Widespread Panic Busts Out ‘Happy Child’ In Wilmington

"Happy Child" was played for the first time in 1143 shows.

By Nate Todd Jul 18, 2021 9:45 am PDT

Widespread Panic continued their three-night run at Riverfront Park Amphitheater in Wilmington, North Carolina on Saturday. WSP would bust out “Happy Child” for the first time in nearly 20 years during the second set at the new venue.

Panic eased their way into “Ribs And Whiskey” to get the first set underway with guitarist Jimmy Herring adding some tasty slide work throughout. Percussionist Domingo “Sunny” Ortiz hit the bongos and congas over Duane Trucks upbeat rhythm to signal “Wondering” followed by “C. Brown” and a cover of Tom Petty’s “You Wreck Me.” Keyboardist JoJo Hermann (whose birthday is today) then led the band through “Dying Man” with frontman John Bell joining him on high harmonies. The Jerry Joseph tune “Chainsaw City” followed, which saw Herring reeling off a fiery solo before JB brought the song home. Panic then heeded through “Hatfield” ahead of set closer, Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.”

WSP delivered a delightfully dark intro to “Slippin’ Into Darkness” before JB sang the opening lines and the band dropped into a stellar funky groove for the verses. Panic would stretch out a bit on “Darkness” laced with Herring’s biting guitar. “Greta” then kicked off an extended seamless section ahead of the band’s killer cover of Talking Heads’ “Life After Wartime” which in turn headed into “Driving Song.”

Panic would then toggle between “The Last Straw” and the Michael Houser-composed instrumental “Happy Child.” “Happy Child” was last played at Bonnaroo on June 22, 2002 for a total of 1143 shows, as per Panic Stream. The performance also marked the first time WSP had played the tune since Houser’s death on August 10, 2002. Panic would return to “Driving Song” to cap off the segment. “Genesis” then kicked off a continous set closing section that headed into “Arleen” with Dave Schools’ bassline bubbling underneath. “Arleen” featured a “Ribs And Whiskey” rap before seguing into the rowdy “Chilly Water” to close out the second frame. For the encore, Panic would deliver the favorites “Vacation” and “Porch Song.”

Watch audience-shot video of “Vacation” below via the Jambase Live Video Archive:


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Widespread Panic (See 445 videos)

Setlist (via Panic Stream)

Set One: Ribs & Whiskey, Wondering, C. Brown, Wreck Me, Dyin’ Man, Chainsaw City, Hatfield, For What It’s Worth

Set Two: Slippin’ Into Darkness, Greta > Life During Wartime > Driving Song > The Last Straw > Happy Child > The Last Straw > Happy Child > Driving Song, Genesis > Arleen > Chilly Water

Encore: Vacation, Porch Song

Notes:

– ‘Slippin’ Into Darkness’ LTP 4/27/19 Trondossa (41 shows)

– ‘Happy Child’ LTP 6/22/02 Bonnaroo (1143 shows…1st since Mikey)

– ‘Ribs & Whiskey’ rap in ‘Arleen’

Never Miss A Sunday Show! Widespread Panic wraps up their Wilmington run tonight.

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