Photos by Josh Timmermans
Widespread Panic wrapped up their three-night NOLAween run at the UNO Lakefront Arena on Nov. 2, welcoming Crescent City royalty/Dumpstaphunk keyboardist Ivan Neville as well as completing a trio of shows drawing from the band’s Mikey Houser era.
Every original song from WSP’s three-night run dated back to the time of their late founding guitarist (1986-2002), as proven on Saturday night. Following an opening take on Link Wray’s “Rumble,” the band segued through Tom Waits’ “Goin’ Out West” and offered a massive jam between fan favorite originals “Greta” and “Climb To Safety.”
Later, Neville appeared to play dueling keyboards with JoJo Hermann on a set-closing segment of “Sleepy Monkey”> “I Walk On Guilded Splinters”> “Cream Puff War.” (Later than evening, Neville’s Dumpstaphunk hosted a show of their own at NOLA’s historic Tipitina’s club.)
Panic’s sixth – and final – set of the weekend kicked off with a pairing of “Radio Child” and “Though Sausage” as well as their first “Ballad of John and Yoko” since June 17, 2015 (show gap: 217). Next came “Honky Red” followed by nimble, six-part jam through “Driving Song”> “Run Like Hell”> “Driving Song”> “Breathing Slow”> “Impossible”> “Vampire Blues.”
The 10,000-person arena then rocked through a stand-alone version of “Pigeons” and a contemplative “Papa’s Home” which sandwiched a “Drums” segment by Duane Trucks and Sunny Ortiz.
“Action Man” ended the band’s second set, but Widespread Panic still had plenty more to play, offering their first cover of their mentor Col. Bruce Hampton’s signature tune “Basically Frightened” since 12/31/17 (marking their second performance of the cut since Hampton’s May 2017 passing).
The crowd at the UNO Lakefront Arena then sang along with the New Orleans-appropriate “Blue Indian” (“We got a party goin’ on, many spirits strong!”) and “Postcard” (“This town is nuts! My kind of place!”) for WSP’s first encore. Encore number two saw the band offer one final tease of Andy Kaufman’s “I Trusted You,” which picked up their Halloween tribute to the late comedian.
Check out Widespread Panic’s full setlist and watch pro-shot clips of each set-opener below:
Nov. 2, 2019
UNO Lakefront Arena, New Orleans
Set I: Rumble > Goin’ Out West > Greta > Jam > Climb To Safety, Aunt Avis > Junior, Makes Sense To Me, Sleepy Monkey* > I Walk On Guilded Splinters* > Cream Puff War*
Set II: Radio Child, Thought Sausage, The Ballad of John and Yoko^, Honky Red, Driving Song > Run Like Hell Jam > Driving Song > Breathing Slow > Impossible > Vampire Blues, Pigeons, Papa’s Home > Drums > Papa’s Home, Action Man
Enc I: Basically Frightened^^, Blue Indian, Postcard (16 mins)
Enc II: I Trusted You (5 mins)
* w/ Ivan Neville on keys
^ LTP 6/17/15 Boston (217 shows)
^^ LTP 12/31/17 Atlanta (75 shows)
All WSP originals for the 3-night run were from the Houser-era