Widespread Panic Celebrates 30 Years In Athens
February 10, 2016 11:57
After an emotion filled day for the Widespread Panic fan base, the Athens-based veterans took the stage at The Classic Center for first night of the band's 30th anniversary shows. As news circulated throughout the day of Duane Trucks permanently replacing founding member/drummer Todd Nance, the band and fans alike needed a chance to let loose and embrace the fact that "the show must go on." As expected, Panic came out firing on all cylinders, opening with "Imitation Leather Shoes" and moving straight into "Tall Boy." The pace mellowed out with "I'm Not Alone" and "Party At Your Mama's House," and the band didn't stop once from there. "Stop Breakin' Down Blues" kicked the party into full gear from there. "Bears Gone Fishin'" featured possibly the lengthiest jam of the first set before a seamless transition into the classic "Surprise Valley." The heavy hitting "You Got Yours" was next, before a perfectly placed "Climb To Safety" brought set one to a close.
After a brief intermission, "Good People" kicked off the second set and "Cotton Was King" wasn't far behind. Panic slowed it down and gave a fitting nod to the late Vic Chestnut with "Aunt Avis," before "Rebirtha" sent Athens, Georgia into an all out frenzy. The Rebirtha jam may have taken the title for "jam of the night," depending on what you're into. The "Driving Song" > "Space Wrangler" > "Driving Song" segue was absolutely beautiful. "Second Skin" carried a nice, dark jam into what had to be one of the most meaningful "Drums" that Trucks and Sonny Ortiz (percussion) have played in recent memory. Dave Schools (bass) had his moment to shine during the "Drums & Bass" segment, as expected. A pair of new tunes, from the recent release Street Dogs, would follow with "Cease Fire" and "Jamais Vu (The World Has Changed)," with the latter showcasing some nice Fat Tuesday themed lighting from Paul Hoffman (light designer). The Talking Heads' classic "Papa Legba" brought the smokin' second set to a close. The encore featured another rocker from Street Dogs, in "Honky Red" which has quickly become a fan favorite for very obvious reasons. "Taildragger" was the nail in the coffin which left the rowdy Athens crowd standing in awe, anxiously awaiting what the band has in store for night two.
Set 1 : Imitation Leather Shoes, Tall Boy, I'm Not Alone, Party At Your Mama's House > Stop Breakin' Down Blues, Bear's Gone Fishin' > Surprise Valley > You Got Yours > Climb To Safety
Set 2 : Good People, Cotton Was King, Aunt Avis, Rebirtha, Driving Song > Space Wrangler > Driving Song > Second Skin > Drums & Bass > Drums > Cease Fire > Jamais Vu (The World Has Changed), Papa Legba