Widespread Panic Releases Porch Songs 15
Widespread Panic have released Porch Songs 15. The archival release captures the band’s September 22, 1995 performance at Oxford, MS’ Tad Smith Coliseum.
A note on the show reads:
For the 15th volume of Porch Songs, we head to the deep South and pay an overdue visit to Mississippi…and to 1995. In the early days around these parts, Widespread Panic was always dirty and the crowd was always rowdy. Tad Smith holds about 9,000, but most of the places they used to play in Oxford were waaaay smaller…even setting up in The Grove back in 1990. The band routinely made a stop in Oxford from 89-92 and then played there for the last time this night in 1995; a year that seemed to help musically bridge the band from its earlier years to 1996 and beyond…but of course it did.
As the show begins, we quickly find out just how we want to be…given that we are definitely where we want to be…with a opening meltdown right into “Proving Ground.” ”Blackout” quickly finds its way into the mix with another lead in meltdown…and then yet another as they head back into “Proving Ground.” ”Wondering” settles everyone back in just before JB announces that this was their first ever rap show…as “Rebirtha” takes the field and all of us off again…this time to open the gate for the rest of this fantastic show. Appropriately, “Papa Legba” takes center stage mid set and it is on indeed. From there, “Stop-Go” gets good and out there before getting even dirtier with “Dear Mr. Fantasy”. “Radio Child” builds on all that energy and leads into a blistering “Conrad” to close out a nice welcoming and get us ready for what was to come. By then, it was pretty evident the band was where they wanted to be too.
The second set opener, “Send Your Mind,” quickly brought us all back around…especially with the “Love Tractor” that followed. ”Aunt Avis” began to set a more spacey mood all the way into “Driving Song”. From there, “Tall Boy” jammed us back into “Driving Song”…then “Airplane” took us over many different spaces before finding the “Drums”. “Raise the Roof” slid right in and lived up to its name before we found our way backwards out of a black hole and into “Chilly Water” to end quite the set…and show! But there was more to come in the way of a three song encore…with the crazy “Tacos are Cheap but Pizza is Expensive”, followed by “Help Me Somebody”, and finally “Porch Song” to end it all.
This September 1995 night in Oxford, Mississippi ended a great run of shows (so far) in a great little town. Always lots of energy to spread around and this performance certainly had its share. Who knows, maybe they’ll end up in Oxford again one of they days…that’s certainly long overdue too!
As always, keep in mind that when listening to these Porch Song releases, what you’re really hearing is a recording of what came through the house speakers the night of the show…so there is no post-show engineering opportunity to dial in each instrument and vocal to perfection as there is with the Widespread Panic Multitrack Releases. So, what you’ll occasionally find on these Porch Song recordings is a bit of digital noise, static and maybe even a quick drop out resulting from the onstage recording process and/or the ravages of tape degradation. For this release, we’ve selected a show that’s once again pretty damn clean…except for a small spot in Proving Ground…but to get there…as always, we’ve preserved what we could, doctored up what we’ve been able to…and, in this ongoing process, have refused to let a minor blemish or two prevent the spreading of this amazing music. So, sit back, settle in and let Widespread Panic take you on another incredible journey.
As previously reported, Relix and Jambands.com are also giving away a pair of tickets to every show on Panic’s current spring tour.
Here’s a look at the show’s setlist via the Everyday Companion
September 22, 1995, Tad Smith Coliseum, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS
Set I: Proving Ground > Blackout Blues > Proving Ground, Wondering, Rebirtha > Papa Legba, Stop-Go > Dear Mr. Fantasy, Radio Child, Conrad
Set II: Send Your Mind > Love Tractor, Aunt Avis > Driving Song > Tall Boy > Jam > Driving Song > Airplane > Jam > Drums > Raise The Roof > Entering A Black Hole Backwards > Chilly Water
E: Tacos > Help Me Somebody > Porch Song