Three More Red Rocks Sellouts for Widespread Panic!
Widespread Panic and Home Team returned to the best outdoor venue on the planet to extend their consecutive sellouts record to 64, 65 & 66 this past weekend at Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado.
With rain projected for all three nights and the memories still fresh from last year’s downpours, everyone was prepared, and we all had plenty of rain gear, but the powers of Panic kept it all away except for some small isolated sprinkles.
John JB Bell, David Schools, Jimmy Herring, JoJo Hermann, Sunny Ortiz, and Duane Trucks brought their biggest guns to date, with bustouts and a brand new song, First Time Played (FTP). Edie Jackson, ASL Interpreter, was there all three nights with her exciting energy and interpretations.
Plenty of underlying messages and outspoken words from Dave and JB acknowledging terrible feelings thorough the U.S. concerning Women’s Rights and their freedoms that have been stripped away, sending us backward in time.
FRIDAY, JUNE 24
Opening with “Pigeons,” WSP immediately haD everyone on their feet. We never sat down over the next three days except during intermission. “Pigeons” into “Let It Rock” into a sweet “Chilly Water > Genesis > Big Wooly Mammoth > Chilly Water” Sammy#1 … into another super-charged heavy Schools zone “Blight” with bassist Dave Schools telling us “Stand by your woman, ’cause her body is her fuckin’ own!” And then adding another later: “We are stronger together; we have to stick together.”
This transitioned into an ever-so-sweet “Greta” with JoJo Hermann and his keys taking us higher and higher. WSP ended the first set with a highly intense “Space Wrangler.”
Second set began with Tom Petty’s “You Wreck Me > You Got Yours > All Time Low > You Got Yours > C.Brown.” Up next “Little Lilly > jam > Radio Child” with JB accentuating “precious baby.” That moved into big favorite Neil Young’s “Don’t Be Denied,” followed by “Airplane > Diner > Ain’t Life Grand.”
Encore: Solomon Burke’s “None of Us Are Free > Lawyers, Guns and Money.” JB changed a verse, saying “People still in office, they can’t see the light.”
Wow, WSP was on fire, and energy is beyond description. For those not here, you have no idea how hard our favorite band is playing. Get out and see them live! Great Night One!
SATURDAY, JUNE 25
Threat of rain, but once again we prevail. Nothing much to speak of other than the six-headed monster we all wanted to see bring the heat night after night with Schools’ Zone bombs and Duane and Sunny keeping the tempo, and Jimmy giving us his ever-pleasant jamming, hard, always hard. After last night’s setlist and current events, we couldn’t wait to hear what was ahead for a Saturday night at Red Rocks.
Opening with a thick and heavy “Rock” into JoJo leading us through “One Armed Steve,” Saturday night Panic was in full force. Highlights first set: “Porch Song” and “Disco” and sweet sammy#2 “Bust It Big > I Walk on Guilded Splinters (Dr. John) > Bust it Big.” Nothing but smiles as far the eye could see. Life is good!
Set 2 opening up with War’s “Slipping into the Darkness” with tour manager Steve Lopez joining in on percussions. Next up School Zone thumper “Thought Sausage,” and the temperature was definitely arising! This transitioned into a long jammy introduction to J.J Cale’s “Traveling Light,” which brought us to another welcomed Fatty Sandwich #3: “Surprise Valley > Hatfield > Ride Me High > Second Skin > Surprise Valley.” Wowzers! We are going to the top of the world!
JB slowed us down just a bit with Talking Heads’ “Heaven,” “where nothing ever happens.” And BAM! WSP and their monster guitars Herring and Schools with “Tie Your Shoes” into another favorite Talking Heads’ cover “Life During Wartime.”
Encore: “Nobody’s Loss >St. Ex > Blackout Blues.” One more show, and we all know the drill: NEVER MISS A SUNDAY SHOW!
SUNDAY, JUNE 26
Sunday Sunday Sunday! With a little late start Widespread Panic pushed it higher and harder than recent history, according to many in attendance, pulling out plenty of Old School, BustOuts, over three hours plus of music and even a new cover: “Mambo Sun” by T. Rex.
Heavy-duty Duane Trucks’ drums in Neil Young’s “Mr. Soul > Tall Boy > Cotton Was King.” JB and “Last Straw” into Jerry Joseph classic “Climb to Safety.” Next “Gradle > Bowlegged,” then “MAMBO SUN > Fishwater.” End of set one, and we wanted MORE, MORE, MORE!!
Opening second set with pounding instrumental “Machine.” and we know and love what’s coming: “Barstools and Dreamers,” with Jimmy melting faces throughout and JB giving his all throughout. It’s day three, and I needed my sandwich#4: Leon Russell’s “Stranger in a Strange Land” > Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rains Gonna Fall > Stranger in a Strange Land.” Then JB and “Walking (For Your Love)” into the Daniel Hutchen’s “Trashy.”
“Driving Song > Party At Your Mama’s House > Drums > Drums and Bass > Run Like Hell Jam” into a huge “Arleen,” and the dance party explodes. JB took us through a beautiful “Dear Prudence” into a very heavy metal-esque “Protein Drink > Sewing Machine.” We reached Capacity of fun music and happiness!
Encore: “Halloween Face > Pilgrims > Conrad”
That’s definitely one for the books. Three nights of wonderful energy-filled music. Thank You, Widespread Panic, Home Team, Pulse Lighting, Edie Jackson, and Red Rocks Amphitheatre! The energy is at Peak Levels, and everyone involved is giving us their all. THANK YOU!
Next Stop: the Empire State. NYC for a five-day residency at the Beacon Theatre. Manhattan: See You There!!