet Sea, Glide, [band speech], Split Open and Melt > Blowing Off Steam Jam > Ghost
What can I say? The sun went down and the boys started to get a little crazy. It was fitting that Down with Disease opened the second set.
"Waiting for a time when I can finally say,
'That this has all be wonderful, but now I'm on my way!'
Then I think it's time to leave it all behind,
I try to find a way to,
But there's nothing I can say to make it stop."
It was a kick ass version. Out of nowhere thousands of glowsticks rained up out of the crowd. It was probably one of the biggest glow stick wars I had ever witnessed. They were everywhere! Trey even picked one up and played slide guitar with one. The jam about twelve minutes in was some of the better jamming they did all weekend.

Check out the evidence yourself. Here's a great video of the glow stick war during DWD.

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks...

After a sick DWD, the boys segued into Wading in the Velvet Sea. It's a tune that gets a mixed reaction from the crowd. I get upset when they cheesed it out as an encore. But this version was special.

Page started crying. He couldn't even get out a full line of lyrics. He tried it twice. And just couldn't do it and pushed his microphone away. Wow. When Page lost it the first time, the crowd cheered to try to rally him along. But when he lost it a second time, I got a wave of goose bumps. He was overwhelmed with emotion. Then so was the rest of the band. Even Mike, who has the best poker face of all four was visibly flustered. They never did this before. I looked over at Molly. She was holding back tears. For a second they almost stopped... but they gutted it through. Which was important for me, who also lost it for the first time.
I took a moment from my day
Wrapped it up in things you say
Mailed it off to your address
You'll get it pretty soon unless

The packaging begins to break
And all the points I tried to make
Are tossed with thoughts into a bin
Time leaks out my life leaks in

You won't find moments in a box
And someone else will set your clocks
I took a moment from my day
Wrapped it up in things you say
And mailed it off to you
I can't get into Page's mind. I dunno what flashback triggered the tidal wave of sadness. Last time he'll sing it? Was it for a special girl? That song is special for me because it reminds me of the first woman I was truly in love with and I saw plenty of shows with her in the late 1990s. I thought that I successfully built up a solid fortress of denial about the feelings I still had for her up until that watershed moment. The fortress of denial of my honest feelings quickly shattered and abruptly tumbled down when Page stared crying. Phish just wasn't about music and getting wasted. It was deeply rooted in many of our lives... so far deep that it entrenched itself far inside the walls of your heart. Although I looked calm, I was barely keeping it together. The band ended Velvet Sea and then started an ugly version of Glide. They were still visibly and musically affected with emotion. Trey was sloppy, and this time he wasn't drunk or high... he was fucked up on sincere emotion. He spoke for a few moments after Glide. How he and the boys are going through plenty of "emotional ups and downs.... emotion and confusion."

And then every band member had a little something to say.

"Thank you from all four of us," Page said.

Mike offered up, "This has been a real wild ride. For many, many, many years, I'm the luckiest person in the world to get to play with these guys and for all of you."

And Fishman started off with, "Awwwww. For all of you people who walked in here... that's the greatest compliment that we could every have. Thank you so much. That's unbelievable."

I would have walked from NYC to Vermont to see these guys.

And then Trey said some sentimental things about his friendship with the band and lost it a few times. When he uttered, "We need to blow off some fuckin' steam!", they ripped into Split Open and Melt At that point, I made the decision that it was time to get really fucked up and I popped the second Superman roll. I was pretty plastered at that point... but since there was a set and a half left... it was time to go further. Trey stumbled through the lyrics, but the sharpened up their playing... and knocked off a thirty minute version... with plenty of peaks and valleys in their jamming. They eventually segued a half hour later into Ghost, which I was dying to hear. Man, Mike started off kicking my ass with some vicious licks. The second roll kicked in right away and I was flooded.

Trey had a tough time with the lyrics on Ghost and Fishman picked up the slack right away and sang lead the entire song. Trey could barely mumble the words. He must had peed his pants with emotion. Mike and Fish kept it up and pushed the jam along. They got their shit together for a distrubing ambient/distortion jam that stretched several minutes with Trey screaming unaudible words. They ended the most emotional set of Phish I ever experienced. I wish I had a bar to stumbled into to forget all the intensified memories sticking to my insides.

Coming Soon... Part III... the review of set three, after show and after thoughts!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

A Vermont Pharewell... Part I

"Nothing I see can be taken from me."
I picked up Molly at the airport and we grabbed a quick dinner before heading to the grocery store to load up on food, beer, ice and other items. I figured that we'd be stuck in traffic for up to a day and wanted to have enough to snack on just in case we were stranded. For Big Cypress, I was in line for ten hours. Last year at IT, I was stuck in traffic with Alea and her cousin for over 14 hours. With a full car, three small coolers, and Mr. Dickhead... we departed NYC at 10:00pm and arrived near the North East Kingdom around 3:30 am. We hit traffic about 26 miles south of the venue. Somewhere up at the front of the line was the Joker, who had moved just one mile in over a day and a half. I tuned into The Bunny, the local radio station that Phish rented out and broadcasted inside Coventry. The DJs gave steady traffic updates and played some freaky ass music, in addition to some killer Phish soundchecks from Big Cypress and IT.


The line to get in.

After a full day of traveling from West Texas via Phoenix, Molly was exhausted and passed out. At 4:45am I fell asleep and a few cars jumped me in line. By that point every fifteen minutes each car moved up 20 or 30 feet. I woke up to the guy behind me honking his horn. I had no idea how long I was out, probably less than a few minutes, but I lost a few crucial spaces in line. There was a lovely sunrise at 5:03am and despite all the bad weather Vermont had been brutalized with, the day started majestically. I sat on the hood of my rental car and silently watched the orange-red sun peak over the green mountains while listening to a Grateful Dead bootleg and chomping on Drake's coffee cakes and sipping some semi-chilled OJ.

At 9:30am we got the sad news from The Bunny. The DJ said that he was going to play a message from Mike Gordon, who explained to everyone that they were going to be turned away because they had no available space to put the remainder of the cars. He apologized and said that they had no other choice. They were forced by the Vermont state police to turn away fans. Here's part of the email that Phish sent out to people who had not left for Coventry yet...
As a direct result of the severe weather conditions and serious flooding encountered over the past few days, the Vermont State Police and concert organizers, in the interest of public safety, have been forced to limit entry in to the COVENTRY festival this weekend. After exploring all possible options, Police and organizers have concluded that there is no conceivable way to park the remaining vehicles on or in the near vicinity of the concert site, due to the conditions of the grounds as a direct result of the persistent and torrential rains over the past several days.

Effective immediately, all vehicles bound for the concert site not already off Interstate 91 will be turned around and denied entrance to the festival. In addition, roadblocks at additional points of entry have been set up and State Police will be ensuring that people can turn around in a safe and efficient manner.
I turned around and drove South on I-91, headed back to NYC. As I pulled the car around, Molly burst into tears. She came so far and got so close and was devastated. It really felt like getting kicked in the balls when I heard the announcement. I was trying to focus on the moment and safely get us back to NYC after not sleeping for over a day. But the tears from Molly's eyes really got to me. I didn't know what to do. My cell phone had been getting spotty coverage at best up and over the hills and mountains. At that time, I was getting no coverage, which was frustrating. I still had no idea whether or not the entire festival was canceled... or they were just going to play for the fans who got inside. Puzzled for sure, we headed back down through Vermont in silence. About 165 miles south of Coventry, I got my first call on my cell in hours. It was the Joker and he was walking into the campgrounds. He headed north and parked in a town called Newport, then hitched a ride half way and hiked the rest of the way in. The guy was determined to get to the show! And he told me to turn around and come back... that I should get as close as possible and hike because they will accept walk-ins... just no more cars. I told Molly and we stopped at the first exit we saw. I gassed up, bought a map, and made the decision to drive back to the venue! Many thanks to the Joker for being my source of information and inspiration to get to the show!!


Many phans ditched their cars and hiked in.

With all the state troopers handling the Coventry mess, there were none on the highways. I was going as fast as 90 mph to get back the lost time. Lori from Kentucky called. We kept getting disconnected, but she told me that she and her friends pulled over on the side of the road and were hiking in from I-91. She grabbed cash, vodka, and a tent... and headed to the show. She told me that hundreds of other people were doing the same. I got more pumped and told Molly, who grew more excited with every mile we got closer to Coventry. We got as far as three exits south of Coventry when we reached a roadblock. The state trooper asked me where I was headed. I told him Newport and he gave me directions... the same route I picked out on the map. It was a round about way and took almost two hours to loop around east then north and eventually back west into Newport, which was five miles away from Coventry. I drove down Main Street and out of the corner of my eye I saw a young girl, maybe ten years-old with a sign on pink poster board: Phish Parking, Free Rides. I rolled up to a semi-empty parking lot next to a Shattuck's, a local car dealership.

"How much does it cost to park?"

"$25 per person."

"Do I pay you?"

She pointed at a heavy set man off to the side loading up a mini van. "You pay my Dad."

I pulled in and walked over to the guy and handed him a $50 bill. He had his wife and three kids working the lot, trying to flag down Phisheads on Main Street.

"Ok, here's the deal. You can park here as late as Tuesday morning. I'll get you a ride as far as we can take you and you have to hike in the rest of the way. You're on your own for a ride back, but there's gonna be a shuttle that you can take. Or hitch a ride back. Plenty of folks will be looking to give rides on Monday morning. Tell them to take you to East Main Street."

We loaded our gear into the back of a van and was ready to roll when I realized that I left the tickets in the glove compartment! I sprinted out of the van and snagged our two tickets. Whew. That was close. Six of us in all squeezed into the van and we got a ride about 3 miles from the venue. We were let out at a road block. We each took a deep breath and started our hike down Airport Road.

As I began the hike all I could think was, "Never give up. Keep moving forward."

The locals saved the day for over 10,000 Phisheads, maybe even up to 20,000 fans. I must say that the citizens of Northern Vermont did everything they could to chip in and help out in a pinch. They were the X factor that allowed Phish, the fans, and the concert organizers to fight back against Mother Nature. Sure, the Vermont police wouldn't let you drive in, but thanks to the good-hearted people of the surrounding towns... everyone that tried to walk in was able to... and instead of 15 and 20 mile hikes in, they were able to cut down some of the walking to less than a few miles.

Within hours of the announcement, plenty of make-shift parking lots sprung up everywhere in the towns encircling 25 miles around Coventry. Anyone with a large sized vehicle started a shuttle service up to the roadblocks. Anyone with a large property created park-and-rides. Some folks were cool enough to let you park on their property for free or even camp out and set up tents on their front lawns. They fed Phisheads from all over the country and let them shower and take naps in their homes. And these folks did it out of sheer generosity. This speaks volumes about the people in Northern Vermont. I cannot stress how important, and surprising their willingness to help out Phisheads who drove as far as Seattle and Southern California to say goodbye to their favorite band. Sure some of them were in it for a quick buck... and that was the easiest money a lot of these locals saw in a very long time. But you could tell that they genuinely wanted to help out. Kindness from strangers. Kids drove thousands of miles, others spent hundreds of dollars on tickets, fans flew as far away as Japan to see the boys in their home state. The locals knew all that and were also moved by our passion for music and all things Phish. Without the locals of Northern Vermont... Coventry would have been even a huger disaster.

Airport Road is a two lane road. One lane was the out lane reserved for emergency vehicles. All the cars that were off the interstate were eligible to get inside. As I walked past a few cars I'd ask how long they were waiting. Everyone said at least twenty hours. One guy from North Carolina was waiting for 41 hours!! I didn't feel too bad about my situation. I was only in the area for about twelve hours and I caught one of the better shows post hiatus in Camden, NJ two nights before.

Before we hiked in, Molly and I discussed the serious downside about traveling inside with just a sleeping bag and tents. The weather was still a factor. A heavy downpour was predicted for Sunday afternoon. We accepted the possibility that we'd leave when it started raining... even if that meant missing the Sunday show. We'd also have to spend more money on food and especially water and beer. We'd only have a few items of clothing and one change of footwear. If it started to rain heavily, we didn't have the car to protect us. Without the car... no music to listen to or a charger to power up our cell phones. That was crucial and would make it more challenging to make the proper calls to people inside the show and those at their homes who didn't make it. Our dependence upon technology would have to be severed for the next two days. Molly was willing to take those risks, so we headed on in. We made back up plans for specific meeting places if we got lost or if our cell phones ran out of juice.

The hardest thing for me was the lack of necessary equipment I packed to make the trip even more fun that imagined. Out of a page from the Joker's book, I took plenty of props with me... including Mr. Dickhead. I took a camera with several rolls of black and white film looking to shoot footage of Mr. Dickhead intereacting with thousands of fucked up heads. I intended to bring along my brother's videocamera so I could document the entire weekend. I brought plenty of writing instruments, a few journals, that I never got to bring inside. Alas, I just took a pen and a disposable camera on my hike inside. I had to leave Mr. Dickhead behind as well. I'd have to rely on my memory to reconstruct the events in the future. Writing this, I understand how much that aspect of my trip suffered... the historical project of my last Phish shows. I really wanted to create a documentary film about Coventry and sadly, that dream was crushed, when I realized that I had to hike in and leave all video equipment in the car, for fear of theft and being destroyed by rain.

We Made It!!!!

At 4:10pm, We showed our tickets at the front gate, got our wristbands and map of the campgrounds and followed the crowd inside. On our walk down Airport Road, I noticed that several of the adjacent fields were under several feet of water. There was mud everywhere inside the campgrounds. I started to see people wearing huge goulashes. After walking inside for a few minutes searching for a camp site, I saw first hand how horrible some of the conditions were. They were right, they had no place to put cars. People were parked and camped in mud!!

Molly picked a spot near a random grove of trees in between two fields. That ended up being a good spot because the trees provided us a point of reference, which during my later stages of inebriation, allowed me to navigate my way from Shakedown to our camp site. Within a half hour we had a tarp on the ground and the tent was up and ready. Thank goodness that Molly is very skilled in camping and the such. Her dad took her camping outdoors a lot as a kid so she was able to adapt to the situation very easily. At this point, I must say that she was extremely cooperative. Most guys I know would have wilted away hours before. She pulled her own weight and didn't complain once about the long hike in. That was refreshing to be with someone who understood the magnitude of what was going on... that we were in a difficult situation and whining about what's going on would only make things worse. I calmly explained to her on our drive to Newport that we'd have to push ourselves and focus on the tasks in front of us in order to succeed, reach our intended destination, and have a kick ass party with Phish. One guy was joking around with his wife on the hike in... "This is the real Survivor. The winners get to see Phish."

He was right. I knew that if we endured these unpredictable hardships, that we would be rewarded for our troubles. It was 100% worth it and I'd do it again.

With our tent set up we followed the flow of people towards the concert stage. We stopped at a food vendor called The Common Ground Cafe and got some quick eats.

Coventry: Pieces of Pauly #1... So what did I eat on Saturday? At 6:03am, while still waiting in line, Molly made me a PB&J sandwich. It was tasty and I gave Molly some shit because she only spread peanut butter on one piece of bread. Both peices, Molly, both peices of bread and jelly in the middle... that's how it's done. I also ate a coffee cake and drank orange juice. Before the show I ate a BBQ chicken sandwich with melt Monterey Jack cheese and nacho chips. Molly ate some pizza.

We walked down the actual airport runway, which was cluttered with large vehicles like SUVs and RVs and other campers. They couldn't park in the mud so the runway was jam packed. It was a Shakedown type scene with plenty of vendors and kids standing around trying to sling drugs in the wide open. Normally, as you walk by, people whisper the drug they are selling. At Coventry, they help up their drugs in plain view. I saw hundreds of heads holding up magic mushrooms for sale. The same with marijuana. I'd stop to sniff a few different strains. We eventually reached the middle of the runway. We had to cross a huge field the size of a baseball stadium. It was circular with plenty of vendors on the outskirts and a huge tent in the middle (another cafe). On the other side was a path to a road that led you into the concert area. At this point, there was a traffic jam of people. The entire field was covered in knee deep mud and over 20,000 people were walking two-by-two on each side on wood planks and other pallets in front of the food and vending stands. It was going to take forever to get inside and people were falling left and right. The only alternative was to gut it out and walk through the mud. The time was well past 5:30pm and I figured that Phish was less than a half hour away from starting their first set. It was inevitable that you were going to get dirty. Really dirty. I told Molly that she was going to have to suck it up and walk through the mud to reach the concert. But she wouldn't move. She was paralyzed with fear.


Yeah, the mud sucked.

"I can't do it. These are my only sneakers and jeans that I took," she explained. I took a deep breath.

"We got so far! Suck it up, man. Can't you do it a little more?"

She shook her head. There was only one thing to do.

"Do you want me to carry you?"

She nodded and I bent over. She climbed on and I realized that she was much lighter than the backpack I took into the campgrounds. I took a few steps into the deep mud and I knew I was in trouble. I had very little control of where I was going. We were doomed. Then I heard words of encouragement from the crowd. You have to imagine a traffic jam of people walking two-by-two on either sides of a huge circle of mud. A few folks braved the mud and trounced through. Others were prepared with goulashes and other rain gear and easily navigated their way through the mud pit avoiding a half hour wait in line. And there I was... wearing my customary red blazer, with Molly on my back, and I was greeted with a light shower of applause from the crowd, which inspired me to keep moving.

"What a guy!" I heard one Phishy chick yell out.

"I wish my boyfriend carried me!" another blurted out.

I even got a few "ooohs" and "ahhhhs" from the crowd when I almost fell and dropped Molly, but luckily corrected my footing in time to save her from a serious mud bath, and me from the embarrassment of dropping my load of Molly into a lake of mud.


I carried Molly through this.

We finally reached an area of wood chips and I let Molly down. I was covered in mud halfway up my shins, but we made it to the concert area, which was a natural ampitheatre, with the stage at the bottom of a huge field and big rocks and boulders separarting the stage from the audience. A Ferris Wheel was in the back of the concert area with more food vendors and other odd sculptures like a steel moose and upside down trees.

We found our way halfway into the venue and settled in right smack in the middle of the show. I hugged Molly. We finally made it! I was ready for Phish. I celebrated with a victory bowl and then the boys walked onstage.


I was somewhere in the middle of this!!
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, Antelope**, Fire

Set 2: AC/DC Bag > 46 Days > Halley's Comet > Ya Mar***, [Trey speech about Bowie], David Bowie, Character Zero

Set 3: Twist > The Wedge, Stash > Free, [band waves; Trey speech], Guyute, Drowned > Coventry Jam > Friday

Encore: Harry Hood****

Notes:
*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 first sets of outdoor festivals are always mediocre. I prefer to see Phish at night with the lights down. They jam harder when the sun goes down. My expectations were low. I was happy to be there but I sensed that the crowd was not very into it... most likely for several reasons. 1/3 of the people had been camped there since Thursday and were fucked up for partying for several days straight. The other 1/3 were waiting in line for up to a forty hours and had no sleep. And the last 1/3 hiked into the venue. Everyone was tired for an average set and saving their energy for later in the show. I decided to live in the moment, because of the bad weather forecast, I figured that might have been my last Phish show, so I got completely fucked up out of my tits. I had been sober all week at the other shows, having to drive from city to city, so I really was waiting for the perfect moment to let loose. I was ready to push myself further than I had ever been. I wanted to sprint way past the last edge of sobriety that I lept off of.
"Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul. You've got to run like an antelope... out of control!"

A view from the stage.

Gotta Jibboo was the highlight of the first set. The roll I took kicked in and the boys shrugged off the initial nerves and found a funky-space driven jam to build up. I started staring at the crowd and looked back up the huge hill. Tons of balloons were floating up and down. During the last ever You Enjoy Myself Trey handed the trampolines to the crowd. They weren't going to need them anymore. And that was the first time it really hit me. These guys are done for good. Axilla was a rager! And the crowd woke up at that point. Antelope was smoking and Trey brought Tom Marshall to utter the first lyrics he ever penned for Phish... Marco Esquondoles! That was pretty cool. At the end of Antelope, Trey spoke to the crowd before they played one last tune to end the set. "Thank you so much. We got so much more music. And it feels very good to kinda have this thing up and rolling finally. And to send our deepest love to those of you who put up with all the traffic and walked in. We love you so much."

Yeah. He was talking to us!

The second set opened with a fat AC/DC Bag which had a nice jam about ten minutes in. They segued into 46 Days which was short and sweet before they sgued into Halley's Comet. Of course, Haley got a call anfd I realized that the played Halley's post-hiatus more frquently than they did in the last two years leading up to their first break. At the end of Halley's, I thought they were going to hit up a Makisupa Policeman next, but they faked me out and broke into a different reggae tune, Ya Mar. Trey faked everyone out... instead of saying, "Play it Leo!"... he yelled, "Play it Cactus!" and Mike went off into a funky bass solo. (Editor's Note: If you don't know, Trey's nicknames for Page and Mike are Leo and Cactus.)

After Ya Mar, Trey addressed the crowd again. He welcomed everyone to the show, then told everyone a story about how he lived in Northern Vermont (a.k.a. the Northeast Kingdom) with his dog, Marley, one summer when he was 20 years old living in a cabin. That's where he composed some music and took long walks in the woods and figured out the direction that Phish ended up taking. He talked about the wide openness of music and how he composed a few new tunes then drove down to Burlington to the house where Page, Mike, and Fish lived (next to the Hood milk plant) and shared what he penned. He was going to play one of those songs (David Bowie) and another one on Sunday, but didn't say which one. He spoke about the concept behind the creation of David Bowie... "I was wondering ow far can you push it in the harmonic and rhythmic language and still have people dancing... the idea that people are dancing right through (his compositions). It was written right near this very spot, so it feels like it's very full circle that years later that it was just a theory and we didn't have any fans or anything and now were back. And now you have to dance to David Bowie."

And then they ripped into David Bowie. I called Modeski and shared David Bowie with him for one last time. A smoking Character Zero closed the set and I was pretty shit faced. The second set was probably one of the shortest, but also the strongest at Coventry and is the one you want to add to your collection.

The ground was muddy and we didn't bring anything inside to sit on. I asked the guy next to us if he minded if we crashed on his tarp space. Brandon and his girlfriend Miranda were cool and invited us over and I smoked them up. They were heads from Southern, Vermont and like everyone I met from Vermont... they were laid back and tons of fun. I realized we were also in such a rush to the show that we didn't bring any warm clothes into the concert area, so I sprinted back to the camp site for a pullover and Molly's sweater. I knew the boys were taking hour long set breaks, but I had to hustle. I stumbled back out through the mud, the most wasted I had been since Deer Creek... past Shakedown which was crowded with everyone offering up more drugs, and finally near our camp site. On the way back, I saw a chick squatting down in the middle of the road taking a shit!! One guy said, "You gotta do what you gotta do."

And she replied, "Can you guys help me out with some sound effects?"

I blurted out a few farts noises and made my way back to the concert field. When I got back, Molly told me about some guy who was having a really bad trip. he was flopped down face first in the mud saying something like, "I don't exist." She was happy I was back. I sent Lori and the Joker a text message telling them to meet me at the General Store after the show.

A spacey Twist Around opened the third set. There were a few stars out, and as long as I saw stars, I was convinced that there would be no rain. They segued into a smooth The Wedge which I'm sure was dedicated to the folks who walked in and those who did not get inside. Then it got a little ugly. Stash was kinda horrible. I'm used to hearing Stash with notes from Trey. He flubbed a few lyrics but it was sloppy and not their best effort. After the show, Zobo called and told me that he saw the simulcast in a movie theatre in Atlanta. He said, "Trey was embarrassingly fucked up in the third set." He could see his face better than me. But he sounded off. Plenty of speculation and rumors hit Coventry after the show. My guess was that he got obliterated at set break and whatever he was on... kicked in or kicked out and he lost his buzz. My guess was that the blow wore off and he lost some energy. cocaine sobers you up for a short period of time and you lose affects of alcohol or whatever. But when you come down, you crash hard and if you were drunk before... you're drunk after. And that's the not so fun place that Trey had to get his internal shit together. Usually we can walk off into a dark corner or go to a bathroom to compose yourself when you get that wasted. Trey wasn't that lucky. He was in front of 60,000+ folks plus all those people watching the simulcast in movie theatres. At any rate, Stash was sloppier than a whorehouse in Minisk at 3am. Mike and Fishman carried the band most of the entire weekend, and that was one instance where they carried Trey.
"I feel the feeling I forgot."
I dunno what happened, but I thought Free kicked ass. I guess Trey got his shit together and started playing notes again. On my scratched notes, I jotted down: "Free was the highlight jam of the show next to Jibboo." Mike was going off in the middle jam, which has a high funk content.

Then Trey and the band waved to everyone. First it was their sound guy, Paul Langedouc, and it was his birthday too. They wanted to wave to C.O.D., the Coalition of Dads... but Trey couldn't find his. I blurted out... "He's back in your trailer snorting blow with 19 year-old groupies!" That got a chuckle from the Vermont kids. Then they boys waved to the crowd. I dunno. Goofy, fucked up, or just nervous. It was kinda weird. Then they busted in Guyute and I called Gil for one last time.

Drowned is a cool cover song that Mike is the man on. The Coventry Jam was intense after Trey asked Chris Kuroda to turn the lights onto the audience so they can vibe off them to create the fifteen minute or so jam. Yeah, pretty cool when Phish makes something out of nothing... on the spot like that... and sound great to dance to. That's why they're so talented. I heard a few 2001 teases in there!

Friday is a song that not too many people like. I'm indifferent, but I knew they were going to end the set with that.

For the encore, Trey and Mike moved out to the rocks to be closer to the audience during Harry Hood. The crowd sung the last lines... Could you feel good? Feel good, good about Hood? That was way cool and gave me goosebumps.


Jamming on the rocks during Harry Hood.

On the way out I told Molly how wasted I was and that I couldn't carry her back through the mud. We agreed that she needed to carry her sneakers and roll up her jeans. We found a decent area with only ankle deep mud and made our way to the General Store where I hoped to meet the Joker and Lori. Molly ate some flafel but no one showed up so we wandered back to our camp site. It was well past 1:30 am on Sunday and I had been up since Noon on Friday. I was spent and needed rest.

I saw a crusty chick holding her dog. She looked no older than sixteen or seventeen and she was shouting out, "Yay yo for my puppy!" I couldn't believe that. She wanted to trade her dog for cocaine. It was one of those nights.

Before I passed out, my mind wandered to all the places I had been since I last slept. I woke up in NYC after driving back from the Camden show and since then I had endured plenty of twists in my game plan just to get to experience the last Phish shows. I made it! I whispered to myself as I drifted off to sleep, drowning out the fireworks being set off by the kids in our field.

Coming soon... part II!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Go Home Phisheads

After picking up Molly at the airport Friday, we drove 5+ hours to northern Vermont and got stuck in traffic... a long 25 mile line (backed up on I-91) to get into the venue. The Joker had been in line since Thursday night and had only moved a mile in 30 hours. The weather was horrible the week leading up to the show. Entire fields were flooded and the organizers had no clue where to put over 70,000 fans. After waiting almost six hours, we heard a message on the radio from Mike Gordon. he told us we had to go home because they could not let anymore cars into the festival. Here's the skinny in this media release:
August 14, 2004 - Coventry, VT - As a direct result of the severe weather conditions and serious flooding encountered over the past few days, the Vermont State Police and concert organizers, in the interest of public safety, have been forced to limit entry in to the COVENTRY festival this weekend. After exploring all possible options, Police and organizers have concluded that there is no conceivable way to park the remaining vehicles on or in the near vicinity of the concert site, due to the conditions of the grounds as a direct result of the persistent and torrential rains over the past several days.

Effective immediately, all vehicles bound for the concert site not already off Interstate 91 will be turned around and denied entrance to the festival. In addition, roadblocks at additional points of entry have been set up and State Police will be ensuring that people can turn around in a safe and efficient manner.

All ticket holders denied entry to the site will be granted a full refund. Ticket refunds will be refunded directly to credit card holders who have purchased tickets from Ticketmaster and from Phish's online ticketing system. Further details on refunds will be announced in the coming days.

While Phish deeply regrets having to take this action, it is necessary to protect fans as well as residents of the greater Coventry area.
I was in shock. I turned the car around and started driving back to NYC. Was the event cancelled? No... but I wasn;t 100% sure at that point. As I headed southbound, Molly started to cry!! She came all the way from Texas to see the boys... she flew 2000 miles, drove another 6, and waited in line for six hours... only to be told... go home!!

Well... we weren't ready to give up that easy!! After a call from The Joker... he convicned me that you could hike/walk into the festival... and park somewhere close by. He picked Newport, VT... a small town north of Coventry. I bought a map. Gassed up and headed for Newport. Despite roadblocks on I-91.... I navigated two back roads and found my way to Newport. We parked our car in the front lot of a car dealerhsip, and for $50 he watched our car and gave us a ride 3+ miles from the venue. We hiked the rest of the way... taking only what we could carry... a change of clothes, two sleeping bags, rain gear, and my tent.

And then I saw the final two Phish shows. It was fuckin' worth it... and it didn't rain again until yesterday morning on our long ass hike back to Newport... five miles away.

I'm exhausted right now after a week on the road. I will write more later.

Setlist 8.15.04

Phish 8.15.04, Coventry, VT

Set 1: Mike's Song > Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Anything But Me, Reba, Carini > Chalkdust Torture > Possum, Wolfman's Brother* > The Sexy Bump Jam** > Wolfman's Brother > Taste

Set 2: Down With Disease*** > Velvet Sea**** Glide, [band speech], Split Open and Melt > Blowing Off Steam Jam > 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

Notes:
*Trey tells everyone that 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 and starts crying.
*****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

Setlist 8.14.04

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****

Notes:
*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.

Monday, August 09, 2004

About Coventry Music Blog...

My name is Pauly (a.k.a Dr. Pauly) and I created Coventry blog in August of 2004. Originally, it became a forum my friends to share stories about the final Phish shows at Coventry, Vermont before the band broke. I also created this website for my close Phishhead friends who could not attend Coventry and see Phish one final time. My specific writing goal was to make those friends feel like they were actually there.

I know, it's weird. This blog is named after the worst shows in the history of Phish. I never intended to ever use it again once the band broke up. But... shit happens, and Phish miraculously reunited in 2009 and all hell broke loose. I decided to keep the name to remind ourselves how lucky we are that Phish is back touring and making music.

Coventry Music has evolved into what you see today... a blog that focuses on Phish and our favorite music. We expanded into Twitter (@CoventryMusic), Instagram (@CoventryMusic), and podcasting (Wook Patrol).

We're music lovers and who love to have a groovy time at shows and festivals. We don't take ourselves too seriously. We're Phish fanatics, but we don't take their music for granted. Phish is what you make of it, but it's supposed to be fun. Never forget that.

Coventry Music is an extension of our collective personalities. It's a meeting place for our friends to celebrate our favorite musical influences. We post random news, setlists, download links, videos, pictures, cat memes, tour dates, new music and mixes. Our contributors are spread out all over America (Los Angeles, Colorado, New York, Utah, San Diego, Cincy, etc.), so we get to see a lot of different shows and music festivals. We post all of our adventures here.

If you need to contact us, drop us a line here.

You should follow us on Twitter (@CoventryMusic) because we often share cool links and provide live updates during Phish tour and other festivals.

So who exactly are we? Check out the bios of our main contributors: Dr. Pauly, The Joker, Irongirl01, Btreotch, Jonas, and Change100. Here are some of our previous contributors: G-MoneyDisco Sis 1, Broseph, Kid Dynamite, Tom B, Julius Goat, Strawberry Shortcake, and Jupiter Bunny.

Thanks for stopping by Coventry. Hope to see you in the lot.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Bios: jonas0tt0


I grew up here in Denver, CO. I was one of two people in my High School who listened to classic rock. The other guy was Barrett Miller (now a taper). Barrett took me to my first Phish show on 11/17/97 at McNichols Arena, and fed me some mushrooms - also a first. Like many people that see Phish for the first time, it was a life changing moment. I started weaning myself off of commercial radio and started exploring the new world of music that I had discovered.

When I was 20 years old, I had become so influenced by Phish that I wanted to learn to play the drums, and start my own jam band. Three years later I started the band Octopus Nebula. I had a great four year run with Octopus Nebula. All I ever wanted to do was to be able to play some psychedelic jams with like minded people in my basement. However, from jamming with Steve Molitz of Particle, to opening for Lotus at the Ogden Theatre here in Denver, I exceeded all expectations of being in a band.

I never really wanted to be a professional musician, so in 2007 I moved on from Octopus Nebula, resumed my career in Telecommunications, and started a family.

Jonas Otto

Create Your Badge

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Bios: Broseph


I was born in the windy city the year Bob Marley died. My parents left for southwest Florida before I could say bratwurst, yet after I accidentally drank an old style at age 4. Raised in a quiet beach community, I left for Tampa in '99 after learning the one University I applied to somehow accepted me. Some say it was only to be in the school's inaugural marching band. I'm a student of history and philosophy, and graduated to play music in smokey bars, chase dreams, and acquire knowledge. These days I shove letters into boxes, pursue graduate education, and laugh a lot. My musical tastes are wide yet acute. I appreciate large gatherings of people more than most things on the planet, but I also love beer. Most of all I love good stories, and try my best to gather/create them.

I also write here... Broseph: Life and TImes.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Bios: The Joker



I have been told that I have hipster tendencies but have a hippie heart. I have a knack for late night dance parties. I work hard at a "real" job during the week so I can see music all the time when I'm not working.

I'm the LOST + Phish guy. I make and wear disco ball helmets. I may have given you a UPS package at Vegoose or Festival 8. Wake Up And Rage.

I'm originally from Texas, but have made my home in Denver, Colorado.



Neil FonteYes

Create Your Badge

Bios: Dr. Pauly


Pauly is a writer originally from New York City and currently resides in San Francisco, CA.

Pauly is currently a reporter specializing in poker, sportsbetting, and the gaming industry. He is the author of a non-fiction book about his experiences as a poker reporter... Lost Vegas: The Redneck Riviera, Existentialist Conversations with Strippers, and the World Series of Poker. He is also the author of a novel titled Jack Tripper Stole My Dog. Proceeds to all of his books go toward running this site and funding Phish tour.

Pauly started Coventry after he got back from Vermont in August 2004 and finally washed all that mud off his feet. He wanted Coventry to be a place for his friends to share their Coventry experiences. It then turned into a blog about post-Phish life and eventually evolved into a group blog where the contributors share their favorite music, talk about the stories that happened at the concerts they saw and festivals they attended.

Pauly is an admitted Deadhead and has seen the Grateful Dead 46 times. One of the greatest moments of his life was meeting Jerry Gracia a couple of months before his death in the summer of 1995.

Pauly saw Phish over 250 times (151 shows from 1989-2004 and 100+ shows in the 3.0 era) and even caught six shows in Japan in June of 2000. He's been to epic moments in Phishtory such as Big Cypress and the Hampton Reunion shows in 2009. He walked into the final Coventry shows after being turned away at the interstate like so many other fans.

Over the last ten years, Pauly has been to different music festivals including Bumbershoot, Jazz Fest, Bonnaroo, Langerado, Vegoose, High Sierra, Lollapalooza, SXSW, Mile High Music Festival, Outside Lands, Cocahella, and he even attended Big Day Out in Australia.

In addition to Coventry Music, Pauly writes for several other blogs including Tao of Pauly, Tao of Poker, Tao of Fear, and Tao of Bacon. You can follow Pauly on Twitter... @taopauly. He usually handles the twitter feed for @CoventryMusic while Phish is on tour.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Bios: Irongirl01

I was born October 1960 in the Bronx so I am a true sixties baby. My dad and mom were not hippies and were not at Woodstock. My earliest musical influences were Louis Prima and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. As a tween I listened to Elton John and Jim Croce which in turn led me to other folkies. Then it was on to Janis & Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane/Starship, and when I purchased my first Grateful Dead Album, Blues for Allah I was hooked and a long strange, incredible trip began which continues to this day.

Other then a perverse fascination with Rock of Love and Bret Michaels I have never been into heavy metal or hair bands. I remember where I was when MTV debuted: Tulagi's on the hill in Boulder, Colorado. Today, I can just as easily be found digging in the dirt gardening as I can be can be frequenting underground cardrooms or kicking back watching football or college hoops. I'm a graduate of the University of Colorado in Boulder with two degrees neither of which I use today in my current job! I am a voracious reader of the printed word, and I love reality TV especially anything on Bravo.

IronGirl01 currently lives in Velveetaland just outside of Saratoga, NY.

Bios: BTreotch


I was born in '77, a week after the most legendary Dead show - my parents weren't there and they don't have the tape. My mom fed me a steady diet of Motown while driving to soccer and baseball practices. Dad is a hard core Parrot Head. Ironically enough, of the two times I've been arrested, one was for attempting to steal Jimmy Buffet's Songs You Know By Heart from Best Buy when I was 16.

I have lived in Texas, Tampa, and even Antarctica.

Bios: Change100


Change100 was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA where she grew up listening to The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and the Doors emanating from her father's record player on weekend afternoons. Her first concert experience was at the tender age of 6, when she saw the Michael Jackson Thriller tour from the sixth row at Dodger Stadium in the pouring rain and fell asleep during "Beat It." A former child star and Hollywood film exec, she's now a full-time writer and marijuana aficionado. Influenced by artists from Pink Floyd and Radiohead to Widespread Panic and My Morning Jacket, she's also an unapologetic American Idol fan.

Bios: Strawberry Shortcake


I am a wildflower.

I thrive on knowledge.

I choose to submerge my senses in experiences that allow my heart and my spirit to expand and grow.

I choose to fill my life with music that floods my ears with unstoppable rhythm, pours into my mind, and spills into my soul, only finally allowing me to purge the evoked feelings through dance and movement!

I love.

My Phish Shows

Thanks to Phantasy Tour who has a kick ass way for you to figure out how many shows you have seen. Coventry was my 151th show. I thought that was it. But then the boys returned and I luckily caught 100+ more shows in the 3.0 era...

270 Phish Shows (thru 12/31/12)

10/26/89 Wetlands Preserve New York, NY Setlist
03/01/91 Georgia Theatre Athens, GA Setlist
03/02/91 Cotton Club Atlanta, GA Setlist
11/09/91 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA Setlist
11/12/91 Georgia Theatre Athens, GA Setlist
03/28/92 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA Setlist
02/19/93 Roxy Theatre Atlanta, GA Setlist
02/20/93 Roxy Theatre Atlanta, GA Setlist
02/21/93 Roxy Theatre Atlanta, GA Setlist
02/22/93 The Moon Tallahassee, FL Setlist
02/23/93 The Edge Orlando, FL Setlist
07/30/93 The Veranda at Starwood Amphitheater Antioch, TN Setlist
07/31/93 Masquerade Music Park Atlanta, GA Setlist
12/29/93 Veterans Memorial Coliseum New Haven, CT Setlist
04/21/94 Lawerence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum Winston-Salem, NC Setlist
04/23/94 Fox Theatre Atlanta, GA Setlist
04/24/94 Grady Cole Center Charlotte, NC Setlist
04/25/94 Knoxville Civic Auditorium Knoxville, TN Setlist
04/28/94 SunFest West Palm Beach, FL Setlist
04/29/94 Boatyard Village Clearwater, FL Setlist
04/30/94 The Edge Orlando, FL Setlist
05/02/94 Five Points South Music Hall Birmingham, AL Setlist
06/29/94 Walnut Creek Amphitheatre Raleigh, NC Setlist
12/28/94 Philadelphia Civic Center Philadelphia, PA Setlist
12/30/94 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
06/23/95 Waterloo Village Music Center Stanhope, NJ Setlist
06/24/95 Mann Music Center Philadelphia, PA Setlist
06/25/95 Mann Music Center Philadelphia, PA Setlist
06/28/95 Jones Beach Amphitheatre Wantagh, NY Setlist
06/29/95 Jones Beach Amphitheatre Wantagh, NY Setlist
12/30/95 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
10/22/96 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
08/02/97 Gorge Amphitheatre George, WA Setlist
08/03/97 Gorge Amphitheatre George, WA Setlist
12/29/97 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
12/30/97 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
07/15/98 Portland Meadows Portland, OR Setlist
07/16/98 Gorge Amphitheatre George, WA Setlist
07/17/98 Gorge Amphitheatre George, WA Setlist
07/19/98 Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA Setlist
07/20/98 Ventura County Fairgrounds Ventura, CA Setlist
07/21/98 Desert Sky Pavilion Phoenix, AZ Setlist
10/30/98 Thomas and Mack Center Las Vegas, NV Setlist
10/31/98 Thomas and Mack Center Las Vegas, NV Setlist
12/28/98 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
12/29/98 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
12/30/98 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
12/31/98 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
06/30/99 Sandstone Amphitheatre Bonner Springs, KS Setlist
07/01/99 First American Music Center Antioch, TN Setlist
07/03/99 Lakewood Amphitheatre Atlanta, GA Setlist
07/04/99 Lakewood Amphitheatre Atlanta, GA Setlist
07/10/99 E Centre Camden, NJ Setlist
07/12/99 Tweeter Center Boston Mansfield, MA Setlist
07/13/99 Tweeter Center Boston Mansfield, MA Setlist
07/15/99 PNC Bank Arts Center Holmdel, NJ Setlist
07/16/99 PNC Bank Arts Center Holmdel, NJ Setlist
07/17/99 Oswego County Airport Volney, NY Setlist
07/18/99 Oswego County Airport Volney, NY Setlist
07/20/99 Molson Amphitheatre Toronto, Canada Setlist
07/25/99 Deer Creek Noblesville, IN Setlist
07/26/99 Deer Creek Noblesville, IN Setlist
09/09/99 GM Place Vancouver, Canada Setlist
09/10/99 Gorge Amphitheatre George, WA Setlist
09/11/99 Gorge Amphitheatre George, WA Setlist
09/12/99 Portland Meadows Portland, OR Setlist
09/14/99 BSU Pavilion Boise, ID Setlist
09/16/99 Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA Setlist
09/17/99 Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA Setlist
09/18/99 Coors Amphitheatre Chula Vista, CA Setlist
09/21/99 Pima County Fairgrounds Tucson, AZ Setlist
09/22/99 Pan American Center Las Cruces, NM Setlist
09/24/99 South Park Meadows Austin, TX Setlist
09/25/99 The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion Houston, TX Setlist
09/26/99 UNO Lakefront Arena New Orleans, LA Setlist
09/28/99 Oak Mountain Amphitheatre Pelham, AL Setlist
09/29/99 Pyramid Arena Memphis, TN Setlist
10/07/99 Nassau Coliseum Uniondale, NY Setlist
10/08/99 Nassau Coliseum Uniondale, NY Setlist
10/09/99 Pepsi Arena Albany, NY Setlist
10/10/99 Pepsi Arena Albany, NY Setlist
12/02/99 The Palace Auburn Hills, MI Setlist
12/03/99 Firstar Center Cincinnati, OH Setlist
12/04/99 Firstar Center Cincinnati, OH Setlist
12/10/99 First Union Spectrum Philadelphia, PA Setlist
12/11/99 First Union Spectrum Philadelphia, PA Setlist
12/30/99 Seminole Indian Reservation Big Cypress, FL Setlist
12/31/99 Seminole Indian Reservation Big Cypress, FL Setlist
05/22/00 Radio City Music Hall New York, NY Setlist
06/11/00 Zepp Koto-ku, Japan Setlist
06/12/00 Hibiya Outdoor Theatre Chiyoda-ku, Japan Setlist
06/14/00 Club Quattro Naka-ku, Japan Setlist
06/15/00 Drum Logos Chuo-ku, Japan Setlist
06/16/00 Big Cat Chuo-ku, Japan Setlist
06/17/00 Zepp Suminoe-ku, Japan Setlist
06/28/00 PNC Bank Arts Center Holmdel, NJ Setlist
06/29/00 PNC Bank Arts Center Holmdel, NJ Setlist
06/30/00 Meadows Music Theatre Hartford, CT Setlist
07/01/00 Meadows Music Theatre Hartford, CT Setlist
07/03/00 E Centre Camden, NJ Setlist
07/04/00 E Centre Camden, NJ Setlist
07/10/00 Deer Creek Noblesville, IN Setlist
07/11/00 Deer Creek Noblesville, IN Setlist
07/12/00 Deer Creek Noblesville, IN Setlist
07/14/00 Polaris Amphitheatre Columbus, OH Setlist
07/15/00 Polaris Amphitheatre Columbus, OH Setlist
09/08/00 Pepsi Arena Albany, NY Setlist
09/09/00 Pepsi Arena Albany, NY Setlist
09/29/00 Thomas and Mack Center Las Vegas, NV Setlist
09/30/00 Thomas and Mack Center Las Vegas, NV Setlist
10/01/00 Desert Sky Pavilion Phoenix, AZ Setlist
10/04/00 Coors Amphitheatre Chula Vista, CA Setlist
10/05/00 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Irvine, CA Setlist
10/06/00 Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA Setlist
10/07/00 Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA Setlist
12/31/02 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
02/24/03 Continental Airlines Arena East Rutherford, NJ Setlist
02/25/03 First Union Spectrum Philadelphia, PA Setlist
02/28/03 Nassau Coliseum Uniondale, NY Setlist
07/07/03 The Cricket Pavilion Phoenix, AZ Setlist
07/09/03 Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA Setlist
07/10/03 Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA Setlist
07/12/03 Gorge Amphitheatre George, WA Setlist
07/13/03 Gorge Amphitheatre George, WA Setlist
07/18/03 Alpine Valley Music Theatre East Troy, WI Setlist
07/19/03 Alpine Valley Music Theatre East Troy, WI Setlist
07/30/03 Tweeter Center at the Waterfront Camden, NJ Setlist
07/31/03 Tweeter Center at the Waterfront Camden, NJ Setlist
08/02/03 Loring Air Force Base Limestone, ME Setlist
08/03/03 Loring Air Force Base Limestone, ME Setlist
11/28/03 Nassau Coliseum Uniondale, NY Setlist
11/29/03 Spectrum Philadelphia, PA Setlist
12/01/03 Pepsi Arena Albany, NY Setlist
12/02/03 The Fleet Center Boston, MA Setlist
12/28/03 American Airlines Arena Miami, FL Setlist
12/29/03 American Airlines Arena Miami, FL Setlist
12/30/03 American Airlines Arena Miami, FL Setlist
12/31/03 American Airlines Arena Miami, FL Setlist
04/15/04 Thomas and Mack Center Las Vegas, NV Setlist
04/16/04 Thomas and Mack Center Las Vegas, NV Setlist
04/17/04 Thomas and Mack Center Las Vegas, NV Setlist
06/17/04 KeySpan Park Brooklyn, NY Setlist
06/18/04 KeySpan Park Brooklyn, NY Setlist
06/19/04 Saratoga Performing Arts Center Saratoga Springs, NY Setlist
06/20/04 Saratoga Performing Arts Center Saratoga Springs, NY Setlist
06/23/04 Verizon Wireless Music Center Noblesville, IN Setlist
06/24/04 Verizon Wireless Music Center Noblesville, IN Setlist
08/09/04 Hampton Coliseum Hampton, VA Setlist
08/10/04 Tweeter Center Boston Mansfield, MA Setlist
08/11/04 Tweeter Center Boston Mansfield, MA Setlist
08/12/04 Tweeter Center at the Waterfront Camden, NJ Setlist
08/14/04 Newport State Airport Coventry, VT Setlist
08/15/04 Newport State Airport Coventry, VT Setlist
03/06/09 Hampton Coliseum Hampton, VA Setlist
03/07/09 Hampton Coliseum Hampton, VA Setlist
03/08/09 Hampton Coliseum Hampton, VA Setlist
06/04/09 Jones Beach Amphitheatre Wantagh, NY Setlist
06/05/09 Jones Beach Amphitheatre Wantagh, NY Setlist
06/06/09 Comcast Center Mansfield, MA Setlist
06/07/09 Susquehanna Bank Center Camden, NJ Setlist
06/09/09 Asheville Civic Center Asheville, NC Setlist
06/10/09 Thompson-Boling Arena Knoxville, TN Setlist
06/12/09 Bonnaroo Manchester, TN Setlist
06/14/09 Bonnaroo Manchester, TN Setlist
06/18/09 Post Gazette Pavilion Burgettstown, PA Setlist
06/19/09 Verizon Wireless Music Center Noblesville, IN Setlist
06/20/09 Alpine Valley Music Theatre East Troy, WI Setlist
06/21/09 Alpine Valley Music Theatre East Troy, WI Setlist
07/30/09 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison, CO Setlist
07/31/09 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison, CO Setlist
08/01/09 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison, CO Setlist
08/02/09 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison, CO Setlist
08/05/09 Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA Setlist
08/07/09 Gorge Amphitheatre George, WA Setlist
08/08/09 Gorge Amphitheatre George, WA Setlist
08/14/09 Meadows Music Theatre Hartford, CT Setlist
08/15/09 Merriweather Post Pavilion Columbia, MD Setlist
08/16/09 Saratoga Performing Arts Center Saratoga Springs, NY Setlist
10/30/09 Empire Polo Club Indio, CA Setlist
10/31/09 Empire Polo Club Indio, CA Setlist
11/01/09 Empire Polo Club Indio, CA Setlist
11/27/09 Pepsi Arena Albany, NY Setlist
11/28/09 Pepsi Arena Albany, NY Setlist
12/02/09 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
12/03/09 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
12/04/09 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
12/05/09 John Paul Jones Arena Charlottesville, VA Setlist
12/28/09 American Airlines Arena Miami, FL Setlist
12/29/09 American Airlines Arena Miami, FL Setlist
12/30/09 American Airlines Arena Miami, FL Setlist
12/31/09 American Airlines Arena Miami, FL Setlist
06/19/10 Saratoga Performing Arts Center Saratoga Springs, NY Setlist
06/20/10 Saratoga Performing Arts Center Saratoga Springs, NY Setlist
07/01/10 Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek Raleigh, NC Setlist
07/02/10 Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Charlotte, NC Setlist
07/03/10 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre At Encore Park Alpharetta, GA Setlist
07/04/10 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre At Encore Park Alpharetta, GA Setlist
08/05/10 Greek Theatre Berkeley, CA Setlist
08/06/10 Greek Theatre Berkeley, CA Setlist
08/07/10 Greek Theatre Berkeley, CA Setlist
08/09/10 Town Park Telluride, CO Setlist
08/10/10 Town Park Telluride, CO Setlist
08/12/10 Verizon Wireless Music Center Noblesville, IN Setlist
08/13/10 Verizon Wireless Music Center Noblesville, IN Setlist
08/14/10 Alpine Valley Music Theatre East Troy, WI Setlist
08/15/10 Alpine Valley Music Theatre East Troy, WI Setlist
08/17/10 Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre Wantagh, NY Setlist
08/18/10 Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre Wantagh, NY Setlist
10/10/10 1st Bank Center Broomfield, CO Setlist
10/11/10 1st Bank Center Broomfield, CO Setlist
10/12/10 1st Bank Center Broomfield, CO Setlist
10/15/10 North Charleston Coliseum North Charleston, SC Setlist
10/16/10 North Charleston Coliseum North Charleston, SC Setlist
10/22/10 Dunkin Donuts Center Providence, RI Setlist
10/23/10 Mullins Center Amherst, MA Setlist
10/24/10 Mullins Center Amherst, MA Setlist
10/26/10 Verizon Wireless Arena Manchester, NH Setlist
10/29/10 Boardwalk Hall Atlantic City, NJ Setlist
10/30/10 Boardwalk Hall Atlantic City, NJ Setlist
10/31/10 Boardwalk Hall Atlantic City, NJ Setlist
12/28/10 DCU Center Worcester, MA Setlist
12/30/10 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
12/31/10 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
01/01/11 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
06/04/11 Blossom Music Center Cuyahoga Falls, OH Setlist
06/05/11 Riverbend Music Center Cincinnati, OH Setlist
07/01/11 Super Ball IX Watkins Glenn, NY Setlist
07/02/11 Super Ball IX Watkins Glenn, NY Setlist
07/03/11 Super Ball IX Watkins Glenn, NY Setlist
08/05/11 Gorge Amphitheatre George, WA Setlist
08/06/11 Gorge Amphitheatre George, WA Setlist
08/08/11 Hollywood Bowl Hollywood, CA Setlist
08/09/11 Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys Stateline, NV Setlist
08/10/11 Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys Stateline, NV Setlist
08/12/11 Golden Gate Park San Francisco, CA Setlist
08/15/11 UIC Pavilion Chicago, IL Setlist
08/16/11 UIC Pavilion Chicago, IL Setlist
08/17/11 UIC Pavilion Chicago, IL Setlist
09/02/11 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Commerce City, CO Setlist
09/03/11 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Commerce City, CO Setlist
09/04/11 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Commerce City, CO Setlist
09/14/11 Champlain Valley Exposition Essex Junction, VT Setlist
12/28/11 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
12/29/11 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
12/30/11 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
12/31/11 Madison Square Garden New York, NY Setlist
06/15/12 Bader Field Atlantic City, NJ Setlist
06/16/12 Bader Field Atlantic City, NJ Setlist
06/17/12 Bader Field Atlantic City, NJ Setlist
06/22/12 Riverbend Music Center Cincinnati, OH Setlist
06/23/12 First Niagara Pavilion Burgettstown, PA Setlist
06/24/12 Blossom Music Center Cuyahoga Falls, OH Setlist
06/28/12 Klipsch Music Center Noblesville, Setlist
06/29/12 Klipsch Music Center Noblesville, Setlist
06/30/12 Alpine Valley Music Theatre East Troy, WI Setlist
07/01/12 Alpine Valley Music Theatre East Troy, WI Setlist
07/04/12 Jones Beach Amphitheatre Wantagh, NY Setlist
07/06/12 Saratoga Performing Arts Center Saratoga Springs, NY Setlist
07/07/12 Saratoga Performing Arts Center Saratoga Springs, NY Setlist
07/08/12 Saratoga Performing Arts Center Saratoga Springs, NY Setlist
08/15/12 Long Beach Arena Long Beach, Setlist
08/17/12 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium San Francisco, CA Setlist
08/18/12 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium San Francisco, CA Setlist
08/19/12 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium San Francisco, CA Setlist
08/25/12 Aarons Amphitheatre at Lakewood Atlanta, GA Setlist
08/26/12 Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Charlotte, NC Setlist
08/28/12 Chaifetz Arena St. Louis, MO Setlist
08/31/12 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Commerce City, CO Setlist
09/01/12 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Commerce City, CO Setlist
09/02/12 Dick's Sporting Goods Park Commerce City, CO Setlist

12/28/12 MSG
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