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Widespread Panic Serves Up Double Sandwich In Second Set During Penultimate Show In Atlanta [Full Audio/Videos/Photos]

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Since their humbled beginnings over 30 years ago in Athens, GA, Widespread Panic has perfected their craft, travelling the country and making multi-night residencies in their favorite cities. This weekend, Atlanta was the lucky gal as Panic performed their third and penultimate show at the Fox Theatre for an extraordinary New Year’s Eve in August.

Lacing up their ass-kicking boots, Panic marched into a heavy cut of “You Got Yours”. This marked the first time that the tune ever opened a show, and just like on the fourth night of the Beacon Theatre run in NYC, Widespread added a tease of Gary Numan’s “Cars” into the mix. To follow, JoJo Hermann recounted his first gig with the band during “One Arm Steve” before the esoteric introduction to “Hatfield” trickled through the amplifiers.

The drizzle became a deluge until the audience was waist deep in water and John Bell was a veritable shaman, locked in a spiritual trance, a medium for another dimension. His vibrant imagination illustrated colorful snippets, each performance a small jigsaw puzzle-piece key revealing an entire memory, fabricated or real (“It’s only real if you believe”): “I remember Hatfield’s mama / she used to come and bring us pretzels and beer / when we were so hot, hot, hot in the summertime / sipping deep and slow / sit on the hillside watching cars, girls, and clouds roll by / dog-faced clouds/ all smiles and ears …”

As the precipitation subsided, Dave Schools led the segue into a cover of Vic Chesnutt’s “Sleeping Man.” Schools’ seismic bass notes split the aisles into craggy chasms draining the flooded orchestra seats and clearing space for a ride down the shady dirt road of his opus, “Stop-Go”.

After another transition, “All Time Low” dropped from the top of a waterfall before WSP dusted off “Tickle the Truth” for the first time since the acoustic Nashville run at The Ryman in 2019. The progressively raging instrumental “Party At Your Mama’s House” fired up the grill before a saucy “Ribs and Whiskey” closed out the lengthy first frame. Jimmy Herring teased The Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood” and Allman Brothers Band’s “Jessica” during “PAYMH” and “R&W”, respectively.

Coming back for a second helping, Panic revived the energy with an infernal “Disco” before building a sultry “Bowlegged Woman” sandwich. JB was just starting to dig into the Calvin Carter and Bobby Rush tune (“Come upstairs to the bedroom / somebody gave me their key / I got some vinyls / an aquarium / black light posters from 1972 / purple walls / quadrophonic 8 tracks / chess records / everybody likes the blues even if their happy / show me your chest and I’ll show you mine…”) when the bottom dropped into Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning”.

Following a trip up Highway 61 to Chicago, WSP returned to the Mississippi Delta to finish off what they started with the second half of “Bowlegged Woman”. After a quick pause to catch their breath, a mellow “C. Brown”—with a quick tease of The Beatles’ “If I Needed Someone” included from JoJo’s corner—culminated into the second sandwich of the set. This time, “Driving Song” encapsulated a percussive “Cease Fire” and a dreamlike “Jamais Vu”. The meat of the sandwich was stacked as they appear on the band’s 12th and most recently released studio album, 2015’s Street Dogs.

Winding down the second set, JoJo whipped the animals in attendance into a frenzy during “Greta” as Schools howled and Herring soared. Duane Trucks led the sextet through a final transition into Bloodkin’s “Henry Parson’s Died” to top off the second set.

Returning to the stage one last time, Widespread Panic performed an ethereal “Blue Indian” to get “the party going on, many spirits strong” before closing out the penultimate show of the run with a second tribute to Vic Chesnutt featuring a combination of “Protein Drink”/”Sewing Machine”.

With one final Saturday show tonight, any fuel left in your tank should be rationed to make it through what will surely be a special conclusion to this once-in-a-lifetime New Year’s Eve run in the middle of August. Good luck, good people, be safe and watch out for one another. Until tomorrow.

Setlist [via PanicStream]: Widespread Panic | Fox Theatre| Atlanta, GA | 8/12/22

Set 1: You Got Yours, One Arm Steve > Hatfield > Sleeping Man, Stop-Go > All Time Low, Tickle The Truth, Party At Your Mama’s House > Ribs and Whiskey (80 mins)

Set 2: Disco > Bowlegged Woman > Smokestack Lightning > Bowlegged Woman, C. Brown > Driving Song > Cease Fire > Jamais Vu > Driving Song, Greta > Henry Parsons Died (74 mins)

Encore: Blue Indian, Protein Drink/Sewing Machine (17 mins)

Notes:
– Night Three of the ‘2021 NYE Run’
– First time ‘You Got Yours’ has opened a show
– ‘Cars’ tease during ‘You Got Yours’
– ‘Tickle The Truth’ LTP 8/23/19 Nashville (80 shows)
– ‘Norwegian Wood’ tease by Jimmy during ‘PAYMH’
– ‘Jessica’ tease during ‘Ribs and
– JB quotes ‘Stranger In A Strange Land’ before ‘Smokestack Lightning’
– If I Needed Someone’ tease by JoJo after ‘C Brown’

Widespread Panic – “You Got Yours” – Fox Theatre – Atlanta, GA – 8/12/22

[Video: Fred Ramadan]

Widespread Panic – “Hatfield” – Fox Theatre – Atlanta, GA – 8/12/22

[Video: Soul Shakedown]

Widespread Panic – “Stop-Go”  – Fox Theatre – Atlanta, GA – 8/12/22

[Video: Fred Ramadan]

Widespread Panic – “Party At Your Mama’s House” > “Ribs and Whiskey”  – Fox Theatre – Atlanta, GA – 8/12/22

 [Video: Fred Ramadan]

Widespread Panic – “Bowlegged Woman” > “Smokestack Lightning” > “Bowlegged Woman”– Fox Theatre – Atlanta, GA – 8/12/22

[Video: Fred Ramadan]

Widespread Panic – “C. Brown” – Fox Theatre – Atlanta, GA – 8/12/22

[Video: Jason Kaplan]

Widespread Panic – “Greta” > “Henry Parsons Died” – Fox Theatre – Atlanta, GA – 8/12/22

[Video: Fred Ramadan]

Widespread Panic – “Protein Drink”/”Sewing Machine” – Fox Theatre – Atlanta, GA – 8/12/22

[Video: Fred Ramadan]

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