10 Intense Widespread Panic Performances That Will Give You Goosebumps
Happy birthday to the man, JB! Since forming in 1985, Widespread Panic’s tight instrumentation, killer vocals, overall energy, and stage presence has made them one of the most exciting live acts in music. Here are some clips that showcase the intense, full-fledged rock ‘n’ roll experience that Widespread Panic’s shows have to offer.
“Tie Your Shoes” Oak Mountain Amphitheater, Pelham, AL – April 16, 2011
The dueling between the instruments at hand in this live rendition of “Tie Your Shoes” depicts the essence of live Widespread Panic. Coated in lights providing colors and shadows to depict a certain mood, each member of the band goes crazy on their instruments, keeping a consistent tempo and high energy throughout the song.
“Driving Song / Breathing Slow” Oak Mountain Amphitheatre, Pelham, AL – April 28, 2002
This is an absolutely beautiful performance. We couldn’t make a Widespread Panic list without showing love for founding guitarist Michael Houser.
“Ain’t Life Grand” Atlanta, GA – December 31, 2000
You can’t go wrong with Widespread Panic, and this performance proves why. Life is always grand at LOCKN’ with Widespread Panic and we’re so excited to welcome them back this year.
“Ophelia/ The Shape I’m In” Austin Music Hall, Austin, TX – October 30, 2009
On their rendition of two of our favorite songs by The Band, Widespread Panic proves their knack for covers again, adding the Panic flare to the classics. Jimmy Herring shreds over JB’s rhythmic guitar playing, John “JoJo” Hermann’s organ playing, and Todd Nance’s drumming. Herring’s playing would make Robbie Robertson proud!
“Wondering” Phillips Arena, Atlanta, GA – December 31, 2007
Joined by Sunny Ortiz and Todd Nance, the crisp recording of the sound in this performance, of a cut off their 1993 album “Everyday” makes sure viewers can take note of the excellent instrumentation at hand during their 2007 New Years Eve show. Jimmy Herring shreds over the song in a style almost reminiscent of flamenco.
“Can’t Find My Way Home” Georgia Theatre, Athens, GA – December 31, 1993
Panic delivers a beautiful version of “Can’t Find My Way Home,” a song written by Steve Winwood which was first released by Blind Faith on their 1969 album, “Blind Faith.”
“Life During Wartime” Hard Rock Hotel And Casino, Punta Cana, DR – March 20, 2014
Widespread Panic brings the funk to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic during their cover of the classic Talking Heads song “Life During Wartime.”
“Little Lilly” Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison CO – June 28, 2002
In an earlier cut of one of their Red Rocks shows, the lead guitar is handled by co-founder of Widespread Panic, Michael Houser, who sadly passed less than two months after this show on August 10 of 2002. Houser’s guitar playing ability shines on this recording as he plays alongside John Bell’s vocals and shines on his own solos and little riffs. We love you, Mikey!
“With A Little Help From My Friends” Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte NC – December 31, 2014
Pumping out an absolutely jaw-dropping, epically long cover of a classic Beatles cut, JB makes the lyrics his own as he sings with passion. The big band instrumentation in this rendition with horns and trumpets being incorporated makes the cover more immaculate, adding a “larger than life” sound to an already excellent assembly of instrument playing.
“Chilly Water” LOCKN’, Arrington VA – August 26, 2017
Widespread Panic breaks out a song from their 1988 album “Space Wrangler” in this performance during LOCKN’ in August 2017. The song encapsulates exactly what makes a Widespread Panic performance worth seeing: excellent ambiance, high-energy, long jamming, pristine vocals from John Bell, and overall an intense live experience that will certainly be one for the books for any fan.