Widespread Panic Calls On John Keane For Round Two In Athens February 11, 2016 20:14

After a heavy-hitting Tuesday night at The Classic Center, Widespread Panic was back for round two of their 30th anniversary run in their stomping grounds of Athens, Georgia.  Known for hosting many of the band's most revered performances, there was little to no doubt that Wednesday night would be another classic from the hometown heroes.  "Sell Sell" kicked off the first set and the band never looked back from there.  Next up was "Chainsaw City," an old school Jerry Joseph tune which hadn't surfaced since last year's Lockn' Festival.  John "JoJo" Hermann got warmed up quickly with "Blackout Blues," before the band slowed things down with "Christmas Katie."  Duane Trucks (drums) and Sonny Ortiz (percussion) picked up the tempo and carried the jam into "Travelin' Light," one of the many J.J. Cale classics that this band has made famous over the years.  Hermann took over once again for "One Arm Steve," one that's nearly impossible not to sing along with.  The "Pigeons" that would follow lit a spark under the rowdy Athens crowd, before long time friend/producer John Keane joined the band on acoustic guitar for Vic Chesnutt's "Degenerate."  Keane then picked up an electric guitar and stuck around for a rousing take on Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" that sent the venue into an absolute frenzy, while bringing set one to a close.

Watch a segment from "Pigeons" here:

As the second set began, it became apparent that Athens had not seen the last of Keane.  While most expected set two to kick off in raging fashion, the band took a more mellow approach as they busted out "Fishing" for the first time since March of 2014 (with the exception of a private acoustic recording at TRI Studios in April of 2014).  Keane remained on stage as the band busted out "This Cruel Thing" for the first time since The Wood Tour (01.29.12).  He then sat down behind the pedal steel guitar for "City of Dreams."  The energy kicked up a notch as the band ripped into "Holden Oversoul," which featured a lengthy jam before perhaps the most flawless segue of the week into "All Time Low."  One of the bands newer tunes, "Steven's Cat," was up next, and "North" wasn't far behind.  Hermann took the lead on the jam out of "North" before "Greta" nearly blew the roof off of The Classic Center.  Trucks and Ortiz went to work yet again on a lengthy, emotion-filled "Drums," with Dave Schools (bass) laying down some heavy bombs early on.  The rest of the band then surfaced for a solid jam on "Saint Ex."  Keane reappeared behind the pedal steel for "Don't Be Denied," followed by a rocking "Mr. Soul" that wrapped up the second set.   The initial encore of "Ain't Life Grand" could have easily concluded the evening, but the decision to tack on "Fishwater" could not have provided a more perfect ending to the band's two-night stand in Athens.


Widespread Panic | Athens, Georgia

Set 1 : Sell Sell, Chainsaw City, Blackout Blues, Christmas Katie > Travelin' Light, One Arm Steve, Pigeons, Degenerate, For What It's Worth

Set 2 : Fishing, This Cruel Thing, City of Dreams, Holden Oversoul > Jam > All Time Low, Steven's Cat, North, Greta > Drums & Bass > Drums > Saint Ex, Don't Be Denied, Mr Soul

{E}Ain't Life Grand, Fishwater


Widespread Panic's Winter Tour has only just begun, so stay tuned to the band's official website and Facebook page for all details on future shows.