Widespread Panic Return to Spacecamp at Orion Amphitheater

Widespread Panic were firing on all engines for a complete blast off to the delight of all in attendance. For the second consecutive year, the six-headed monster from Athens, Georgia, returned to one of the premier outdoor music venues of recent construction, The Orion Amphitheater in Huntsville, Alabama (Rocket City), for three days (07-28, 07-29, 07-30) of musical  bust-outs, first-time-played songs, and OG sets with new music from the new album due out soon. Three days in blistering heat near 100 degrees did not detour the Widespread Panic fanbase from bringing their own heat in support. 

Widespread Panic – Huntsville ’23. 📷: Jeff Fernandez



A solid first OG set of songs got the crowd up and roaring in the heat. “One Arm Steve” with JoJo Hermann on vocals, and we had blasted off for the Zambia that was ahead. Highlights first set included “Little Kin,” “Vampire Blues,” and “Trouble (bust-out, LTP 03-01-20 Beacon Theatre), and the set ended with a powerful and fitting “Space Wrangler” to get us ready for spacecamp. Paul Hoffman and Pulse Lighting continue to raise the bar, bringing a much-expanded light show encompassing the walls surrounding entire Amphitheatre… so so good!

JoJo Hermann – Widespread Panic – Huntsville ’23. 📷: Jeff Fernandez

Second set: John Bell opens with a deeply moving “All Time Low > Send Your Mind” (Van Morrison) into “Tackle Box Hero” (new album) > “Saint Ex > Trashy” (Bloodkin, new album) into super sandwich “Papa’s Home > Low Spark of High Heeled Boys > Tie Your Shoes > Papa’s Home” and finishing the second set with a high-energy cover of Tom Petty’s “You Wreck Me.”

John Bell & Dave Schools – Widespread Panic – Huntsville ’23. 📷: Jeff Fernandez

Encore: “Nobody’s Loss > Lawyers, Guns, and Money” (Warren Zevon)   Day one was in the books. Time for food, which was plentiful with food trucks and late-night music provided just outside the entrance to Orion, giving those who wanted more plenty to choose from.

Widespread Panic – 07/28/2023 – Huntsville, AL



With no end in sight of the 100-degree temperatures and heavy humidity,  Widespread Panic would deliver a smoking hot show for those lucky to be inside the Orion. With new songs and super-duper bust-outs, this show is definitely one for the books. They kicked off the show with “Rebirtha,” and then JB switched to the Black Washburn, and the band played “Ribs and Whiskey > Stop Breaking Down Blues,” getting the energy up throughout the Orion. Highlight first set: “King Baby” (New album, second time played)  

Jimmy Herring & JoJo Hermann – Widespread Panic – Huntsville ’23. 📷: Jeff Fernandez

Set 2: “Sharon” (David Bromberg) > “Walking for Your Love > Blight,” and spaceship Widespread Panic was ready for the launch. “Honkey Red” into  the new original song “Little by Little” had the crowd on their feet, dancing and cheering with happiness abounding. “Diner > Vacation > Greta > Henry Parsons Died” to end the set. 

Sunny Ortiz – Widespread Panic – Huntsville ’23. 📷: Jeff Fernandez

Encore: “Old Joe > Elevator to  the Moon” (Col. Bruce Hampton, LTP 04-04-1991, 2591 shows ago WOW and please play again)! Ending the show with Jerry Joseph’s “Climb to Safety,” and the bar has been raised.     Heater tonight!

Widespread Panic – 07/29/2023 – Huntsville, AL



Day 3 Sunday, Sunday Service at Space Camp would be as expected, full of energy and incredible lights to bring us together once again.  

Duane Trucks – Widespread Panic – Huntsville ’23. 📷: Jeff Fernandez

Set 1: “Airplane > Wondering” and BOOM new song “We Walk Each Other Home” (new album, Jerry Joseph collaboration) so so good. Next a sweet sammy: “Surprise Valley > Rock > Drums > Surprise Valley” into “Dear Prudence” (McCartney/Lennon) > “Postcard > Blackout Blues > Action Man” to close the second set.

Widespread Panic – Huntsville ’23. 📷: Jeff Fernandez

Encore: JB on the “Tiny Guitar” (mandolin) and “End of the Show > Ain’t Life Grand”

Widespread Panic – 07/30/2023 – Huntsville, AL


That’s a wrap! Thank you, Widespread Panic, Pulse lighting and crews, Orion Amphitheater, and city of Huntsville for giving us another wonderful and  safe experience for all.

Next up, we return to Napa for three nights 8/25 – 8/27. See ya there!




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