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Published: 2014/07/08
by Ray Bowden

Widespread Panic, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO- 6/28

Photo by Larry Hulst

Widespread Panic took the stage with force June 28 for the second show of their three night summer Red Rocks Run, delivering a potent and punchy 22-song concert that kept the sold-out crowd grooving.

The band launched into a galloping “Holden Oversoul,” swathed in guitarist Jimmy Herring’s terse but eloquent leads and John “JoJo” Hermann’s keyboard stylings, before taking an abrupt turn into “Old Joe,” the pensive tale of a man who “likes to look at things and paint pictures of his radio.”

A hard-hitting “Shut Up and Drive” was next with bassist Dave Schools locked-in the groove, punctuating drummer Todd Nance and percussionist Domingo “Sunny” Ortiz’s polyrhythms with meaty bass runs. WSP took the audience “North” before jumping into “Good People,” and “Greta>Fishwater.” A highlight of the first set, “Greta”>”Fishwater” featured the band’s first truly exploratory jam of the night, drawing ecstatic cheers from the crowd. After visiting “Aunt Avis” and “Degenerate,” the band capped off the 70 minute set with “Sewing Machine.”

Set two started on a firm foundation with “Rock”>”Solid Rock” before lead singer and guitarist John Bell led the band through “Thought Sausage”>”Machine.” The pace slowed a bit with “Barstools and Dreamers,” but picked up soon with the slow-burning “Honky Red” and “Pigeons.” Next-up, a poignant rundown of Neil Young’s “Don’t be Denied,” with the crowd soaking up every phase of John Bell’s soulful singing. “Ain’t Life Grand?”>”Saint Ex” followed, and WSP closed the closed the 80-minute second set with a thunderous “Chilly Water.” The band encored with “Jack,” and a cover of Jerry Joseph’s “Chainsaw City.

If there was a Widespread Panic show to introduce a new fan to their music, this was it.

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