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Widespread Panic, Grand Targhee Resort Amphitheater, Alta, WY- 7/4-6

I live in Colorado and have a lake home in BigFork, MT. Both places bless me with beauty on a daily basis. However, when you drive up to Alta, WY, you are given a vision of both Colorado and Montana combined, yet the Tetons are in my eyes a much grander and extremely different type of mountains. This being my first trip to Alta, I was stunned by the beauty that surrounded the Targhee Resort. After coming from the iconic and incomparable Red Rocks I was still amazed at where we were about to see our favorite band play for three nights, starting with the 4th of July. Targhee is set up quite well for a “makeshift” music venue on a ski hill. The most notable beauty is the evergreens that surround the stage and crowd. It is most astonishing when Panic’s lighting director bounces his skills off them. Amazing!

Now, on to the music we go. The first night had the crowd all wound up mostly because it was the 4th of July and Domingo “Sonny” Ortiz’ birthday. I thought the band was on all three nights, and my favorite show progressed with each night. The opening show’s first set highlights included the ‘Old Neighborhood’ opener, ‘Walk On’, and an appropriate ‘Christmas Katie’ that had the crowd singing along with John Bell as he sang “electric lights, they rattle ‘gainst the shopping cart even on the 4th of July!”. ‘Good Morning little Schoolgirl’ is always a treat with a raucous ‘Radio Child’ to close the first set.

The second set caught the band playing even tighter with such favorites as the ‘Greta’ opener, a taste of New Orleans with ‘Guilded Splinters,’ and the rare Houser-written favorite ‘Vacation’, and what a vacation we were all about to have. An appropriate ‘Going out West’ came out of ‘Vacation’, with a beautiful ‘I’m Not Alone’ into the Jerry Joseph favorite ‘Climb to Safety’ to close out the second set. The encore was most appropriate on this date as the band broke into ‘None of Us are Free’ followed by ‘Action Man’ to send us on our way to late night shows, condo parties or campground parties with crowd induced fireworks popping from every direction.

07/04/13 Grand Targhee Resort Amphitheater, Alta, WY

1: Old Neighborhood > Imitation Leather Shoes, Goodpeople, Walk On, Little Lilly > Cotton Was King, Thin Air (Smells Like Mississippi) > Christmas Katie > Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, Radio Child

2: Greta > You Got Yours, Time Zones, I Walk On Guilded Splinters, Travelin’ Man > Vacation > Goin’ Out West, I’m Not Alone, Climb To Safety

E: None of Us Are Free > Action Man

The second night brought a slightly worn out crowd back to life with a great version of ‘Let’s Get Down to Business’. The band truly was getting back down to business, with personal favorites that included ‘C Brown,’ Jojo’s ‘Help Me Somebody’, and another unique showing of Vic Chestnut’s ‘Sewing Machine,’ being played once again without its standard pairing of ‘Protein Drink.’ I kept wondering if we would ever get a solo playing of ‘Protein Drink’. I guess I would have to wait and see. Set break gave everyone a chance to regroup get some food and drink. The vending was pretty well done IMO for a makeshift venue like this.

Second set brought us another handful of great songs, opening with the familiar notes of ‘Wondering’ that quickly got the crowd back up on their feet. What I presently think is my new favorite new song, ‘True to My Nature’ came next with its lovely chorus showing us how great JB’s voice and soul is. ‘Sleepy Monkey’ was a nice treat and led into a nasty ‘Fishwater’ with one of the greatest jams of the weekend. A rocking ‘Love Tractor’ closed the set, and kept us cheering and “bouncing in our seats.” However, it was the encore this night which may have been my favorite moment thus far. As the band stepped back out the slow and ear grabbing intro to ‘Dream Song’ came out. It has become a rarity in itself but it was the lights on the evergreens behind the stage matched with JB’s soulful and subtle vocals that made it so magical. Next, to close out the show came the original opening notes to the fan favorite and simply rockin’ ‘No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature.’ Out of the many encores I have seen this year this choice and playing of songs was my favorite and worth the drive from Denver alone. Once again we all slipped off into the night to do whatever it is you wanted to do.

07/05/13 Grand Targhee Resort Amphitheater, Alta, WY

1: Let’s Get Down To Business, Makes Sense To Me, This Part Of Town, It Ain’t No Use > C. Brown, Solid Rock, Help Me Somebody, A of D, All Time Low, Sewing Machine

2: Wondering, True To My Nature, Sleepy Monkey > Fishwater, Pickin’ Up The Pieces, The Take Out > Porch Song > Aunt Avis > You Should Be Glad, Love Tractor

E: Dream Song, No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature

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