“Almost 23, I took a trip to the sea. Went out for a swim and the waves came crashing down on me. Turned to head back in. That's when I saw the fin. As panic grabbed my legs, you know it, pulled me in.” –‘Vacation'
This morning as I reminisce about last evening’s third and final show of Widespread Panic’s run at the Tennessee Theatre, in Knoxville, I can say that show # 53 was a special one and undoubtedly one of the greatest experiences I have had seeing this band that I love so much. From my freshman year at Auburn University in 1993 to now, married with children, a career-working man, Widespread Panic has provided the soundtrack of my life for more than 18 years.
Each and every Widespread show is a unique experience, with different venues, varying set lists, and the fans-‘goodpeople’ from all walks of life, who travel from all over creation to enjoy this incredible band’s music.
Widespread Panic is certainly on top of their game right now, 25 years after they formed as a band, and I simply cannot name another active touring band that lays it down every night like the Panic does when they hit the stage.
In retrospect, I feel guilty for being so critical of the set list from the Monday night’s show, because, regardless, it was still a wonderful experience and their shows always seem to provide an escape from reality over the course of three hours. The beauty of Widespread Panic’s music is that each song is capable of invoking different emotions in different people at different times. I am sure there are some fans that weren’t as enamored with the last night’s show as I was, but as they say, 'different strokes for different folks.'
Last night was my final show before the Panic’s indefinite hiatus begins next year. The hiatus will provide a much needed break for a band that toured relentlessly over the past 25 years and I know that when they finally return they will be a better band for taking some time off.
There’s really no point in dissecting the set list, which was stellar, many songs that I hoped to hear in Knoxville were flawlessly jammed from the opening chords of ‘Glory’ to the final notes of ‘Travelin’ Light,’ as they closed another incredible three-night stand…things got funky, Widespread Panic ‘busted it big’ and they blew the roof off of the TN Theatre last night!
All I can offer is a sincere and grateful “THANK YOU!!!” Until we meet again, fellas….
|09/28/11 Tennessee Theater, Knoxville, TN (Setlist courtesy of Everyday Companion)|
|1: Glory, Makes Sense To Me, Pleas > Conrad, Visiting Day, Diner, Angels on High > Help Me Somebody > Rebirtha > Wondering|
|2: Solid Rock > Imitation Leather Shoes > Contentment Blues > Blackout Blues, Vacation, You Should Be Glad, Pigeons > Saint Ex, Bust It Big > Love Tractor|
|E: Dirty Side Down, Let's Get The Show On The Road, Travelin' Light|