Southern Rockers Widespread Panic have come a long way since their humble beginnings in Athens, George in 1986. Well, actually, the sextet is still humble. Steering clear of mainstream record labels, never overselling themselves to anyone but their loyal fans, playing discrete destination festivals, while keeping a cool and accessible demeanor; by basically being themselves.
We have all been to shows in which our objectivity towards the music is undermined by a more powerful force. Something happens apart from the stage that distorts, and often intensifies, the true sonic nature of each set. These are the shows that lay futility at the feet of those who try to listen to a recording later on to recapture the magic. This happened to me for the first time in October ‘99 when I saw Phish at Illinois State. I was smitten with a girl who would, very soon after, become my first love.
So, Widespread Panic played a show at Red Rocks on Saturday night. Honestly, for those of you who have seen them in that setting before, that’s about as good of a review as you need. All it would take is one glance at the set list, particularly from the second set on, to know that it was a spectacular evening.
The venerable Widespread Panic has announced the May 28 release of the 3-disc set Oak Mountain 2001 Night 1, their 8th multi-track release from the Widespread Panic Archives Series.
I’m coming up on my fourth Wakarusa, and it’s hard to put into words exactly what I’m the most excited about because I just come into the festival KNOWING I’m going to have a great time. Each and every year the festival grows, and I can’t wait to see what all is on-site for the 10th festival, taking place on Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, Ark. May 30 to June 2.
Here are the top five things you can expect from the festival:
1. Classics from your favorite artists
During the early 1990s while growing up in middle America I was making the transformation from teenager to adult. My personal changes were not unlike what the country in general was going through. The awkward years of George Bush gave way to the prosperous reign of President Clinton. During this time there was another interesting transition going on in popular music and culture. The dominant days of hair metal bands were fading (like my stone-washed jeans), and the glam gave way to grunge which ushered in a new era of rock n' roll.