Hear Widespread Panic Debut New Original Song & Warren Zevon Cover At Red Rocks

Listen to Panic’s complete 2023 Red Rocks Sunday show.

By Nate Todd Jun 26, 2023 11:23 am PDT

The old adage “never miss a sunday show” held true once again for Widespread Panic‘s three-night closer at Red Rocks. The band debuted a new original as well as a Warren Zevon cover at the iconic Colorado amphitheatre.

WSP launched the concert with “Up All Night.” A standalone “C Brown” followed before Panic strung together an adventurous seamless three-song segment that began with the instrumental favorite “Disco” before keyboardist JoJo Hermann led the band through “Big Wooly Mammoth.” The continuous segment concluded with “Stop-Go,” which saw frontman John Bell adding his nod to Leonard Cohen with a “That Don’t Make It Junk” rap.

Widespread Panic then unveiled a new original, “King Baby,” a groovy affair laced with wah-wah guitar as well as a droning riff underneath. JB handled lead vocals and the song also boasted an excellent middle break, led by JoJo on piano and seeing guitarist Jimmy Herring utilizing his volume pedal to great effect. The middle progression also served as the coda, which saw Herring peel off a short but fiery solo to wrap the new number. “Sleeping Man” and “Down” came next before WSP closed the first frame with companion songs “Protein Drink” and “Sewing Machine.”

The second set began with the classic “Holden Oversoul.” The sextet then embarked on another three-song seamless sequence beginning with “Little Lilly,” which headed into Panic’s cover of Parliament’s “Red Hot Mama” and concluded with “Rock.” The band then paired up the instrumental “Party At Your Mom’s House” with the favorite “Pilgrims.”

Panic then dusted off “Fishing” for the first time since February 10, 2016 in the band’s native Athens, Georgia for a total gap of 292 shows, as per PanicStream. WSP kept things “fishy” with “Fishwater” which flowed into “Arleen” before the band finished up “Fishwater” to seal the second set.

WSP returned to kick off the three-song encore with the debut of Warren Zevon’s “Keep Me in Your Heart.” Panic dedicated the song to renowned Colorado concert promoter Bill Bass, who had a longtime relationship with Widespread Panic. A drummer, Bass was known to join Domingo “Sunny” Ortiz on percussion at WSP Red Rocks shows.

“I knew Bill was a drummer,” Sunny Ortiz told Colorado’s Westword Magazine. “We talked about it over the years — so, yeah, I finally called him up on stage. He gave me a look, like ‘Don’t leave me,’ so we played together. It was great. But then I couldn’t get him off the stage! Seriously, Bill was really great to us. He really believed in us, and he loved music.”

Bill Bass sadly died while on a fishing trip in Mexico on January 13, 2023.

“Keep Me In Your Heart” is the final song Warren Zevon recorded before his death on September 7, 2003. It was also the final song on his final album, 2003’s The Wind. After the heartfelt dedication to Bass, Panic finally got to “Chilly Water.” While it’s all but a forgone conclusion that WSP will play the rowdy favorite at Red Rocks, the band saved it for the penultimate song of the run in 2023. Also of note, JB started off “Chilly” solo before the rest of the band joined in. Widespread Panic wrapped their Red Rocks run with another classic, “Love Tractor.”

Listen to WSP’s complete 2023 Red Rocks Sunday show below:

https://twitter.com/WidespreadPanic/status/1673122493673132032

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Photos by Jeremy Williams

Setlist (via Panic Stream)

Set One: Up All Night, C. Brown, Disco > Big Wooly Mammoth > Stop Go, King Baby, Sleeping Man, Down, Protein Drink / Sewing Machine

Set Two: Holden Oversoul, Little Lilly > Red Hot Mama > Rock, Party At Your Mama’s House > Pilgrims, Fishing > Fishwater > Arleen > Fishwater

Encore: Keep Me In Your Heart, Chilly Water, Love Tractor

Notes:

  • – ‘That Don’t Make It Junk’ rap during ‘Stop Go’
  • – FTP ‘King Baby’ (new original – JB lead vocals)
  • – LTP ‘Fishing’ 2/10/16 Athens (292 shows)
  • – FTP ‘Keep Me In Your Heart’ (Warren Zevon) ~ Dedicated to the late Bill Bass
  • – JB solo during ‘Chilly Water’ until first chorus
  • – Entire show with Edie Jackson (ASL)
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