Widespread Panic Busts Out ‘Rockin’ In The Free World’ Cover In Huntsville

“There's one more kid that'll never go to school / Never get to fall in love / Never get to be cool.”

By Andy Kahn May 28, 2022 8:30 am PDT

Widespread Panic covered Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World” on Friday at their show in Huntsville, Alabama. The bust out came at the start of the concert at the newly opened Orion Amphitheater.

Widespread Panic last performed “Rockin’ In The Free World” on February 17, 2018. Friday’s bust out was just the sixth time WSP played the song that includes the timely lyrics, “There’s one more kid that’ll never go to school / Never get to fall in love / Never get to be cool.” The weighty opener was followed by the fun Panic classic “Coconut.”

From there, the band strung together “Holden Oversoul” into “Little Lilly” into “Cotton Was King.” A cover of Junior Kimbrough’s “Junior” came next, followed by a set-closing sequence of “Pleas” into “Worry” into “Big Wooly Mammoth.”

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Coming out of set break, Widespread Panic paired their “Dyin’ Man” with the blues staple “Fixin’ To Die.” The two mortality-focused songs were trailed by a 14-minute “Mercy” that conjured a vibrant jam leading into Tom Waits’ “Gon’ Out West.” After the cover came a seamless transition into “Machine.”

WSP filled out the rest of the second set with “Barstools And Dreamers” segueing into “Chilly Water.” A drums jam was built into “Chilly Water” which went back into “Barstools And Dreamers” and frontman John Bell inserting a “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” rap. A take on Tom Petty’s “Honey Bee” punctuated the second set.

Friday’s encore was made up of three songs, poignant renditions of “Hope in a Hopeless World” and “Expiration Day,” followed by a rowdy “Pigeons.” Widespread Panic returns to The Orion Amphitheater again tonight for the second show of their three-night run. Watch audience-shot footage of “Rockin’ In The Free World” from Friday’s concert below:

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Setlist (via PanicStream)

Set One: Rockin’ In The Free World, Coconut, Holden Oversoul > Little Lilly > Cotton Was King, Junior, Pleas > Worry > Big Wooly Mammoth (75 mins)

Set Two: Dyin’ Man, Fixin’ To Die, Mercy > Jam > Goin’ Out West > Machine > Barstools and Dreamers > Chilly Water > Drums > Chilly Water > Barstools and Dreamers, Honey Bee (83 mins)

Encore: Hope In A Hopeless World, Expiration Day, Pigeons (22 mins)

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