Widespread Panic Ends New Year’s Run Opener In Atlanta With Sweet Encore
Widespread Panic returned to Atlanta’s Fox Theater, a venue that has become a home for the band, on Sunday night to kick off their 2019 New Year’s Run. Last night’s show was the band’s 34th at the Fox since making their debut at the historic theater on November 28, 1991. The concert was heavy on beloved staples and ended with a “sweet” encore featuring two songs with honey as part of the title.
Guitarist John Bell welcomed fans to the Fox shortly after Panic took the stage and then the group teased “I Trusted You” in a throwback to their memorable Halloween concert. However, it would be “Good People” that got the show on the road. WSP fit “Dark Bar” within “Good People” in a reprise of a segment played on October 26, 2019 at Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater. The band then revved up the audience with the potent “Love Tractor” before uncorking the jazzy “Pickin’ Up The Pieces” from 1993’s Everyday LP. Next up was the instrumental “A Of D” and a return to Everyday for the classic “Wondering.”
Last night’s first set came to a close with a run of “Bear’s Gone Fishin'” from 1999’s ‘Till The Medicine Takes, fan-favorite “Tall Boy” off Bombs & Butterflies and the Jerry Joseph-penned “North.” Widespread Panic continued their career-spanning show by opening Sunday’s second set with the pairing of “All Time Low” and “Rebirtha.” The sextet then delivered a “You Should Be Glad” featuring an intense Jimmy Herring solo and a rollicking “Jaded Tourist” as the song continues to be in heavy rotation after disappearing from setlists between October 20, 2011 and June 24, 2017. The heavy-hitting “Henry Parsons Died” came next before WSP treated fans to a cover of The Band’s “Ophelia” and one of their newest originals, “Sundown Betty.” From there, Panic went with the bluesy “Ribs & Whiskey” ahead of a stellar set-closing sequence of “Bust It Big” into “Use Me” into “Mr. Soul.” Last night’s “Bust It Big” featured a tasty jam that spanned beyond the song’s normal structure, while Widespread’s covers of Bill Withers’ “Use Me” and Neil Young’s “Mr. Soul” were highlighted by blazing solos from Herring.
When the Georgia-birthed band returned for the encore, they surprised fans with a take on Willis Alan Ramsey’s “Geraldine And The Honeybee.” Panic debuted the cover way back on May 28, 1988 and last night was just the fourth version since 1992. The encore and evening ended with a cover of Tom Petty’s “Honeybee,” a tune off Wildflowers that Widespread first performed on October 28, 2017 in Las Vegas less than a month after Petty’s tragic death. Next up for WSP is their second of three New Year’s Run shows at the Fox on Monday before the band concludes the run and 2019 on New Year’s Eve. Live streams of both concerts are available for free via Panic’s YouTube channel.
Watch fan-shot video captured by Mr. Topdogger of last night’s “Geraldine And The Honeybee” below:
Setlist (via PanicStream)
Set Two: Good People > Dark Bar > Good People, Love Tractor, Pickin’ Up The Pieces, A of D, Wondering, Bear’s Gone Fishin’, Tall Boy, North (65 mins)
Set Two: All Time Low, Rebirtha > You Should Be Glad, Jaded Tourist, Henry Parsons Died, Ophelia, Sundown Betty, Ribs & Whiskey, Bust It Big > Use Me > Mr Soul (85 mins)
Encore: Geraldine and the Honeybee, Honeybee (8 mins)