Yesterday, on May 4th, the second weekend of New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival officially kicked off with a band. The Fairgrounds were packed Thursday with fans eager to help kick off round two of Jazz Fest and to see the bountiful performances by the dozens of acts slated to grace its twelve stages. A majority of our afternoon was spent at the Fairgrounds’ Acura Stage, where George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners, Widespread Panic, and the supergroup Voice of the Wetlands, featuring Tab Benoit, Anders Osbourne, Waylon Thibodeaux, Johnny Sansone, George Porter Jr., and Joh, all put on stellar performances for the jovial crowd.
George Porter Jr. & Runnin’ Pardners set the stage for the afternoon with their performance at 1:30. Around 3 p.m., Voice of the Wetlands treated the crowd to an all-star performance, eventually departing to make way for Widespread Panic’s massive festival set that spanned from 4:30 to 7. During Widespread’s performance, in addition to some of their more crowd-pleasing and festival-friendly classic numbers, the group worked in choice covers at the start and end of their set, with their widely performed versions of James Taylor’s “Knockin’ Around The Zoo” kicking off their set following “Pleas” and J.J. Cale’s “Travelin’ Light” winding down their set with its rumbling tones—a popular festival closer for the group.
Their set at also saw an extended jam segment in its middle started by “Gimme.” The slowed down and spacier song made way for a soulful “Proving Ground,” before moving into a “Surprise Valley” sandwich, which housed “Tie Your Shoes” and an extended drum solo by Duane Trucks, before finally moving into “Angels Don’t Sing The Blues.” You can check out the setlist for Panic’s Jazz Fest set yesterday below, as well as check out pictures from Day 1 of Jazz Fest’s second weekend below, courtesy of Dave Vann.
Setlist: Widespread Panic | New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival | New Orleans, LA | 5/4/2017
Set: Pleas, Knockin’ Around The Zoo, Conrad The Caterpillar, Walkin’ (For Your Love), Diner > Pilgrims, Can’t Get High, Up All Night, Gimme > Proving Ground > Surprise Valley > Tie Your Shoes > Drums > Surprise Valley > Angels Don’t Sing The Blues, Heroes, Make Sense To Me, Travelin’ Light