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Published: 2011/10/10

Widespread Panic Pays Tribute to Vic Chesnutt in Athens

A classic Halloween at the Georgia Theatre

Widespread Panic headlined an extremely intimate Tunes for Tots benefit at Athens, GA’s Georgia Theatre last night. The Athens-bred group—who cut their teeth at the venue—has not performed at the Georgia Theatre since January 27, 1994. The show doubled as a tribute to Vic Chesnutt, the Athens-based songwriter who recorded with Panic as brute. and took his own life in 2009. Partway through Panic’s second set, the band’s longtime producer John Keane emerged to sing and play acoustic guitar on Chesnutt’s “This Cruel Thing.” Though the band recorded “This Cruel Thing” for last year’s Dirty Side Down, it was only the second time the band has never played the song live. Keane then switched to pedal steel for one of Widespread’s signature numbers, “Blue Indian.”

Later in the night, Widespread Panic devoted their entire encore to Chesnutt songs recorded for brute. Keane emerged at the start of the four-song segment to play pedal steel on “Expiration Day.” The member of Panic then closed the night with a run from “Blight” into “Protein Drink/Sewing Machine.”

Widespread Panic will perform in Indianapolis, IN tomorrow.

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