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Widespread Panic, Starlight Theatre, Kansas City KS – 6/22

Photo by William McAlaine

After a short 3 hour drive from Lincoln, Nebraska, we pulled into the beautiful Starlight Theatre. As I made my way down to the photo pit to take pictures, I was able to take in the perfect weather and rather unique venue. The band came out with full smiles and proceeded to start things off with Bloodkin’s “Make Sense to Me”. Jojo Hermann quickly stepped up with a “Bust it Big” which segued into a rippin’ version of Bob Dylan’s “Solid Rock.” “Heroes” and the ever personal favorite “Pilgrims” brought the tempo down in a good way. The highlight of the set was the rip –rollicking “Thought Sausage” into “Barstools and Dreamers,” which closed things out. A very nice long first set.

The second set opened with the now rare “Slippin’ into Darkness” followed by “Little Kin” and “All Time Low,” which kept the crowd dancing at full speed. “I’m Not Alone” slowed it down a little, and once again showed us how beautiful John Bell’s vocals continue to be. The first major highlight of the show, for me, came when they played probably what was the slowest version of “Porch Song” that I have heard in my 20 some years of seeing this band. Magical! The “Going Out West” brought us thoughts of Red Rocks, which will be their next stop that led into a true Drums, with the rest of the band leaving the stage. Dave Schools then came out for another unique “Drums & Bass” segment. I feel like I hadn’t seen that in a while, so it was a treat. Out of this came a heart stopping “Pigeons” ensued into a Saturday favorite, “Henry Parsons Died.” My favorite moment of the night came with the encore which featured an excellent version of “Greta” into a true full moon rare bust out of “Werewolves of London” that featured Dave on vocals. This hadn’t been played since the last Halloween shows in Chicago 2011, setting things up nicely for four shows to follow at Red Rocks.

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