Widespread Panic Red Rocks 2018 (Solid Rock in Colorado)
Back at Red Rocks for my 5th year of sold out shows from Widespread Panic, one of my absolute favorite touring bands out there. While I had to really scrape up the cash to make these shows work, I can still remember dreaming of being at Red Rocks and now, I have seen 15 WSP shows here. What an experience it always is to return to Colorado for this pilgrimage. The band would open with "Solid Rock" for the megalithic rocks on each side of the audience. I have become quite familiar with them both over the years. Ship Rock and Creation Rock both, encapsulate this venue for the ages. Widespread Panic again solidify their sold out, record holding shows at Red Rocks 2018. The foundation of this music is built on solid rock!
"One Arm Steve" was short and to the point and was followed by “Glory” which was again, quick and done. "Contentment Blues" was hard and raw, finally letting Jimmy out of his cage. Stepping it up a notch with "Send Your Mind", I hadn't heard this tune in a few shows. "Sleeping Man" began with the crowd chanting, "You’re a freak of nature!" This song explores the dark, conspiratorial side of the band. A long jam was next, moving forward into "Driving Song." A woman in front of me burst into tears of joy; I want to get back to that place.
"Space Wrangler," a classic Panic song, can literally go anywhere musically. I've heard them reach the nether reaches of jam and sometimes they seem to barely take off. This “Wrangler” would see high crescendos and even a projection of Elon Musk’s Tesla car in space, journeying through a cosmic adventure before returning to “driving song.” The background image of the Tesla, would be tweeted by Elon himself, but I am not sure if he was at the show or, just sharing. Been waiting for that "Travelin’ Light" but overall a fairly short first set.
Opening the second set with "Protein Drink/Sewing Machine" making the term sewing machine itself, almost sound sinister. This song is a Red Rocks staple and this was one of the best I have heard yet. "1x1" had not heard in awhile but I wasn't sure about “Happy” until the instrumental jam, which was southern gothic in nature. If you haven’t heard my definition yet, you can check it out in some of my previous reviews. It exemplifies Widespread Panics sounds, ups and downs. This song will extend on into a improvisational jam breakdown. “B of D” and “Love Tractor” go hand in hand into another extended jam. “Drums” again and again every show…
Thank The Grand Zombie! After 8 longs years of waiting, I get another “golden splinters” and it was well worth the wait with one of the best renditions I have heard with a beat box ending into “Papa Legba.” What a perfect combination of Dr john and Talking heads songs both, oozing voodoo lyrics and dark qualities. Not much to say about “stop breaking down or the encore “You Got Yours” but I did notice Every time JB turns his back to the crowd, the jams begin.
WARNING: The views and opinions expressed on this site may not be in conjecture with your own. Be Advised
Editor: Robert (R.A.) Fadley
Freelance Writer, Musicologist, Music Journalist, Music Critic, Music Writer, Author, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Composer, Guitarist.