On New Year’s Eve Only: Last 10 Widespread Panic NYE One-Timers


Georgia rockers Widespread Panic generally like to pull out all the stops on New Year’s Eve. Whether it’s special guests, rarities or debuts, the band tends to make the most of their December 31st performances. This year appears to be no exception as Panic has enlisted not only regular guests The Megablasters horn section, but also vocalists McCrary Sisters and the Love Sponge String Quartet for their New Year’s Eve concert at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.

In honor of the upcoming concert, we’ve put a list together of ten covers Widespread Panic debuted at New Year’s Eve shows dating back to 2010 but not again since:

1. Tongue (Shuffle In A) – December 31, 2010

Guitarist/vocalist David Bromberg sat-in with Widespread Panic for a portion of their third set on December 31, 2010 at the Pepsi Center in Denver. Bromberg performed “Sharon” as well as the first and only Panic version of “Tongue (Shuffle In A),” a song credited to Jorma Kaukonen by WSP fan site Everyday Companion.

2. Midnight Special – December 31, 2012


Widespread Panic became one of hundreds of acts to cover the traditional “Midnight Special,” when they ended their second set with the tune on December 31, 2012 at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. John Bell growled out the lyrics a capella to start the tune before the rest of the band came in.

[Video captured by Patrick McIntyre]

3. Time Is On My Side – December 31, 2012


The second one-timer played by Widespread Panic on December 31, 2012 came towards the beginning of the third set at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. “Time On My Side” was the second song of the third stanza following “Pigeons.” While most music fans are familiar with The Rolling Stones’ 1964 single, “Time On My Side” was penned by Jerry Ragovoy and was originally recorded by Kai Winding a year ahead of the Stones’ hit.

[Video captured by Patrick McIntyre]

4. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – December 31, 2012

The third and final one-timer played by Widespread Panic on December 31, 2012 was presented as part of the encore at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. Panic kicked off the encore with “Driving Song” and then swerved into a tribute to John Lennon. Up first out of “Driving Song” was “The Ballad Of John & Yoko,” which WSP had debuted in January of ’12. Then, JB led his mates through a pretty version of Lennon’s holiday classic “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” before completing “Driving Song.”

[Video captured by doodooz]

5. Burning Down The House – December 31, 2013

On December 31, 2013 Widespread Panic brought New Year’s back to Atlanta for a performance at Philips Arena. The band started their third set with a pair of covers that remain one-timers through press time. First up was a powerful version of Talking Heads’ 1983 smash “Burning Down The House.” WSP was aided by The Megablasters horn section on the cover. John Bell handled vocals on what turned into a gigantic sing-along.

[Video captured by Bravephrend]

6. Come On – December 31, 2013

Widespread Panic followed “Burning Down The House” with Earl King’s blues standard “Come On” on December 31, 2013 at Atlanta’s Philips Arena. The song is best known by the title “Let The Good Times Roll,” which is a fitting sentiment on New Year’s Eve. Panic join a long list of acts that have covered the song including Jimi Hendrix, Dr. John and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Just as with “Burning Down The House,” the band was assisted by The Megablasters horn section for “Come On.”

7. Ain’t No Sunshine – December 31, 2014

On December 31, 2014 Widespread Panic ended their first set at Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena with a tribute to Bill Withers. The band played a run of “Lean On Me,” “Ain’t No Sunshine” and “Use Me.” While “Use Me” has been a staple of WSP’s repertoire since Halloween ’97, “Lean On Me” and “Ain’t No Sunshine” were debuts. Panic went on to play “Lean On Me” again on June 28, 2015 but have yet to reattempt “Ain’t No Sunshine.” All three Bill Withers covers featured The Megablasters horn section.

[Video shared by Widespread Panic]

8 & 9. Happy (Rolling Stones) & Happy (Pharrell Williams) – December 31, 2014

Widespread Panic kicked off their third set at Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Arena on December 31, 2014 with an inventive sequence of three songs titled “Happy.” They began with The Rolling Stones’ tune off Exile On Main St.. Panic was joined by The Megablasters horn section on one of Keith Richards’ signature songs. WSP then dusted off their own tune titled “Happy” for the first time since the prior June. The most unusual “Happy” selection came last as Widespread Panic covered Pharrell Williams’ No. 1 single from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack as well as his own Girl LP. While The Megablasters left the stage for Panic’s original “Happy,” they came back for the Pharrell cover.

[Videos captured by Mr. Topdogger]

10. A Little Help From My Friends – December 31, 2014

The Georgia rockers ended their marathon New Year’s show on December 31, 2014 at the Time Warner Cable Arena on December 31, 2014 with a tribute to Joe Cocker. The evening’s encore started with “High Time We Went” and ended with a version of The Beatles’ “A Little Help From My Friends” reminiscent of Cocker’s take on the tune.

[Video shared by Widespread Panic]

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