Widespread Panic Dreams Up Momentuous Halloween Concert In Savannah
Songs with references to sleeping and dreaming were in high supply at Savannah, Georgia’s Enmarket Arena on Saturday.
Widespread Panic delivered a dreamy Halloween celebration on Saturday in Savannah, Georgia that included a number of cover debuts and bust outs. The members of the sextet wore costumes fitting the dream theme, as they loaded the setlist with songs referencing dreams and sleeping for their second of two nights at Enmarket Arena.
Frontman John Bell dressed as psychiatrist Carl Jung, who was renowned for his work focusing on dream analysis and wrote the autobiography Memories, Dreams, Reflections. Bassist David Schools appeared as a shaman/Mr. Sandman, while the rest of the band donned pajamas for last night’s concert.
Panic opened the first set with “Machine” and then offered the night’s initial musical hint at the theme with “Barstools And Dreamers.” After a romp through “Thought Sausage,” Schools changed a lyric within “Flat Foot Flewzy” to “on a Savannah Saturday night” to the delight of the audience. “We’ll be here all night,” the bassist told the crowd following the song. WSP continued on with oldie “Postcard” and Murray McLaughlin’s “Honky Red” before debuting a cover of “Nature’s Way” by Spirit off 1970’s Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus.
The fitting “Sleepy Monkey” kept the opening frame going. Then, a recording of The Chordettes’ “Mr. Sandman” played over the PA. Next, guitarist Jimmy Herring led his bandmates through an instrumental “Sweet Dreams” in the style of Roy Buchanan. Panic capped the set by dusting off a cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” for the first time since October 30, 2007 — a span of 805 shows as per PanicStream.com. John Bell, who fronted the Metallica cover, laid down on a couch set up mid-stage and feigned going to sleep towards the end of “Enter Sandman.”
Widespread Panic launched last night’s second set with The Allman Brothers Band classic “Dreams.” The sextet started the cover debut in an upbeat style akin to Buddy Miles’ version before slowing down the pace to match the ABB original in time for Jimmy Herring’s majestic solo. The double dose of “Dreams” gave way to “Arleen” complete with its chorus of “Arleen was a dream, what a dream” and ended the seamless run with “Sleeping Man.” Next came a “Good People” featuring “Dark Bar” within.
Last night’s second set rolled on with another version of “Sweet Dreams,” this time with John Bell singing in the style of Patsy Cline. The sextet then premiered their takes on heavy metal band Sleep’s “Dragonaut” and psych-rock act The Black Angels’ “Posphene Dream.” The latter bled into “Jamais Vu.” From there, Panic jammed “Holden Oversoul” into a set-closing “Fishwater,” which included both the return of Dr. John’s “Dream Warrior” and the evening’s “Drums” segment. WSP last played “Dream Warior” on Halloween 2010.
Panic presented a three-song encore to end the memorable night in Savannah. Original “Dream Song” was up first followed by the sextet’s rendition of Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ Down A Dream.” WSP went with “Pigeons” as the finale giving JB a chance to sing “Wake up!” to start the song.
Watch fan-shot video footage from last night’s show below:
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Setlist (via PanicStream.com)
Set One: Machine > Barstools and Dreamers, Thought Sausage, Flat Foot Flewzy, Postcard, Honky Red, Nature’s Way^, Sleepy Monkey, Sweet Dreams^ > Enter Sandman* (68 mins)
Set Two: Dreams^ > Dreams^ > Arleen > Sleeping Man, Good People > Dark Bar > Good People, Sweet Dreams^, Dragonaut^, Posphene Dream^ > Jamais Vu, Holden Oversoul > Fishwater > Drum solo > Dream Warrior* > Fishwater (88 mins)
Encore: Dream Song, Running Down A Dream^, Pigeons (22 mins)
- ^ FTP ‘Nature’s Way’ (Spirit)
- ^ FTP ‘Sweet Dreams’ (Roy Buchanan) instrumental Jimmy has performed it solo previously
- ^ FTP ‘Dreams’ (Buddy Miles version)
- ^ FTP ‘Dreams’ (Allman Brothers)
- ^ FTP ‘Sweet Dreams’ (Patsy Cline)
- ^ FTP ‘Dragonaut’ instrumental (Sleep)
- ^ FTP ‘Posphene Dream’ (The Black Angels)
- ^ FTP ‘Running Down A Dream’ (Tom Petty)
- * LTP ‘Enter Sandman’ 10/30/07 Asheville (805 shows)
- * LTP ‘Dream Warrior’ 10/30/10 (584 shows)
- – 1st set ended with JB “going to sleep” on couch
- – ‘Mr Sandman’ official release played over house PA after ‘Sleepy Monkey’