Watch Widespread Panic Dust Off ‘New Speedway Boogie’ Cover In 2011
Widespread Panic unveiled pro-shot video featuring their cover of the Grateful Dead’s “New Speedway Boogie” from the second night of a 2011 run celebrating the band’s 25th anniversary. Panic’s first “New Speedway” since January 18, 1989 — a span of 2,290 shows as per Everyday Companion — came towards the end of their second set on February 11, 2011 at the Classic Center in WSP’s hometown of Athens.
John Bell and company loaded setlists with Grateful Dead covers during their early days. However, “Cream Puff War” was the only GD tune played with any kind of regularity once the band became a nationally touring act. Panic used the occasion of the 25th Anniversary Run to bust out “New Speedway Boogie” after they dusted off “Fire On The Mountain” one night prior.
“New Speedway Boogie” was penned by Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia in the wake of the disastrous Altamont festival in 1969. The Grateful Dead debuted the song live on December 20, 1969 and then included a studio version on Workingman’s Dead the following year.
Widespread Panic went on to cover “New Speedway” seven additional times in 2011. The sextet then put the tune on the shelf once more before reviving “New Speedway Boogie” in Las Vegas on March 28, 2015 with Chris Robinson Brotherhood members Adam McDougall on keyboards, Chris Robinson on vocals and Neal Casal on guitar. Panic treated fans to one more version to end their show at St. Augustine Amphitheatre in St. Augustine, Florida on August 2, 2019.
Watch Panic’s “New Speedway Boogie” from February 11, 2011 below: