Widespread Panic Dust Off Professor Longhair Cover At 1st Of 2 In Birmingham


In an odd bit of scheduling Widespread Panic was in Birmingham, Alabama to play their only shows of February with a two-night stand at the Legacy Arena at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. The multi-use venue, which is also hosting the Birmingham Home Show this weekend, features a 19,000 seat arena that the Southern jam act was returning to for the first time since April of 2016.

The band, who are playing their first shows on the year on U.S. soil since returning from their destination festival Panic En La Playa, got their first of two in the Yellowhammer State underway with “Pleas.” A pair of old-school favorites followed with Bloodkin’s “Make Sense To Me” and “Little Kin.” After a take on “Action Man,” JoJo Hermann got a chance to shine singing lead on back-to-back songs. First up the keyboardist delivered “Street Dogs From The Breakfast” the closing track from their 2015 release Street Dogs. Hermann than fronted the band on a cover of Professor Longhair’s “Red Beans,” playing the tune from the New Orleans legend for the first since September 24, 2016 – a span of 47 shows. “All Time Low” followed as the band segued into a jam, which eventually found its way into “Space Wrangler” before they brought their sixty-eight-minute opening frame to an end with a cover of the blues tune “Bowlegged Woman.”

The sextet got their second set of the run going as “Greta” got stretched out as they moved into another open-ended jam sequence before eventually landing on a cover of Neil Young’s “Walk On.” Later in the set, WSP dug in as they used “Driving Song” to launch into an extended segue-filled stretch as they dropped “I’m Not Alone” in the middle of the track from their 1988 debut. The lengthy seamless run continued with “Tie Your Shoe” with the “Drums” portion of the night and Vic Chesnutt’s “Sleeping Man,” from the singer-songwriter’s 1993 release Drunk concluding the impressive stretch. The band closed things out with The Guess Who’s “No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature,” playing the track from the Canadian rock band’s 1970 album American Woman for the first time since June of last year.

Panic brought their night to an end with an extended three-song encore as “Gimme” saw its first action since last year at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Funkadelic’s “Red Hot Mamma” from 1974’s Standing on the Verge of Getting It On and “Chilly Water” capped things off.


Watch a pair of fan-shot videos captured by Julia Scott and check out the full setlist below:

[Sleeping Man]

[Bowlegged Woman]


Setlist (via PanicStream)

Set I: Pleas, Makes Sense To Me, Lil’ Kin, Action Man, Street Dogs For Breakfast, Red Beans^, All Time Low > Jam > Space Wrangler, Bowlegged Woman (68 mins)

Set II: Greta > Jam > Walk On, Tortured Artist, Flicker, Driving Song > I’m Not Alone > Driving Song > Tie Your Shoes > Drums > Diner > Sleeping Man, No Sugar Tonight / New Mother Nature (102 mins)

Encore: Gimme, Red Hot Mama, Chilly Water (25 mins)

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