Widespread Panic Returns to New Orleans After 6-Year Hiatus

It had been six long years since Widespread Panic had returned to the Crescent City for Halloween, and they were ready to prank us all with a Halloween show with many guests and jokes.

Thanks as always to Everyday Companion for the setlists, PanicStream for the music streams, and nugs.tv for the videos of the beginnings of sets (note that you will need to fast-forward the video to the point where the music starts).

WSP NOLAween – Jeff Fernandez


It opened with George Porter Jr. on stage and the debut of “Chicken Strut” (Dave Schools with a talking plastic chicken on the mic also) into “Hey Pocky A-Way,” next into a killer “Papa Legba.” JoJo Hermann took over next with “One Armed Steve” into a heavy duty “Love Tractor” — WOO HOO! This led to “Hatfield,” “All Time Low,” “Pilgrims” and finally “Knocking ’Round the Zoo” to end set one Halloween.

George Porter Jr. – WSP NOLAween – Jeff Fernandez

After “Henry Parsons Died” opened set two, we got “Surprise Valley > Jam Arleen (with John Bell making chicken noises during the song) > Surprise Valley.” Following “Old Neighborhood,” “Holden Oversoul,” “Spoonful,” and  “Tall Boy,” Mike Mills of REM joined the band for the next three songs. Mills began on keyboards for the Lou Reed song “Perfect Day,” then switched to guitar to play David Bowie’s “Star Man,” and then finally to bass for “Man on the Moon.” Widespread Panic ended with “Porch Song” with its references to the man on the moon.

Dave Schools – WSP NOLAween – Jeff Fernandez

The encore started with “I Trusted You” (Andy Kaufman) and “This Friendly World” (Ken Darby) before Mills was replaced by Tony Clifton (JoJo Hermann). As it got crazier, the boys played “Volare” and then “Tacos,” a song that hadn’t surfaced since its last time played at Ole Miss 1995. That’s how you do a New Orleans Halloween show!

WSP NOLAween – Jeff Fernandez
Sunny Ortiz- WSP NOLAween – Jeff Fernandez

[10/31/19ONE: Chicken Strut*, Hey Pocky Way*, Papa Legba, One Arm Steve, Love Tractor, Hatfield, All Time Low, Pilgrims, Knocking ‘Round The Zoo; TWO: Henry Parsons Died, Surprise Valley > Jam > Arleen > Surprise Valley, Old Neighborhood, Holden Oversoul, Spoonful, Tall Boy, Perfect Day**, Starman***, Man On The Moon****, Porch Song; E: I Trusted You*****, This Friendly World******, Volare*******, Tacos*******]

* with George Porter Jr. on bass/vocals
** with Mike Mills on keyboards
*** with Mike Mills on guitar/vocals
**** with Mike Mills on bass/vocals
***** with Mike Mills on guitar, Paul Agostino on keyboards
****** with Mike Mills on guitar/vocals, Paul Agostino on keyboards
******* with Paul Agostino on keyboards

[Only ‘Chicken Strut’, Only ‘Hey Pocky Way’, First ‘I Trusted You’, Only ‘Man On The Moon’, Only ‘Perfect Day’, Only ‘Starman’, Only ‘This Friendly World’, Only ‘Volare’; ‘Mighty Mouse’ theme played on the PA before ‘Henry Parsons Died’; Steve Lopez interrupted the show before ‘Volare’ to ask the crowd to stop smoking; Show ended with an altercation on stage during ‘Tacos’; ‘Chicken Strut’ Dave on rubber chicken/vocals; ‘I Trusted You’ Dave on vocals, Duane on bass, Sunny on drum kit; ‘Volare’ and ‘Tacos’ JoJo on vocals as Tony Clifton; Last ‘Spoonful’ – 10/08/14, 271 shows; Last ‘Tacos’ – 09/22/95, 1799 shows]

Jimmy Herring – WSP NOLAween – Jeff Fernandez
John Bell – WSP NOLAween – Jeff Fernandez

Widespread Panic – 10/31/2019 – New Orleans, LA


After blowing the minds of those in attendance last night, it was only fitting that the fire we call Widespread Panic would only get hotter, and, yes, it did!

Night two opened with “Bowlegged Woman > Chilly Water > Jam > Little Lilly,” and we were back into the groove once again. After “Visiting Day,” it went nuts with Walkin’ (For Your Love) > You Got Yours, Christmas Katie > Entering A Black Hole Backwards > Chilly Water > Bowlegged Woman.” That’s some serious first-set FIRE!

Second set: The “Disco” opener got the crowd back in to their dancing shoes into a sweet “Diner,” including a JB “Highway to Heaven” rap. “Blackout Blues” and “Last Straw” worked into a very momentous “Flat Foot Flewzy” that had the entire arena screaming and dancing like no other. There was a heavy JB “Mercy” with the red eye stage. Sunny Ortiz and Duane Trucks kept the energy flowing with “Drums,” leading into “Chainsaw City,” which transitioned into JB’s ever so lovey Zoom zoom zoom “Four Cornered Room > Jack,” shutting down set two with “Red Hot Mama.”

Encore: “There is a Time” (Dillards) and Tom Petty’s “Your Wreck Me.” What can they have in store for our last UNO show???

John Bell – WSP NOLAween – Jeff Fernandez

[11/01/19ONE: Bowlegged Woman > Chilly Water > Jam > Little Lilly, Visiting Day, Walkin’ (For Your Love) > You Got Yours, Christmas Katie > Entering A Black Hole Backwards > Chilly Water > Bowlegged Woman; TWO: Disco > Diner > Blackout Blues, The Last Straw > Flat Foot Flewzy, Mercy > Jam > Drums > Chainsaw City > Four Cornered Room > Jack, Red Hot Mama; E: There Is A Time, You Wreck Me]

[Last ‘Entering A Black Hole Backwards’ – 03/28/14, 309 shows]

Sunny Ortiz- WSP NOLAween – Jeff Fernandez

Widespread Panic – 11/01/19 – New Orleans, LA


Widespread Panic’s last day in New Orleans would be one that would not be forgotten, that is for sure. It was time to leave us with another barnburner as they continued to deliver the goods day in, day out.

Day 3 opened with “Rumble” (LTP Halloween Vegas 17) into Tom Waits’ “Going Out West,” and they had the same ole rowdy crowd ready to do it again. JoJo would take over with one of my favorites, “Greta > Climb to Safety,” then “Aunt Avis > Junior” and “Makes Sense to Me.” Ivan Neville (Dumpstaphunk) joined Hermann on the keyboards for the next three songs: “Sleepy Monkey” into a heavy-duty “I Walk On Guilded Splinters” and ending strong with “Cream Puff War.” Whew… Game ON!

JoJo Hermann & Ivan Neville – WSP NOLAween – Jeff Fernandez

The second set began with “Radio Child” and “Thought Sausage,” taking us back to OG days. Then we got “The Ballad of John and Yoko” and “Honky Red.” Highlights for the remainder of second set included “Impossible,” “Vampire Blues,” and “Papa’s Home.” And what a pair of encores!

Encore1: “Basically Frightened” (Col. Bruce), “Blue Indian,” and “Postcard”

Encore2: “I Trusted You” (Andy Kaufman)

WSP NOLAween – Jeff Fernandez

[11/02/19ONE: Rumble > Goin’ Out West > Greta > Climb To Safety, Aunt Avis > Junior, Makes Sense To Me, Sleepy Monkey* > I Walk On Guilded Splinters* > Cream Puff War*; TWO: Radio Child, Thought Sausage, The Ballad of John and Yoko, Honky Red, Driving Song > Jam > Driving Song > Breathing Slow > Impossible > Vampire Blues, Pigeons, Papa’s Home > Drums > Papa’s Home, Action Man; E1: Basically Frightened, Blue Indian, Postcard; E2: I Trusted You]

  • with Ivan Neville on keyboards

[‘Cabbage Alley’ tease by JoJo before ‘Greta’; Last ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’ – 06/17/15, 217 shows]

Jimmy Herring – WSP NOLAween – Jeff Fernandez

Widespread Panic – 11/02/2019 – New Orleans, LA


What and incredible Nolaween, thanks to Widespread Panic, Paul Hoffman, the crews, all the freaky people who make this happen and continue to support the best band in the land! See you at The Fox!

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