On Tuesday night, Phish tour rolled into Texas for a one-off performance at Austin360 Amphitheatre, the 10th show on their ongoing 2018 summer tour.

After the tour’s ”front nine” produced notably strong first frames across the board, Austin’s first set played much more like, well, a first set. “Sample In A Jar” got the evening started—as it so often does—making its first live appearance since it opened the now-storied “Jam-Filled” show at last summer’s Baker’s Dozen. This 26-show gap marked the longest stretch of shows without a “Sample” since the song’s debut in 1993, setting a trend that would continue throughout the night.

“Light” got a somewhat surprising nod in the two-spot, the go-to 3.0 jam vehicle appearing in the first set for the first time since Mexico 2016. After a brief flirtation with some Type I improv, the band opted for “The Moma Dance”, their third version of the summer. While this version failed to reach the heights of the set one “Moma” from the tour opener in Tahoe (or, for that matter, the rendition that kicked off a top-notch set two at BGCA night 1), it did provide a fun, funky interlude paired with the short but searing “Funky Bitch” that followed.

Following “Funky Bitch”, guitarist Trey Anastasio, who himself was born Texas, took a moment to address his fellow Texas natives in the audience. “Thanks, everybody. We’re so happy to be in Texas,” he mused. “I gotta ask one question before we go on here. I know a lot of people move to Austin from different parts of the country. I’m just curious: How many, um, real Texans—meaning you were born in Texas—are in the audience? Put your hands up! Thank you. Real Texans. 1964. Fort Worth Children’s Hospital. Texas…in the house.”

After a long pause, the band opted for “Heavy Things”, Page McConnell highlighting this mostly straightforward reading on the piano. From there, “Theme From The Bottom” bubbled up to the surface, offering some well-wrangled instrumental conversation between Page and Trey as the song patiently built to its a cappella bridge. The set continued relatively unremarkably with a trio of tunes not played since the Baker’s Dozen, “Brian and Robert”, “Halfway to the Moon”, and everyone’s favorite Fuego pariah, “The Line”. Like the “Sample” that opened the set, this “Line” ended the longest gap the song has seen since its debut (23 shows), a year and two days after its last showing on Cinnamon night.

Yet another “not seen since the Dozen” tune came next in “I Didn’t Know”, giving Jon Fishman (and “Moses Heaps, Moses Brown, and Moses DeWitt”) an opening for his (their?) first vacuum solo of the summer. As the Electrolux sucked Fish’s face, Mike Gordon amusingly executed an onstage wardrobe change, losing his shoes and, subsequently, his pants (don’t worry, he had shorts on underneath) before re-tying his shoes and making it back to the mic in time for his vocal cue. Finally, “46 Days” brought the set to a close, the coals smoldering behind dextrous guitar work from Trey but never quite igniting in earnest.

Following a first frame that offered little to write home about, the burning question that loomed over the setbreak chatter asked if this show was bound for mediocrity, or if it would be A Tale of Two Sets, with the second half coming in strong to relieve a forgettable set one. When Phish returned from the intermission and launched into new-ish tune “Everything’s Right”, the question still lingered. But as the band drove the song deeper and deeper, all doubts quickly dissipated.

Over the course of the jam’s nearly 20 minutes, the band explored a number of major-key spaces, briefly hinting at a segue into “What’s The Use?” before continuing to forge ahead, blazing to a peak and, finally, dropping somewhat awkwardly back into the song’s final refrain. This rendition of “Everything’s Right” marked Phish’s 7th rendition of the tune since its pre-Dozen debut last year, and easily eclipsed the previous 6 as the deepest and most interesting version to date.

“Down With Disease” was up next, marking its third outing of the summer. It may be worth noting that every “Disease” this summer has now appeared on the setlist alongside “Everything’s Right”, and vice versa (Tahoe 2, L.A. 1)—not that it holds any particular significance, but Phish kids do love looking for trends. Most shows spell something, after all. Clocking in at just over 17 minutes in length, this “Disease” stacked up admirably against this summer’s prior two run-throughs. Gordon handled the heavy lifting as the band jettisoned into Type II space. Around the 8-minute mark, the jam settled into an ambient quiver, Mike laying the foundation while Trey painted in the lines with frugal guitar ornaments. The jam got darker from there as Fish showed off his technical prowess behind the kit, bolstering the Baker’s Dozen-style cocktail lounge groove with a relentless, complex backbeat while the band settled in around him.

After several more minutes of eerie ambience, the jam faded out around Fishman’s cymbal-heavy drum pattern, giving way to the pulsing bounce of “Steam”. The song built rapidly with some Haunted House scream samples, Trey wailing away with abandon. Before long, the jam disappeared as steam, giving way to “Seven Below”, another tune not played since the Baker’s Dozen’s coconut-flavored opening night. On this hot Texas night, “Seven Below” turned the heat up even higher, pushing through major-key space to an anthemic climax before petering out into “Dirt”. This “Dirt” came just four shows after its 2018 debut on night one at the Bill Graham, marking the shortest gap between “Dirts” in 15 years.

Another recently played tune, “The Wedge”, came in next after a 3 show gap, marking its third performance of the summer. After a quick bob along the surface, the second “Wilson” of the summer provided the set with a fourth-quarter espresso shot. The band maintained that energy for an always-welcome “Run Like An Antelope” set closer, before rounding out the show with a sing-along “Loving Cup” encore.

Phish summer tour continues this weekend as the band heads to Alpharetta, GA for their sold-out three-night run at Verizon Amphitheatre. For a full list of Phish’s upcoming tour dates, head to their website.

Setlist: Phish | Austin360 Amphitheatre | Del Valle, TX | 7/31/18

Set 1: Sample in a Jar, Light, The Moma Dance, Funky Bitch, Heavy Things, Theme From the Bottom, Brian and Robert, Halfway to the Moon, The Line, I Didn’t Know, 46 Days

Set 2: Everything’s Right > Down with Disease[1] > Steam > Seven Below > Dirt > The Wedge, Wilson > Run Like an Antelope

Encore: Loving Cup

A full soundboard recording of the show is available to stream now via LivePhish.