Photo Credit: Josh Timmermans
Last night, Widespread Panic performed at The Fox Theatre in Atlanta. The show marked the 20th anniversary of Michael Houser’s passing, which occurred in 2002 after the lead guitarist battled pancreatic cancer. The Wednesday night concert got underway with a balloon drop, before Houser’s voice from the 1991 Billy Bob Thornton film Live at the Georgia Theatre immersed the crowd.
“So our music, it comes from us – I don’t know anything else to say about that. We do it because it’s all we can do, pretty much,” Houser stated to start off the night. After a wave of roars and applause from the audience, Widespread Panic jumped right into “Porch Song.” After a soaring solo, the band kicked into “Love Tractor.” After a short reprieve, Widespread Panic brought out “Aunt Avis,” which was highlighted by guitarist Jimmy Herring’s melodic lead lines.
Bassist Dave Schools laid the groove down for the next song, “Little Lilly” which segued into “Diner.” The shreddy jam led its way into a spacey, ambient segment highlighted by keyboardist John Hermann, whose lines went everywhere from blissful to melodic to a ragtime feel that brought the band into “1 x 1.” Next up was a high octane “Proving Ground,” which was followed up with “Papa’s Home” to close out the first set.
The second set began with “Mercy” – the first time the song has opened a second set in the band’s history. Jimmy Herring’s screaming leads brought the band into a new groove, that saw them firing on all cylinders at the end of the jam which led to a cover of Black Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf.” “Sweet Leaf” found its way into “Mr. Soul,” which the band followed up with a nearly 13-minute “Sleepy Monkey.”
Next was an energetic “Holden Oversoul” that melted into “Pleas.” The segues continued, as Widespread Panic took the song into “Vacation,” offering the audience a short break from the face-melting second set. The break was short-lived, as Herring kicked right back into high gear, continuing to lay down fast and heavy leads. The band then jumped into “Wonderin’” and followed up with “Ain’t Life Grand” to close out the second set.
Widespread Panic returned to the stage for a nearly 30-minute encore, which began with “Don’t Wanna Lose You.” The band then dusted off “Galleon” for the song’s first performance in over five years. “Galleon” led into “Fishwater,” which featured a two-minute drum solo from Duane Trucks. The band then found its way back into “Fishwater” to close out the night.
Widespread Panic will continue their four-night stand at The Fox Theatre tonight, wrapping up on Aug. 13 before heading to the Oxbow RiverStage festival in Napa, Calif. on Aug. 26. Tickets to the band’s upcoming shows are available for purchase here.
Here’s the Mikey quote right before Porch: “It’s our music. It comes from us, I don’t know anything else to say but that. We do it because it’s all we can do, pretty much.” pic.twitter.com/f1wu3uKodO
— HarveyLarvae (@HarveyLarvae) August 11, 2022
The Fox Theatre – Atlanta, Ga.
Aug. 10, 2022
Set I: Porch Song, Love Tractor, Aunt Avis, Little Lilly, Diner > 1 x 1, Proving Ground, Papa’s Home
Set II: Mercy > Jam > Sweet Leaf, Mr. Soul, Sleepy Monkey, Holden Oversoul > Pleas > Vacation, Wondering > Ain’t Life Grand
Enc.: Don’t Wanna Lose You, Galleon > Fishwater
Setlist via PanicStream.com