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Published: 2012/03/01
by Bill McAlaine

Widespread Panic, The Fillmore, Denver, CO – 2/10-2/12

Photo by Ben Steinmann

After the first night I really understood how different this acoustic set up was and how it really changed the sound and style of the band. My most noticeable differences where that everything was much more subtle and the way the band interacted was much different in a great way. I thought Jojo really shined. Jimmy Herring’s acoustic style had a subtlety that you would never see at an electric show. The mellower style of School’s playing, the mixing it up with Sonny Ortiz and Todd using various shakers and buckets and the accentuation of John Bell’s vocals in a most beautiful an unique range that was so crisp and inviting. Not to mention he had a variety of different guitars and played them all. The band was playing together in a different way that gelled really well.

OK, Night two the band was settled in and brought us a great variety of new songs, covers, and some older ones that haven’t been heard in a while. The first set highlights for me were the “Aunt Avis” and “Help Me Somebody.” “Let’s Get the Show on the Road,” which too has been played in acoustic-like arrangements before at Hannahs or New Years and is always a rare nice treat. We then got to hear Howling Wolf’s bluesy “Taildragger,” which I had just heard for the first time played on Halloween in Chicago. I really dug the acoustic take on this song. The boys then treated us to a first time ever played country style version of “Tall Boy” which put a smile on everyone’s face. Just listen to the tapes.

The second set opened with “Fishing,” a song that I hadn’t heard in a while, so I was very excited to hear this version in the full acoustic format. The “Mercy” > “Jack” was a real highlight and the “Driving” > “Papa’s Home” > “Driving” really showed how tight this band is no matter what set up they are playing in. A fan fueled “Ribs & Whiskey” appropriately closed the set.

The second encore ensemble of the weekend was another example of how these guys just know how to feed their crowd and keep us wanting more. They debuted Roger Miller’s “Dang Me” and then the rare “And it Stoned Me” came out next showing us once again how great JB’s vocals can be. A newly arranged rendition of Neil Young’s “Mr. Soul” closed it all out on a big way.

02/11/12 The Fillmore, Denver, CO

1: Henry Parsons Died, Heaven, Tickle the Truth, Shut Up And Drive, Aunt Avis, Help Me Somebody, Saint Ex, Let’s Get The Show On The Road, Tail Dragger, Tall Boy
2: Fishing, C. Brown, Papa Johnny Road, Mercy > Jack, Ride Me High > Driving Song > Papa’s Home > Driving Song > Breathing Slow, Ribs And Whiskey
E: Dang Me, And It Stoned Me, Mr. Soul
[Only Dang Me]

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