Rock n’ roll connoisseurs, Widespread Panic, returned to the Oxbow Stage in Napa Valley for the penultimate show of its California run. Like a fine wine, this band only gets better with age and dusted off an antiquated vintage from the immeasurable depths of its timeless collection.

Panic opened the show with a pairing of originals as Dave Schools led the charge connecting “Little Lilly” with a serene “Wondering”. WSP slammed on the gas for a ride down the swampy Georgian backroads of Bloodkin’s “Can’t Get High” before parking on the cobble-stoned streets of Savannah to watch the sunrise in “Up All Night”.

Next, the thumping introduction of “You Should Be Glad” reverberated over the distant hills. The tune gave Jimmy Herring an opportunity to soar unbridled until landing barefoot in the grass amidst the mellow instrumental “Happy”. JoJo Hermann took control to crank the intensity once more as a ravenous “Greta” beget a high-flying “Pigeons” before finishing off the first frame with a fan-favorite cover of Warren Zevon’s “Lawyers, Guns, & Money.”

Widespread Panic – “Pigeons” – 8/27/22

[Video: troop1042]

Related: Widespread Panic Finally Arrives In Wine Country For Rescheduled Napa Run [Videos]

Widespread returned to the stage after setbreak to bust out “Casa Del Grillo” for the first time in 365 shows, over eight years ago. Saturday marked the song’s first set opener since 2003. A sweeping series of segues moved through an uplifting “Pleas”, the instrumental “Party At Your Mama’s House”, and was bookended by a nasty cover of notorious bluesman Robert Johnson’s, “Stop Breaking Down Blues.” Like an otherworldly antenna, John Bell channeled the spirits of his influences to dial in and deliver a doggone dirty vocal performance.

Widespread Panic – “Casa Del Grillo” – 8/27/22

[Video: MrTopDogger]

Widespread Panic – “Party At Your Momma’s House” – 8/27/22

[Video: troop1042]

JoJo’s piano then carved a path through “This Part of Town” before a “Saint Ex” flew above the clouds, miles off the ground. Without stopping, the six-piece moved into a funky take on J.J. Cale’s “Ride Me High”, featuring an improvised “Zambi Jam.” Still unfinished, a hard-hitting interpretation of Murray McLaughlin’s “Honky Red” punctuated the uninterrupted stream of music.

To wind down the second set, Panic returned to its own repertoire. First for a tough and tumbling version of “All Time Low” before finishing things off with a blissful “Porch Song”.

Back for encores, Widespread Panic performed a triple-selection of covers, opening with Vic Chesnutt’s emotionally charged “Expiration Day.” The Panics then covered Solomon Burke’s “None of Us Are Free” before ending the night with a well-known cut of Jerry Joseph and Glenn Esparza’s “Climb to Safety”.

Widespread Panic – “None Of Us Are Free” (Solomon Burke) – 8/27/22

[Video: MrTopDogger]

The band was in sync the entire night, just as it has been every run since its pandemic-induced hiatus. With only one more show left on the table, you know it’s gonna get weird. Buckle up, and enjoy the ride cause who knows when they will be back this way again. Cheers, salud, and l’chaim, in vino veritas.

Setlist: Widespread Panic | OxBow River | Napa, CA | 8/27/22

Set One: Little Lilly > Wondering (Bloodkin), Can’t Get High, Up All Night, You Should Be Glad, Happy, Greta > Pigeons, Lawyers, Guns, & Money (Warren Zevon) (65 mins)

Set Two: Casa Del Grillo > Pleas > Party At Your Mama’s House > Stop Breakin’ Down Blues (Robert Johnson), This Part of Town, Saint Ex > Ride Me High (J.J. Cale) > Zambi Jam > Ride Me High > Honky Red (Murray McLaughlin), All Time Low, Porch Song (86 mins)

Encore Expiration Day (Vic Chesnutt), None Of Us Are Free (Solomon Burke), Climb To Safety (Jerry Joseph, Glenn Esparza) (18 mins)

Notes – ‘Greta’ is unfinished

– ‘Casa Del Grillo’ LTP 6/17/14 Lewiston, NY (365 shows); Last set opener 7/26/03