Widespread Panic Welcomes George Porter Jr. At Panic En La Playa

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Today, the seventh annual Panic En La Playa destination event headlined by Widespread Panic concludes at the Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Panic’s penultimate performance of the festival was highlighted by a collaboration with famed bassist George Porter Jr. of The Meters fame, a sit-in that has turned into a yearly tradition. Porter and his original Meters mates were honored with a brief mention at last night’s Grammys ceremony for Lifetime Achievement around the time George was on stage jamming with Widespread Panic.

Attendees had the option of spending the morning embarking on excursions including Deep Sea Fishing and Rio Secreto options. There was also the chance to help those in the local community through Positive Legacy’s Day Of Service and Cultural Connection. In the afternoon, Cloud 9 and Inside Out With Turner & Seth’s Seth Weiner held a poolside “Under The Influence” chat with Cyril Neville. Listen to what went down:

Widespread Panic’s JoJo Hermann judged a Mac N Cheese cookoff ahead of the band’s two-set performance. Panic focused on older material throughout the evening including a “Conrad” opener, a cover of David Bromberg’s “Sharon” and the beloved “Holden Oversoul,” and that was just the first three songs of the night. “Time Zones” continued its comeback while a pairing of “Happy” > “Aunt Avis” > “Rebirtha” showed off three different sides of WSP’s musicality ahead of a JoJo-sung “Blackout Blues” to end the frame.

The six-piece kicked off Sunday’s second set with covers of Neil Young’s “Mr. Soul” and the blues standard “One Kind Favor,” which led into an “Other One” jam ahead of “Imitation Leather Shoes.” Next up was “Cotton Was King” before it was right back to the oldies in the form of “Hatfield.” Then, George Porter Jr. emerged to lead the group on The Meters’ “Ain’t No Use,” the first time Panic had played the song in exactly a year. GPJ also added to the frenetic “Arleen.” Widespread ended the set with the one-two punch of Jerry Joseph’s “Chainsaw City” and Talking Heads’ “Life During Wartime.” The band said farewell with a “Honky Red”/”North” encore. On Monday, PELP festivalgoers will have one more chance to enjoy the activities and performances in Mexico before departing on Tuesday.

Watch George Porter Jr. lead “Ain’t No Use”:

Setlist (via PanicStream)

Set One: Conrad, Sharon, Holden Oversoul, You Got Yours, Time Zones, Happy > Aunt Avis > Rebirtha, Blackout Blues (78 mins)

Set Two: Mr Soul, One Kind Favor > Imitation Leather Shoes, Cotton Was King, Hatfield, It Ain’t No Use*, Arleen**, Chainsaw City, Life During Wartime (95 mins)

Encore: Honky Red, North (19 mins)

* w/ George Porter Jr on bass & vocals, ** w/ George Porter Jr on bass

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