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Published: 2008/05/29

Panic’s New Driving Songs

Widespread Panic is changing things up for the third volume in its Driving Songs series. Usually each installment in the series, which is curated by front-of-house mixer Chris Rabold, features a highlight from each show on a given tour, but this time Rabold simply selected the best moments from Panics spring tour. As he explains:

I typically think of spring tours as a way for the band and the crew (and you too actually) to shake the rust off and get back in gig shape. Its nearly impossible to expect to be hitting on all cylinders right out of the box, particularly when youve been idle for a winter. Ive seen it before where you can go the whole spring run and never quite feel that things clicked as a whole. Moments here and there might be special, but as a wholeit just takes a while. The touring year is most definitely an endurance test and finding and setting a pace is important in the beginning too. Its okay to stumble a bit so long as you find your feet eventually, right?
But on this onewell, I think we forgot to tell the band about all that because they were in a full on, mid season form sprint only a couple of shows in. I wont say when but I knew the exact moment at the exact show when it was apparent that things had already taken shape and it was on. Just seeing them get it together so quickly would have been enough to constitute a successful tour in my book, but they werent done. About halfway through the tour I found myself looking at the setlists on the way to front of house (thats where the console is) thinking damnwhats this all about?!. The setlists started to look, um, different? Something about their structure, their layout and, in spots, their content just changed. A conscious effort to bring about change or, just like so many things in Widespread Panic land, a change that just happened? Who knows, who cares. It worked. I mean it REALLY worked.
Widespread Panic will play its seventh show at Bonnaroo on June 15. For more on the group, please read this recent site interview.

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