Widespread Panic marched into the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on Saturday for more revelry, more debauchery, and more badass rock and roll. Like most nights, the band flipped through its extensive catalog of songs, expounding upon and breaking down any given selection at any given moment. Unlike most nights, Widespread Panic paired a Michael Houser tribute after a J.J. Cale cover debut and closed the night with a tribute to a late North Florida music legend.

A slew of originals warmed up the engine for night two as a thumping “Wondering” segued into a howling, piano-laden “Greta”.  Without stopping, Panic galloped into “Action Man” before reining things in to the mellow melody of “C. Brown”.

Related: Widespread Panic Docks For A Springtime Jubilee In St. Augustine [Videos]

The first cover of the night emerged in the form of Delta bluesman Willie Dixon’s “Tail Dragger” and gave John Bell a chance to get doggone dirty on the vocals. After maintaining momentum as the band maneuvered back into a scorching rendition of “Little Kin”, JB conjured up “Sundown Betty” to hypnotize the Florida audience. Jimmy Herring poured gasoline on the blaze from his corner, pushing “Betty” to her limits before breaking his hypnotic spell over the crowd with a raunchy “Fishwater” set closer.


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Pushing past the weekend run’s midway point, Widespread Panic opened the second set with the group’s first-ever live rendition of “(I Got The) Same Ole Blues” the J.J. Cale rocker later popularized by Lynyrd Skynyrd. The set picked up speed with memorials for the band’s lost friends and family, from a sobering rendition of Bloodkin‘s “Henry Parsons Died” in honor of the late Daniel Hutchens to a pair of beloved Michael Houser tunes, “Travelin’ Man” and “The Waker”.

Widespread Panic – “(I Got The) Same Ole Blues” (J.J. Cale) – 3/25/23

[Video: Brad Walker]

Without stopping, keyboardist JoJo Hermann lead the Panics back into J.J. Cale’s catalog for a lively dance through “Ride Me High”. The four melodic instrumentalists cleared the stage as the percussionists, Duane Trucks and Sunny Ortiz, stripped the song to primitive rhythms in a drummers’ duel. Suddenly, the other musicians appeared and, after a Pink Floyd-inspired “Run Like Hell” jam, cascaded into a heavy  “Cease Fire”. Vic Chesnutt’s combination of “Protein Drink / Sewing Machine” closed the second set as JB, the whimsical wordsmith, extrapolated the traditional lyrics on the fly, stating instead: “Those mushrooms tasted very camouflaged in my mouth.”

Widespread Panic – “Run Like Hell” Jam (Pink Floyd) > Protein Drink / Sewing Machine (Vic Chesnutt) – 3/25/23

[Video: Brad Walker]

St. Augustine has always been a lucky venue in terms of encores (and even double encores, like 2018’s notable finale) and Saturday night proved to be no different as a lengthy, three-song encore finished off the night. First, JoJo blazed through “Visiting Day” (“I’ll sing a sad song if you get me high!”) before mellowing the vibe for an appreciative “I’m Not Alone”. Still not fully satisfied, Widespread Panic delivered its night two coup de grâce in the form of late Florida native son Tom Petty’s “Running Down a Dream”.

Sunday service remains on the horizon for the Widespread Panic faithful in St. Augustine. It’s gonna be hot, it’s gonna be swampy, and it’s gonna leave you wanting “Mo’! Mo’! Mo’!” Until tomorrow, friends. For a full list of upcoming Widespread Panic tour dates, head here.

Setlist [via PanicStream]: Widespread Panic | St. Augustine Amphitheatre | St. Augustine, FL | 3/25/23

Set One: Wondering > Greta > Action Man, C Brown, Tail Dragger, Little Kin, Sundown Betty, Fishwater (56 mins)

Set Two: (I Got The) Same Ole Blues, Henry Parsons Died, Travelin’ Man > The Waker > Ride Me High > Drums > Cease Fire > Jam > Protein Drink / Sewing Machine (76 mins)

Encore: Visiting Day, I’m Not Alone, Running Down A Dream (19 mins)

-First Time Played: ‘(I Got The) Same Ole Blues’ (JJ Cale original)