25 July 2010

Widespread Panic @ Bank of America Pavilion

Just by dumb luck I happened to be in Boston the same night that Widespread Panic came to town. It's been a little over two years since my last Panic show, one of if not the longest stretches I've gone without seeing them, so I was pretty excited at how the timing worked out.

The first set opened with one of my favorites, Pigeons. Bassist Dave Schools dedicated it to the Kings of Leon which made little sense to me at the time, until I saw this the next morning. Classic. St. Louis' loss was our gain, Pigeons opened what was to be a fantastic opening set. Pretty much everything through Surprise Valley was well played well placed and just all around good times. The Bears Gone Fishin was a highlight, the band really came together nicely and guitarist Jimmy Herring was ripping but staying within the confines of the band and the song. When I listen to the current Panic lineup Jimmy seems to stick out and not always in a good way. Too often he still sounds like a special guest in the band. But on this night he kept himself in check and it paid dividends. There was a point in the Bear's Gone Fishin where I thought he was about to take off and leave the band in his dust, but he reeled it back in and the 6 headed monster of old was brought out from the depths.

The 2nd set looked better on paper, but the playing didn't reach the heights of the first set nor did it flow quite as nicely. Maybe I'm just getting old, maybe they're just overused, but musical sandwiches just seem annoying to me at this point. And Panic goes to them a lot. Twice in this set alone, and browsing past setlists they seem to be all over the place. Shelve the sandwich I say. Still, a nice sold set of Panic, a nice solid show of Panic, and a great night. Hopefully it won't be another two years before we do it again.

Closed out the show with an oddly placed Jack encore, but finished it off with a rousing Lawyers Guns and Money that got the sparse New England crowd up and rocking one last time before heading out.

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