Widespread Panic Covers Wilco, Nods to Chicago on Halloween
Widespread Panic wrapped up its fall tour last night with a Halloween celebration at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom. The group referenced the city through its costumes, stage design and musical selections. The stage itself resembled the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, which took place in Chicago (and among other things, later provided the setting for Erik Larson’s book The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America ). As for the band members’ costumes, Panic chose in part to reference Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series, as JoJo Herman was dressed like Steve Bartman, who interfered with the ball that Moises Alou attempted to catch in left field, which arguably contributed to the Cubs’ ongoing championship drought (Herring wore an Alou Cubs jersey). As for the other costumes, John Bell was Craig Ferguson’s robot skeleton sidekick Geoff Peterson, Sunny Ortiz was Shrek, Dave Schools wore a Chicago Blackhawks jersey and a goalie mask and Todd Nance appeared as a Zoltar fortune teller machine (featured in the film Big ).
On the musical side, the group once again maintained its Halloween tradition of delivering new and rare cover tunes. The band offered a nod to late friend Vic Chesnutt with “Degenerate” while also debuting music from Howlin Wolf (“Tail Dragger”), Black Sabbath (“Iron Man”), John Lennon (“I’m Losing You”) and Chicago’s own Wilco (“Outta Mind (Outta Sight)”). Panic also busted out some prior covers, delivering the first version of “Wishbone” since 12/15/89, revisiting “Godzilla” for the first time since 10/31/97 and eventually closing out the night with Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” (a Halloween staple of Jerry Garcia) last played on 10/29/08. “Werewolves” also saw the crew take the stage, preceded by a speech of thanks from Dave Schools as Panic looks ahead to New Year’s Eve and then limited 2012 performances, followed by a hiatus.
Here is the setlist as it appears in our box scores section
Aragon Ballroom Chicago, IL
Set I: Pigeons > Radio Child > Wishbone*, True To My Nature, Time Zones > Love Tractor, Degenerate^ > Blight > Tail Dragger# > Climb To Safety
Set II: Godzilla** > Iron Man^^ > Godzilla, Imitation Leather Shoes > Jack, Surprise Valley > Drums > Surprise Valley > Blue Indian, I’m Losing You% > Chilly Water > Bust It Big > Chilly Water
Enc: Outta Mind (Outta Sight)@, Postcard, Porch Song, Werewolves of London^^^
*Last time played 12/15/89
^Debut (Vic Chesnutt) #Debut (Howlin Wolf) **Last time played 10/31/97
^^Debut (Black Sabbath)
%Debut (John Lennon)
^^^Last time played 10/29/08, with crew on stage