Widespread Panic is back! One of the most well-known Southern rock jam bands has an upcoming fall tour, and it will be a big hit with all fans of the genre. Like many of their contemporary bands, Widespread Panic uses almost every instrument imaginable to make a very unique sound for their fans. The band combines elements of southern rock, jazz, blues and psychedelic rock for an awesome sound.
Another element that fans of Widespread Panic enjoy is that their extensive library of songs leads to the band never playing the same show twice. Widespread Panic keeps track of their set lists from previous shows on their tour and makes a point of keeping every show fresh.
John Bell has been an original member of Widespread Panic dating all the way back to 1981, and has poured his heart and soul in to every track that Widespread Panic has released. Bell met fellow founder Michael Houser at the University of Georgia while they were both aspiring guitarists. The two started jamming together in their dorms at college, and took to the stage at various open mic nights in the area. The two enjoyed over a decade of success together along with fellow band mates until 2002.
Houser was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that year while the band was still touring. His failing health forced him to leave the tour, and he died a month later. The band continues to make new music, tour the country, and live through Houser’s dream of making great music that all fans could enjoy. The current band consists of John Bell (guitar, vocals), JoJo Hermann (keyboards, vocals), Dave Schools (bassist, vocals), Domingo Ortiz (percussion), Jimmy Herring (guitar) and Duane Trucks (drums).
With a discography stretching almost 30 years and encompassing 12 studio albums, there are countless classics that Widespread Panic is bound to perform live. Here are our top picks that all fans can’t wait to hear live during the extensive Widespread Panic 2016 fall tour.
“Chilly Water” – Space Wrangler, 1988
A song from their debut album, “Chilly Water,” is definitely a fan favorite for loyal fans of Widespread Panic. The essence of jam band music is perfectly illustrated in this song by a solid intro with the drums, a lengthy guitar solo towards the middle and a consistently smooth bass line which are all staples of this track. Bell also sings this song like he’s playing it live for the first time again, and fans are appreciative of the fact that music can still sounds passionate decades later. The song finishes with a dueling drum solo, and it is not a matter of if Widespread Panic plays this song, but when.
“All Time Low” – ‘Til The Medicine Takes, 1999
One of the most underrated aspects of a jam band is the fact that they are not stuck in a box of a certain genre of music. A jam band can adapt to the times, and create music that the fans and culture want to hear at that current time. While maintaining it’s folk and blues sound, Widespread Panic adds an element of late 90s grunge in “All Time Low,” and more than fifteen years later it is still a fan favorite. This is definitely one of the songs that Widespread Panic performs in which all of the guitarists like to show off. The intro of the song has deeper sounding riffs which transform into higher notes later on in the song during solo performances. “All Time Low” is another must-play song at all Widespread Panic concerts.
“Porch Song” – Space Wrangler, 1988
This track is a timeless classic for Widespread Panic. “Porch Song,” also a track off of their debut studio album, Space Wrangler, is an extremely easy song to listen to. Along with his opening guitar riffs, Bell’s vocals go together nicely with the rhythm the song produces. The higher pitched keyboard towards the middle and end of the song also bring a smooth organ sound to the song. The band has also been playing this song live for almost 30 years so they know the notes like the back of their hand, adding to its greatness.
Widespread Panic is still one of the hottest tickets when it comes to jam bands going on tour. View the Widespread Panic upcoming tour schedule and find Widespread Panic tickets right here at TicketNetwork.