Widespread Panic returned for a second consecutive night at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas last night. The setlist was loaded with dynamite originals that packed a punch like Tyson Fury. The band was on a mission to make up to the fans for the rescheduled shows.
Widespread Panic kicked off the show with a handful of classics, JoJo retold an early gig with the band with “One Armed Steve” before segueing into a spiritually uplifting “Pleas”. Originals flowed early on a stroll to Dave Schools‘ yard with “Wondering” and a diabolical JB simmering “Thought Sausage” in a cauldron of insanity.
A rare “Papa Johnny Road” hitchhiked in the setlist “to beat you senseless.” The instrumental “Party at Your Mama’s House” followed to give the talented group of musicians the space to feel and funk it out.
Ending the streak of originals and pairing back-to-back covers, a dirty rendition of Robert Johnson’s “Stop Breaking Down” precededBuffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.” A subsequent pairing of originals followed with a hauntingly captivating JB in “Mercy” and a bouncing “Love Tractor” ride to close out the first frame.
Widespread Panic – “Mercy” > “Love Tractor” – 10/9/21
After a short respite, WSP’s touring manager, Steve Lopez, joined the band as they returned from set break with a funky reggaetón cut of Jerry Joseph’s “Chainsaw City”. The guest percussionist departed the stage as the band dropped into a frantic “Worry” with the sudden intensity of an anxiety attack.
WSP moved on to “The Last Straw” and Jimmy Herring never looked back. Even as JoJo chipped his way through the marble block of J.J. Cale’s rager “Ride Me High”, Herring was waiting on standby to polish the tune to perfection. Without stopping, WSP followed with a tribute to fallen rockstar and musical idol Tom Petty with “You Wreck Me”.
The heart and soul of set two remained buried beneath the badass depths of the next sequence of songs. Leading the vanguard, Schools’ bass heavy bombs wore down the song structure of “Papa’s Home” until only the percussive blows of the drummers echoed throughout the Texas theater. After the band rebuilt the tune from the ground up, the shell-shocked audience hardly flinched when WSP slid smoothly into another molly whopper jam, Murray McLachlan’s “Honkey Red.”
JB’s cauldron came back out for a voodoo ritual, “Hatfield” continuing the uninterrupted stream of music. As is tradition, the song broke down and JB painted a crystal-clear picture with his quick-witted improvisation. After a brief pause, Panic concluded the second set with a crowd-favorite cover of Warren Zevon’s “Lawyers, Guns, and Money.”
While the band walked offstage momentarily, the crowd was insatiable, and when Widespread Panic reappeared onstage it was to continue the mayhem. Another crushing original “Little Kin” shone like a “sunrise in the kingdom” with Jimmy Herring and a growling John Bell soaring across the sky on Apollo’s chariot. The song is rarely performed as an encore, and it held its weight and then some.
To wrap up the second night of debauchery, WSP returned to their tease from Friday night to pay tribute to another fallen musical companion, Daniel Hutchens of Bloodkin, with a rockin’ “Makes Sense To Me” leading the way into a heart-wrenching “End of the Show”.
Widespread Panic performs one final night at the Moody Theater. Never Miss a Sunday Show, this will be one for the ages. For last a recording of last Saturday night’s heater, click here .
Setlist: Widespread Panic | Moody Theater | Austin, TX | 10/9/21
Set One: One-Arm Steve > Pleas, Wonderin’, Thought Sausage, Papa Johnny Road, That Thang > Stop Breaking Down, For What It’s Worth, Mercy > Love Tractor
Set Two: Chainsaw City > Worry, Last Straw > Ride Me High > You Wreck Me, Papa’s Home > Drum Solo > Papa’s Home > Honky Red > Hatfield, Lawyers, Guns, And Money
Encore: Little Kin > Makes Sense To Me, End Of The Show
 With Steve Lopez On Percussion