After their ten month hiatus in 2012, Widespread Panic has returned stronger than ever. They’ve been touring again since this spring and their fans have been eagerly buying up tickets. Although the size of the crowd at the Verizon Theatre on Wednesday was a little disappointing, the show wasn’t. During the time off with Panic, some of the band members were working on their chops with alternate projects. Dave Schools was touring with the Mickey Hart Band, Jojo Herman was out with his band, Missing Cats and Jimmy Herring was recording an album with his own band. The rest and extra practice showed. The boys were tight and blended equal parts of precision and improvisation. The result was a smokin’ three hour show.
The first set opened with Taj Mahal’s She Caught the Katy followed by Rock, showcasing JB’s slide guitar work. Next up was You Should Be Glad, with its Funky Town riff intro. The setlist progressed through the instrumental, Party at Your Mama’s House, transitioning into Stop Breaking Down. The band took their foot off the accelerator a little with Crazy, and then dropped right into Time Zones. The first set ended with Machine into Barstools and Dreamers then a fan favorite Tall Boy.
The second set opener, Solid Rock lived up to its name. Jimmy Herring just shredded it on lead guitar, along with the help of Jojo Hermann on the organ. This went right into Worry and then things slowed down a bit with This Part of Town. Next was Heroes and then a 22 minute version of Papa’s Home that showcased Todd Nance and Sunny Ortiz on drums and percussion. The second set flowed into a Driving Song > Disco > Pilgrims > Driving Song sandwich, and closed out with Pigeons and then finally a soulful Trouble. The encore started with C. Brown and then ended with a lively Blackout Blues.
Widespread Panic will be wrapping up their Summer tour in Alabama over the weekend with a couple of shows at Oak Mountain Amphitheatre. Then they’ll be kicking the Fall tour off in September with an appearance at the inauguration of the Interlocken Festival in Virginia.
She Caught the Katy Rock You Should Be Glad Party at Your Mama’s House > Stop Breaking Down Crazy Time Zones > Machine Barstools and Dreamers Tall Boy
Solid Rock Worry This Part of Town Heroes > Papa’s Home Driving Song > Disco > Pilgrims > Driving Song Pigeons