Permalink for Comment #1313420408 by MDosque

, comment by MDosque
MDosque I watched Coventry from a movie theater in South Philly with a great friend and fellow fan. For me, it was a really cool experience. By 2004, I felt like Phish and the scene needed a serious break. I had seen a handful of shows each year since 96 with highlights being the Spectrum 96 and 97 and Lemonwheel. For me, the July 4th run of 2000 was a little bit of a turning point. Something just did not feel right from that point on for me. It was just a feeling and a hunch. Maybe it was the scene, which had become seriously dark, twisted, and pharmy-driven in places and cheesy DMB-style in others. Still, there were highlights in 2.0 for me. I thought the 2003 Camden show right before IT was excellent and had terrific energy. It was and remains my favorite show that I saw in 2.0 and should be sought out since great shows are a little scattered in that era. Unfortunately, the next year at Camden was weird. The loopy stuff and both Round Room set closers allowed me to really assess how I was growing apart from the scene. Still, I loved and continue to love this band.

Watching from the movie theater, I felt a strange sense of sadness and closure. I remember knowing that I was watching a train wreck onstage and feeling really sad on a human level for Trey as he struggled with his demons before thousands in Vermont and across the country. I teared up during FEFY because I felt the band's emotion and will always see that tune in that light. I dug the F it moment when they "blew off some steam" and of course, knew the end was appropriate during Curtain. It was neat seeing it in the movies because I could really feel the emotion coming off the screen. It was also kind of metaphorical for me because I had little desire to actually be there, although I am sure it was one hell of an experience in good and bad ways that can never be known by me. Ever since I left my silly middle-school rap/grunge stage and discovered classic rock like Zeppelin, Hendrix, Floyd, and of course The Dead and Phish, I looked at music as a soundtrack to my life. This moment in 2004 was perfect as this chapter was closing. I was out of college, living with my future wife, and working full-time as a "functional" adult. Tokage volume was down, I was watching the evening news and Jeopardy, and moving on (ok, that makes my ass sound 70, but you get the point). I knew this was the right time to stop for them. Now, with 3.0 in full effect, I can come at the band from a different perspective, and it is a good one. I have not listened back to this show, and would be curious, but it is far down the list. Since 3.0 began, I have a backlog of shows that I have been working through from what I personally (and everyone is different) consider the glory years. My first show 12/29/96, all of Fall 97 of course, Island Tour, Lemonwheel (pretty great and often overlooked), and a few other shows I caught in 99-00. All of it is inspiring. In my opinion, 2.0 will always be a weak spot in Phish history. It has a lot to do with my time and place, but objectively, the music and vibe was lacking in general. For sure, there are highlights, but Coventry is evidence as sound as DNA that it was time for a long break.

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