09 July 2008

Widespread Panic @ Main Street Armory

I: From the Cradle, Better Off, Three Candles>Pickin Up the Pieces,
Wondering, PAYMH>Stop Breakin Down, Dark Day Program>Proving Ground

II: Conrad, Already Fried, One Arm Steve>Jam>Driving Song>Papa's Home>Drums>Papa's Home>Driving Song, Gimme>Machine>Barstools and Dreamers, Mr Soul

E: Sympathy for the Devil (with Jerry Joseph)

The weatherman said it was 92 in Rochester. I'm not sure where they had the thermometer set up for that reading, but it was definitely not in the Main Street Armory. It was well over 100 in there with a nice cloud hanging up in the ceiling when I arrived about 20 minutes before showtime. The place was not even 1/10th full, this was just pure bottled heat. As it filled soon after the boys got kicking just after 8 it only got hotter, and the sweat induced and likewise inducing humidity only got worse. It was almost unbearable if it weren't for that bear of a man standing up above me in the Schools Zone. I felt pleased as punch to be catching Widespread Panic in my new hometown of Rochester. The chances they were playing there this year of all years seemed highly unlikely... the last time being over 11 years ago. I was at that one too...good show btw.

Show opened modestly. I have said it before, and I will say it again, Jimmy owns Pieces now. Beautifully done. Party at Your Momma's House had me thinking about Mr Houser the whole time. It never quite struck me until hearing it last night, it was one of his later tunes, but man if it isn't quintessential Houser. This segued seamlessly into Stop Breaking Down. No typical Panic breakdown and build back up, or fizzle out and emerge out, just smooooooth. Ending the set with Proving Ground as the big rocker of the set, but it's a pretty slow rocker. Jimmy brought new life to the ending noise as everyone else fuzzed out in faux intensity, he was still playing notes. Outside of the speed metal world I don't know that anyone can play as fast and controlled as him. In conclusion, set 1 had to be the mellowest set I have seen since the barely audible full on acoustic set at SPAC back in 93.

Maybe we're Better Off?

Dave came out for the second set teasing Walk on the Wild Side very hard. Question was, would they? Opening riff to Conrad said they would. They immediately knocked it down a notch though with Already Fried which seemed to go on forever. Decent song I guess, but pretty damn slow. Then One Arm Steve which is far far away from being my favorite. But who's complaining when they tack on a set-making jam at the end? I couldn't describe it in too much detail, except to say it went places. Highlight of the show. The jam came to a complete stop, really that segue mark is pretty inaccurate. Then came the double breaded sandwich with a meager drums for the meat. This killed the sandwich twofold. One, the jam out of drums is generally excellent, and two, the jam back into Driving is also usually excellent. Kinda missed both those here. The whole band stayed on stage for drums, but it still dragged on for a while. Then Gimme (it was Tuesday after all), which had me thinking of Houser all over again. Haven't seen this one in a long while so that was nice. Set closing Machine>Barstools, Mr Soul had this set coming out nice and solid. No crazy epic midweek underattended weird venue type show, but solid Panic.

They did have one tricky surprise left for us though. At the encore break they brought out an extra amp, mic, and some lyric sheets. So not only a guest, but a random tune to boot. The girl next to me informed me that the venue's answering machine had a message about a Jerry Joseph postshow happening right there at the venue. Not sure if that ended up happening, not sure how it would have happened, but there he was, Mr. Jerry Joseph on stage for the encore. Dave started playing the bass to Sympathy for the Devil from off stage, and Sonny, Jojo, and Todd came on and joined in the groove while the crowd sang "Oo Oo, Oo Oo". Then the all J's guitar trio of JB, Jimmy, and Jerry Joseph came on and got the party started. Great encore, sealed the show up nice and tight. And finally we could get our asses out of the sweat lodge.
Memo to the Main Street Armory: Please refrain from booking any concerts from May-October.

Captured just a bit of the tail end of the Sympathy Jam:

1 comment:

David said...

wow cool site man. Thanks for posting a review plus vid and photos....sweet deal for us that could not be there. See you in August.