Mills, Hampton, Tedeschi and Trucks Share Panic
Widespread Panic closed out a somewhat tumultuous year with three nights of shows in Atlanta. On the 29th, the group appeared once again at the Roxy for its second annual Tunes For Tots benefit to aid local music education. In addition to performing in such a relatively intimate venue, the musical highlight may well have been the version of Morning Dew, which served as the evenings encore (this marked Panics second performance of the song in the past 17 years, although Jimmy Herring played his share of Dews during his stints with the Dead and Phil Lesh and Friends).
The next night, the first of two shows at the Philips Arena, offered one more rarity, the second take on the Beatles (I Want You (She’s So Heavy) which the group had debuted at Vegoose. In addition, the bands longtime collaborator John Keane took the stage on both electric and pedal steel guitar for such songs as Travelin’ Man, C. Brown and Give. Derek Trucks, who was in town for his show the next night at the Fox, stepped up during the second set for Blackout Blues. Then, for the first encore of the night, Trucks joined in once more, along with his wife Susan Tedeschi and R.E.M.s Mike Mills (on keyboards) for a cover of Little Wing.
Panic returned to the Philips on New Years Eve, opening with an eight song acoustic set that included From The Cradle, Wondering and Driving Song. While rumors that Aquarium Rescue Unit might make a stealth appearance to open the night proved unfounded, the bands founder, Col. Bruce Hampton, did participate, crooning I Can’t Stop Loving You at the start of the third set and Fixin’ To Die a bit later. Widespread Panic then wrapped up the weekend with a fitting three song encore that ran from May Your Glass Be Filled, to Last Dance, to Ain’t Life Grand.
Stay tuned tomorrow for additional New Years Eve reports from across the country.