This was the second show of the Coventry festival and was the presumed “Final Show.” When Trey made his “break-up” announcement the preceding May, he indicated that Coventry would be the final Phish shows. In reality, this turned out to be the final public show for over four and a half years. This show was simulcast in movie theaters nationwide. Before Anything But Me, Trey announced that, for the first time in 21 years, he was nervous performing a Phish show. During Wolfman’s, Trey revealed that the Wolfman’s Brother is, in fact, Fish (as well as the fact that he handed the phone to his friend Liz Durfee). Also, during Wolfman’s, Trey and Mike invited their mothers onstage (and later John Paluska) to do the “sexy bump” dance. Disease was unfinished and featured Trey briefly playing his guitar with a glow stick. Both Page and Trey broke down during an especially emotional Velvet Sea. After a thoroughly botched Glide, all four band members offered words of thanks to the fans for their continued support and dedication and brief reflections on their twenty years together. Trey then stated that what they really needed to do was “blow off some fucking steam” before starting up Melt. There was an enormous glow stick war during Ghost featuring hundreds, if not thousands, of orange glow sticks. This version of Seven Below saw all of the band members sporadically shouting “Seven Below” throughout the jam. The Phish debut of Cool Jerk contained alternate lyrics honoring monitor mixer, Mark “Bruno” Bradley. The Dickie Scotland Song was spontaneously created and included lyrics in honor of production manager, Hadden Hipsley, and tour accountant, Richard Glasgow (a.k.a. Dickie Scotland). Before Wilson, Trey asked the crowd to sing to another of their friends “for the last time.” There was a fireworks display between the end of the third set and the encore. Before the encore, while explaining the origins of The Curtain, Trey jokingly announced that the entire Chicago Symphony and the Twyla Tharp Dance Troupe were going to perform Gamehendge. Trey explained that they chose The Curtain With as the last song to bring them full circle, because, not only was it one of the first Phish songs he wrote, but he wrote it in a cabin one town over from Coventry. Trey stopped and restarted the jam segment of the Curtain With, because they were in the wrong key or, as he explained, ”Since we are going to be bringing ourselves back in time, we may as well do it in the correct key.” There was no P.A. music after the Curtain With.
Debut Years (Average: 1992)

This show was part of the "2004 Late Summer Tour"

Show Reviews

, attached to 2004-08-15

Review by ColForbin

ColForbin [Written immediately after I got home from Coventry with no knowledge that the band would ever get back together.]

We woke up pretty early on Sunday because we had the 9AM-1PM shift at the House of Live Phish. It was a beautiful morning and we were amazed to see that most of the mud had dried out a bit to form a sticky clay. The HoLP was running pretty smoothly - the most common question people had was "how do I get my CD out?" because iMacs don't have a button on the drawer. In case anyone reading this was there during those times, I was the narc walking around the tent with a clipboard making sure you didn't hang out forever on the computers. The job wasn't really in my nature, but someone had to do it, and it did get Ann and I VIP access so NO COMPLAINTS.

After our shift, we checked out the commons a little bit since it was finally dry enough to walk around there. It had gotten hot during our 4 hours in the air conditioned tent. We went back to our tent, cooked up a little lunch and got ready for the last Phish show ever. We went back to the venue, and I grabbed a couple beers at the beer garden (mostly for the souvenir cups and the blackberries in the Long Trail Blackberry Wheat). Nice selection of beer - Long Trail, Harpoon, Magic Hat (and of course, Bud).

For the first set, we picked out a spot way back on the lawn and just chilled out. Mike's Groove was a nice opener, although Hydrogen could have been a little tighter (but then again, I don't think Trey's nailed this song for YEARS). I actually enjoyed Anything But Me in for the first time in my life - the slow slightly down tune fit my mood nicely. I was thrilled that they did the whistling at the end of Reba - it was fitting to play the old school version at the final show. Chalkdust had a decent jam, and during Wolfman's Trey had several interjections explaining the song - Fishman is the Wolfman's brother, Liz is a real person, etc. The band then brought their moms on stage, then the brought out Paluska and Trey and Mike did a grinding dance on each side of him. Following this was a Trey/Mike duet/duel, again illustrating musically some of the tensions involved with this breakup.

Following the set, we made haste to our campsite and put on a bunch of warm clothes for the final two sets of Phish EVER. We went back to the venue and got a little closer than we had been first set, dead center. Then we felt it. A couple of drops of rain. I looked to the west and saw a dark cloud. Ann and I could sense it was getting close to showtime, but I made the decision that we needed our raincoats. So I hiked back to camp. As soon as I got there, I hear the bass noodling that can only mean one thing - DWD. I grabbed the coats and stumbled through the ruts and mud back to the venue as quickly as possible. I got back to the area where we were watching the show, and I couldn't see Ann. Everyone was standing watching the show and the house lights were off. During DWD I stumbled through the crowd, goose-stepping around tarps and toes and creening my neck looking for her. I wasn't worried about Ann, but I was worried be apart for the SECOND TO LAST Phish set ever. I took a break from my search to listen to the start of Wading in the Velvet Sea. Page started to sing and then he broke down in tears, and Trey had to take over for him. I think for everyone there, this was by far the saddest moment of the show, and probably the most memorable. It was so heartbreaking and beautiful and astonishing to think that after all of these years the band still cares about each other that much.

Thankfully Ann saw me during Wading, and called out to me as soon as the song ended. Reunited, we hugged and started bouncing around to Glide, and I was hoping the show would end with a ton of old school favorites. Glide of course contains the lyric "we're glad glad glad that you're alive." After the song, Trey talked about how much the fans meant to the band, and then each of the band members chimed in with their own thank yous - except Page, who was still overcome with emotion. Then after the all look around at each other as if they are going to burst into tears, Trey announces that they are going to blow off some steam, and they kick into a very rocking SOAMelt. The jam was hard, fast, disjointed and excellent, IMHO. Kuroda was at the absolutely top of his game on the lights during this jam. The Ghost that followed was a bit of a let down after the great SOAMelt, but this was a good set.

During set break I could see in all the faces around me that we were all coming to the end of a long journey together. Rather than the typical celebratory atmosphere that surrounds a festival show, with everyone wondering what will be next, people seemed almost content to let the set break go on forever - because if they didn't start the third set, then we would always have more Phish in our future.

But the house lights dimmed, and I heard the opening riff of Fast Enough for You and immediately got a lump in my throat. My favorite slow Phish song, the one I had put on every mix tape I ever made for a girl in high school (who the hell knows why - it's not exactly a happy song). "If time were only part of the equation..." Ann and I looked at each other, started to weep than put our arms around each other and swayed to the beat. It occurred to me for a second that I must look like one of those people I used to make fun of at my early Phish shows - and then it occurred to me that I had a hell of a lot to learn about life back then.

A fun Seven Below followed, with Trey yelling "Seven Below!" to the beat in the latter part of the jam. Then Simple...the whole crowd was singing along and having a blast. The conspiracy theorist in me noted that they didn't sing the "We've got bebop" line (the line that everyone always said corresponded to Trey). The jam dissolved into Piper which in turn had a kick ass jam into the hilarious Bruno and Dickie Scotland improvs. The Wilson that followed featured the loudest crowd chant I have ever heard, with some of it probably a little hostile towards Trey. Me, I just had fun screaming my ass off. After Wilson was a sublime Slave, not perfectly executed, but impeccably placed. The band then left the stage.

I truly had no idea what they would play for an encore when they came back out. But when I heard the opening notes of The Curtain, I knew it was perfect (and I knew it would be "With"), and I felt like it was written for me:

As he saw his life run away from him
Thousands ran along
Chanting words from a song
"Please me have no regrets"
"Please me have no regrets"
Came from the baby's mouth
We follow the lines going South

Trey, Mike, Page and Fish - I have no regrets. Thank you for an amazing 10 years.
, attached to 2004-08-15

Review by lumpblockclod

lumpblockclod Coventry represents almost surely the two worst shows of Phish's career by nearly any objective measure. And yet, for several reasons, they're must hear IMO. First there's the sheer awfulness of much of the shows. There's also the obvious historical importance. But there's also some moments of absolute greatness tucked away amongst the crap. The 8/15 Melt > Ghost certainly qualifies. But don't miss the 8/14 starts as a complete trainwreck yet by the end is one of the most majestic jams they've ever played. The 8/14 Bag is a top 5 all time version of that song and the 8/14 Jibboo is quite good, too. From the second night, there's not much that's worth recommending on the musical merits outside of the Melt > Ghost (though the DWD has some interesting moments), but the FEFY is one of the most memorable moments of that weekend for me....absolutely haunting.

These aren't shows you'll want to revisit often, if ever, but, if you've never heard them, you're missing out IMO.
, attached to 2004-08-15

Review by ph_2k

ph_2k I started seeing phish in the fall of 1995. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see Coventry. Until this day I don't know how I feel about it. My wife and I had tickets to every show on the final leg of the tour including Coventry. However, right before the tour started my wife broke her ankle. She was in one of those boots. We made every show from Hampton to Camden. In fact most nights she got us in the handicap section and plenty of dance space for me. Well we actually heeded Trey's advice after Camden to delay your trek to Conventry because of the conditions. We got in the line of traffic by 9 or 10 on the 13th. We litterally did not move all night. We saw people cruise up the left lane all night. I can still remember my buddy saying, "you don't want to be that guy." "all weekend camping next to the person you cut off getting into the right lane." So we hear Mike's announcement the next morning. Bummed as all get out. This can't be the way it will end? It can't be. Shut out of my first show EVER. So we do like others and pull on the median and park. What are we gonna do? My buddy and I get out and start to talk. We turn around and my wife (the one with the broken foot) is getting ready to make the hike. She is grabbing tents, coolers, bags, etc. I look at her like she is CRAZY. It was at that moment I knew. I had to make the call. She couldn't feel like she was the "reason" we missed this show. And of course it ISN'T her fault at all. It was just the way life works. We dropped my buddy off with other friends. Then we jumped back in the car and drove home. We of course got the autographed book Phish offered. Which was perfect. 94 through 2004 pretty much the years we saw them. And as luck would have it they came back anyway. In 2005 we had our first kid and in 2007 our 2nd. 2009 they come back and we saw 4 shows. 2010 3 shows. and her we go again!
, attached to 2004-08-15

Review by OswegoDevo

OswegoDevo Well well well, the "Final" Phish show ever....THANK GOD it was NOT!!!! The only set in which the band was even remotely tight was the final set. The rest of the sets were sloppy and forced. Any passion (from Trey anyways)were seemingly derived not from his soul, but from drugs (allegedly). It was really odd, I remember looking at Fishman and thinking that he looked really really old...Simple, Piper, and The Curtain With were probably the only songs that I actually enjoyed. The overall experience of the show was overwhelmingly sad, not just because the music was so bad, and not just because of all of the rain and mud, and the thousands of people that were turned away at the gate, but because at the time we thought (kinda) that this was going to be the last show that they would ever play (This horrendous showing also gave me tremendous HOPE however, that there would be NO way that Phish would go out like this!) I think that Coventry happened to show the Phans that Phish really did need to take some time, and that they would not be missing anything special while they weren't playing.....I don't think they would ever consiciously play bad, but I think their souls and the actual music that they played was a message sent from their sub-consious. They were letting everyone know that this is going to be it, and that its ok everyone, we can't really help for awhile, and you don't need us right now....remember, "you can feel good without Hood".

The one thing that I think really sets this band apart from the Grateful Dead is something that Trey said a while back, when he said that no matter what, he did not want to become a Nostalgia band. To that I say "O FUCK YA". They want their shows to continue to be special, to be powerful, they want the shows to truly be an experience that brings about a change in appreciation, perception, or connection of synaptical pathways in the brain that prior to the show, had never been activated before. Constantly pushing the envelope and staying away from their comfort zone is the reason why so many of us will travel so far, give up so much, do anything that we can to see the quartet from Vermont.

Welcome back guys. After 13 years of listening to you, you all continue to blow my mind (and melt my face!).

Kind Regards,

Devin Tucker
, attached to 2004-08-15

Review by DARKH0LL0W

DARKH0LL0W I looked at the weekend like it was an Irish funeral.
I tried to think of what this band gave me,an excuses to get on the road and visit places i probably would have not seen, memories, to cheer to like i was a viking. and a multi year lesson in music history.{i discovered so many new bands and music styles that i liked} I was part of a culture that the rest of the world barley cared about, but could still take some lessons from.

My friends and i celebrated what phish was and were to be no more.
I had no clean clothes, I lost my shoes,I had a wet bed, little food, and i was still glad as hell to be at this show. it was historic, sad, great,and painful . I still have some mud from this show
, attached to 2004-08-15

Review by Campster

Campster As I mentioned in my previous day's review, these were the first SBDs I had of Phish - thank god for the glorious soundcheck!

The previous day had better music in my opinion, but there is still some stuff worthy of listening.

Mike's>Hydrogen>Groove is a solid enough start. The jams are ok, but nothing great. The Hydrogen is pretty terrible. So maybe not so solid.

Anything But Me is pretty potent here, with all the emotion and delicate playing.

Reba is a trainwreck from a compositional standpoint, however the jam is powerful and emotional and certainly worth listening to.

Carini is fine, but nothing good really.

Chalkdust explores some new space before -> Possum. Definitely worth a listen.

Possum is ok.

Wolfman's has the story, but musically is nothing new.

Taste is ok.

Overall - listen to the Reba jam and the CDT. Nothing else sticks out - not as good as the previous day's first set.

Set II has a long DWD that has some moments, although to me it's not that great. I'd spin it, but I don't think you'll keep it in your back pocket for a rainy day.

Wading is full of tears and is pretty sad to hear (or see on Youtube) Page crying through it. It is worth listening to though to understand the moment.

Glide is horrendous. It's a sad one.

Melt let's them blow off some steam (after botching the song proper) with a pretty decent jam. TO me, it doesn't touch the Bag or the Drowned from the first day, but it's pretty good.

>Ghost is ok, with another fairly long jam. It's eerie.

Overall it's a tough set to listen to.

The third set is a black eye - with the comical Dickie Scotland stuff. FEFY is kind of poignant though and the Piper has some rage to it.

The Curtain With is butchered, particularly as they have to restart in the proper key. Once they do find their footing though, it is nice and pretty.

This day was worse than the preceding day. There are a couple interesting moments, however. I also consider listening to Coventry an essential piece of Phish history. In many ways having this be my first recording showed me the best and worst of Phish.

Even in these shows, the good certainly triumphs over the bad. I am happy they were able to come back and keep bringing us joy.
, attached to 2004-08-15

Review by phishjones

phishjones The SOAM is a must hear.

The rest of the show is pretty much a sh*t-storm...
, attached to 2004-08-15

Review by fhqwhgads

fhqwhgads Coventry: Day Two. Just kind of continuing my ramble from within my review of 8/14/04, I have to remember my place in this. I have loved Phish for a long time, and will always have a place in my heart for them. To curtail something that meant--and thankfully, means again--so much to Jon, Ernestasio, Mike, and Page must have been immensely difficult. I hope that if God forbid although the pattern weaves as the pattern wills a time comes that the Phish saga is concluded forever, we in the phan community left nothing but gentleness, meekness, and sincere awe at the life-affirming force that generated all these memories for us.
, attached to 2004-08-15

Review by chalkdustmango

chalkdustmango Split was out of this world!
, attached to 2004-08-15

Review by Fluffhead27

Fluffhead27 I am now comfortable writing about Coventry, because enough time has passed. I essentially remember mud, rain, tears, depression, loss, resentment, and frustration. What a shit show of emotions to pull on everyone, and fuck you for making Page cry (Trey). Wasn't able to listen to Velvet Sea for almost 8 years after that.
, attached to 2004-08-15

Review by Bob_Loblaw

Bob_Loblaw The final Phish show.

A slightly above average Mike's Groove opens the show and the original 3 song Suite is very appreciated. Reba is surprisingly pretty good with some great peaks towards the end. CDT is a little sloppy to start. It goes into a sustain jam followed by a chaotic mess of a jam. Wolfman gets into some nice jungle funk to end the set. This to me personally is the end of any kind of clean playing by Trey the rest of the show.

The DWD jam starts weird and Trey seems off just noodling around, they eventually find a groove to stretch their legs a little bit. Wading>Glide is likely the biggest lowpoint in Phish history, so sloppy and just depressing. It goes into SOAM, it starts very sloppy then builds into its typical intensity. Trey starts working on some riffs until they land on one. It then floats into space and escalates up and down. This isn't one single jam, it has many parts. It ends with a wall of ambient noise. Unfortunately for the most part Trey is carried by the rest of the band this whole jam. The segue into Ghost is almost seamless until Trey jumps in at a weird time and messes it up. The jam picks up a lot of pace and turns into an interesting Chaotic Jam.

Fast enough for you is straightforward. It's followed by a version of Seven Below that feels very forced and doesn't really go anywhere. It then ripchords into a straightforward version of Simple. Piper goes into light speed and is a fairly solid version for the length. Then a cool Piano type segue into Cool Jerk. Unfortunately the whole Cool Jerk>Dickie Scotland section does nothing for me and feels half assed IMO. After is a straight forward Wilson. And to cap off the final set Slave which has an extremely tame and underwhelming solo from Trey on one of his #1 songs to solo on.

Curtain With kind of sums up the whole year. It feels unrehearsed, rough, and not what the crowd wanted (Fluffhead).

Although this show does carry a few lights. For the most part it is sloppy and depressing. And as a final show it should be held at a high standard for the fans. And even on a normal level it did not deliver.
, attached to 2004-08-15

Review by DARKH0LL0W

DARKH0LL0W I looked at the weekend like it was an Irish funeral.
I tried to think of what this band gave me,an excuses to get on the road and visit places i probably would have not seen, memories, to cheer to like i was a viking. and a multi year lesson in music history.{i discovered so many new bands and music styles that i liked} I was part of a culture that the rest of the world barley cared about, but could still take some lessons from.

My friends and i celebrated what phish was and were to be no more.
I had no clean clothes, I lost my shoes,I had a wet bed, little food, and i was still glad as hell to be at this show. it was historic, sad, great,and painful . I still have some mud from this show
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