There's no real denying that, during the 3.0 years, Phish has had a tumultuous relationship with the state of Texas. 2010 had the one-off ACL festival set which, while a good festival set, wasn't anything to write home about. Fast forward five years later and there were two summer shows in 2015, one in Austin and one in Grand Prairie. The first two set shows that Texas had seen since 1999. Expectations were understandably high. Austin was incredibly song-focused, and GP was good but definitely not great. Fall 2016 had two shows, again in Grand Prairie. The first was a fun, high energy show, but the second had, in this attendee's opinion, a travesty of a second set. The old adage for Phish shows -- "At least you had fun"-- still held true for these shows, though. And as a 12-year native of Austin, I attended all of them. And I did have fun for all of them (even during a second set "Friday"!) but to try to paraphrase Orwell, "All shows are fun, but some shows are more fun than others." Enjoying being in the moment and witnessing a band that is still playing well after 35 years of concerts is one thing, but there hadn't been anything truly transcendent in any of these shows. Which set the stage for 2018.
Would the band play another "Texas show," or would the magic --that we all know can occur-- happen?
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