Our friend Sam Nicholls went and caught Widespread Panic last weekend in Chicago with openers Tedeschi Trucks Band. Here’s a quick recap and a full photo gallery from the show. —Editor
Fog was forecasted, and it rolled in like a stampede. The crowd was buzzing from a great set from the Tedeschi Trucks Band, capped off with the sun setting behind the beautiful Chicago skyline. The fog kept rolling in, and as Widespread Panic took the stage, the crowd reached fever pitch. The first “Fishwater” opener since 10/13/10 was a special surprise – fitting with the Lake Michigan as their backdrop. Sonny got it started and the rest of the band dropped in beautifully, with Schools and Jimmy complementing each other perfectly. After that, we were treated to “Holden Oversoul>Love Tractor”. Next was Hope in a “Hopeless World”, a shout out to Pops Staples who has a strong connection to Chicago. The air was very cool now, and the band seemed to recognize this by cranking out a rockin’ “Sleeping Man”, flush with shred-like riffs from Jimmy Herring to get everyone jumping.
The band played some other memorable covers, most notably when Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi joined for James Carr’s “Dark End of the Street”. Next was a Van Morrison’s “I’ve Been Workin” and “Stop Breakin Down Blues” by Robert Johnson, with Trucks summoning his inner RJ to make his Gibson SG scream. The band came back out to encore with “Action Man”, which was fitting for this all action performance.