19 July 2007

Widespread Panic - BOA Pavilion 18 July

Last night's Panic show was all potatoes and no meat. There was Russet and Red Bliss, mashed and baked and deep fried. But no breasts or legs, loins or chops. Every song was the filler of great sets, the dove with the olive leaf that brings you back to land after being set adrift on a long meandering journey. I was happy to have them, and they were well played, but I was yearning to set sail all night, only to keep hitting land.
There was nothing really to complain about with the Chainsaw City, Lilly, Walkin, Down opener. Lilly is one of my favorite Panic tunes, such a simple and sweet bass line with that lingering lead and some great lyrics, its one of their better written tunes I think. And Down is always surprisingly welcome. Todd needs to write more songs. Down provides a nice alt-country honk vibe, and his voice is underrated. JB's and his voice mesh nicely in a similar way to how Mikey would sound with a little JB harmonizing. I would LOVE to hear Todd try his hand singing some Mikey tunes, I'm getting giddy just thinking about him singing on Vacation, Sandbox, or Smoke and Burn. His voice is not all that disimilar to Mikey's, a bit deeper, a lot cleaner, and a little froggier I guess.

Got a frantic call from the babysitter during Can't Get High, so had to deal with a screaming baby situation through the beginning of Hatfield. Hatfield seemed just ok, but of course my mind was still distracted, and then Jojo reminded everyone that it was HIS day with a set closing Blackout Snooze.

B of D to open the second set, coupled with our upgraded seats deep in the Schools Zone had the night looking up in a big way. That quickly disappeared into One Arm Steve, which ended in a nice jam, and then fizzled into Thin Air, but wait, the band launched into a Peter Gunn Planet Claire jam for a few minutes before getting back to Thin Air. Kind of bizarre, but they were having fun. Thin Air also ended in a bit of a nowhere jam, which eventually settled into a very nice slow slinky and funky reggae jam. This was the highlight of the night for me. Kind of sad when it comes down to it, but also, this was really really nice. And the way it melted into Love Tractor was just fantastic. Bravo all around. Love Tractor got the energy really high under the big tent. But then of course, all momentum was lost with Pieces. As I got lost in the light and dreamy Pieces, as Jojo was finishing up his lead segment it suddenly hit me, this is like a big fat meatball for Jimmy to knock out of the park! I was immediately transfixed on Jimmy. His solo was quite good, and for about a 30 sec segment it was reaching the peak of perfection at one point, but mark my words, in a year or 2, or maybe just a tour or 2, Jimmy is going to play a Pieces so freaking amazing that it will be talked about for years, and will far surpass the famous Branford version.

Anyway, with a pedestrian Stop Go, All Time Low, Junior closing it was pretty clear this show would not be a very memorable one. Still, a lot of fun, the playing was very good throughout, and I will say, Jimmy is really meshing much better. He was reserved for the most part when needed, which is one thing he definitely has needed to work on. We left before the encore and sadly missed that Me and the Devil, but you gotta do what you gotta do...

Also, I'd like to throw out some love for the Pavilion. $9 beers aside, this venue is excellent. The sound was good, the sightlines were good, easy to get around inside, easy to get to the concessions and bathrooms, and a great location right on the water. They should be hosting shows from late March to late November. I would have no problem bringing a coat and hat to see a show there.

Setlist from Everyday Companion:
1: Chainsaw City, Little Lilly > Walkin' (for your love), Down, Tickle the Truth Into Submission, Can't Get High > Bear's Gone Fishing > Hatfield > Blackout Blues
2: B of D > One Arm Steve > Thin Air (Smells Like Mississippi) > Love Tractor, Pickin' Up The Pieces, Stop Go, All Time Low, Junior
E: Me and The Devil > Porch Song, Going Out West

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