The rock and roll Goliath known as Widespread Panic kept up a nonstop barrage of jabs, hooks, and uppercuts for another knockout performance in Atlanta on Thursday night. Mixing in a fiery concoction of originals and covers, John Bell, Dave Schools, JoJo Hermann, Jimmy Herring, Sunny Ortiz, and Duane Trucks dished out their home-cooked fixuns by the plateful for the second of four delayed New Year’s shows at the Fox Theatre.

They rolled up their sleeves and ripped into “Little Kin”, one of the baddest openers in the catalog, before bouncing into J.J. Cale’s “Travelin’ Light”. To follow, JoJo switched from organ to piano for a bass-heavy cover The Meters’ “It Ain’t No Use” before segueing into “I’m Not Alone” (“Feeling a little bit easier now / knowing that you’re all here”).

Related: Widespread Panic Honors Michael Houser’s Memory, Delivers Delayed NYE Pageantry In Atlanta [Photos/Videos]

As per recent tradition, JoJo split the ensuing “Good People” with a shadowy portrayal of “Dark Bar” complete with flicked cigarettes, thumbtacks on the road map, and drinking out of dirty glasses (“Whatever money is in her pocket wasn’t meant to last”). “Good People” was paired with “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”, the traditional blues tune first recorded by Sonny Boy Williamson, giving JB an opportunity to showcase his gritty howl. After Jimmy Herring returned from his interstellar interpretation of the blues, JoJo reclaimed the vocal helm for a trip up to Thacker Mountain on “Visiting Day”. Widespread dashed for the finish line from there, bringing the first set to a close at a full gallop with “Action Man”.


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Back for round two, Panic opened with the calamitous energy of “Dyin’ Man” before segueing into Bloodkin’s “Makes Sense To Me”. The Daniel Hutchens tune was written with some geographically appropriate lyrics pinpointing “Atlanta,” but JB typically exchanges it for “Talking to a black man from anywhere” to make it more widely applicable. Overcoming an ominous vibe lingering in the air, JB voice shone like a light through broken glass during Pops Staples’ “Hope in a Hopeless World” before Schools commandeered the ensemble and stepped into an extended “Second Skin”. The music flowed uninterrupted into a jaunty “Rebirtha” and a serene “Dream Song” before dropping the anchor on “Rock” as Sunny and Duane battered their kits like waves like waves on a seawall.

Winding down the second set, Schools welcomed Vic Chesnutt’s “Blight” with a slow and atypical intro. One last transition led the band into an intoxicating swig of “Tall Boys” to close the set. As the band walked offstage, the audience stayed put, still foaming from the mouth. After walking back onstage, Widespread Panic blazed into a rare encore performance of “The Last Straw”. With nothing to prove to anybody but themselves, Panic continued into an outstanding cover of Traffic’s “Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys” before segueing into Jerry Joseph and Glenn Esparza’s call of brotherhood, “Climb to Safety”, to finish the second show of the run.

There are two more nights within sight, tons of afterparties scheduled around the city, and a full weekend ahead. Better tie your shoes—we’re officially past the point of no return. For a complete list of upcoming Widespread Panic tour dates, head here.

Check out the complete setlist a selection of fan-shot videos from the show below. Scroll down to view a gallery of photos via Emily Butler.

Widespread Panic – “I’m Not Alone” – 8/11/22

[Video: Soul Shakedown]

Widespread Panic – “Good People”/”Dark Bar” – 8/11/22

[Video: Patricia Hatcher]

Widespread Panic – “Rock” (Partial) – 8/11/22

[Video: Patricia Hatcher]

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Setlist [via PanicStream]: Widespread Panic | Fox Theatre | Atlanta, GA | 8/11/22

Set One: Little Kin > Travelin’ Light, It Ain’t No Use > I’m Not Alone, Good People > Dark Bar > Good People, Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, Visiting Day, Action Man (73 mins)

Set Two: Dyin’ Man > Makes Sense To Me, Hope In A Hopeless World > Second Skin > Rebirtha > Dream Song > Rock, Blight > Tall Boy (71 mins)

Encore: The Last Straw, Low Spark of High Heeled Boys > Climb To Safety (23 mins)

Notes: Dave with several false start teases before ‘Blight’. Last time ‘The Last Straw’ appeared in encore was 10/11/11 Indianapolis. Entire show with Edie Jackson w/ magic hands (ASL interpreter). JB thanked Edie at the end of the show.


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