All posts tagged AL



Oak Mountain Amphitheater
Pelham, AL.

01. Diner
02. Porch Song
03. Glory
04. Dyin’ Man
05. Weight Of The World
06. Happy
07. Driving Song
08. Disco
09. Driving Song
10. Hope In A Hopeless World

01. Send Your Mind
02. Sleeping Man
03. C. Brown
04. Sandbox
05. Just Kissed My Baby
06. Night People
07. Greta
08. Chilly Water
09. Highway to Heaven
01. Aunt Avis
02. Drums*
03. Papa Legba*
04. Conrad

05. West Virginia
06. Dream Song
07. Flat Foot Flewzy

*w/Fred LeBlanc on percussion

[‘Night People’ rap during ‘Just Kissed My Baby’]

*****SBD REMASTER*****
Remastered By: Michael Wilker
Remastered @ The Renaissance Center Dickson, TN.

Widespread Panic
The Amphitheater at the Wharf
Orange Beach, AL

01 Intro/Tuning
02 Action Man
03 Wondering >
04 Just Kissed My Baby
05 Tickle the Truth
06 Dyin Man
07 Dirty Business
08 All Time Low >
09 Blue Indian
10 Radio Child

Set 2:
01 Intro/Tuning
02 Good People >
03 Stop Go >
04 Chilly Water >
05 Faries Wear Boots >
06 Vacation >
07 Goin’ Out West >
08 Drums >
09 Shut Up and Drive >
10 Pilgrims >
11 B of D >
12 Chilly Water
13 Ain’t Life Grand
14 End of the Show

Source: Schoeps mk4v( AB )
recorded & seeded: Charles Fox

Charles Fox source:

Widespread Panic
The Amphitheater at the Wharf
Orange Beach, AL

Set 1

01 Intro/Tuning
02 Don’t Be Denied
03 Space Wrangler >
04 Ribs and Whiskey >
05 Stop Breakin’ Down Blues
06 Better Off
07 The Shape I’m In
08 You Should Be Glad
09 Saint Ex^ >
10 Proving Ground >
11 Vampire Blues >
12 Proving Ground

Set 2

01 Intro/Tuning
02 Thought Sausage >
03 Machine >
04 Barstools and Dreamers
05 Mercy >
06 Bust It Big >
07 Jack
08 It Ain’t No Use >
09 Drums >
10 Dream Song >
11 You Got Yours >
12 Bowlegged Woman


13 Genesis >
14 Love Tractor

^ First Time Played

Source: Schoeps mk4v( AB ) > kc5 > m222 > nt222 + mk2s(nos) > kcy > vms5u > Sound Devices 744t (24/48)
location: fob/~roc
recorded & seeded: Charles Fox

Zman’s source:

Widespread Panic
The Amphitheatre At The Wharf
Greenville, South Carolina

1st Set

01 Tuning
02 Don’t Be Denied
03 Space Wrangler >
04 Ribs And Whiskey >
05 Stop Breakin’ Down
06 Better Off
07 The Shape I’m In >
08 You Should Be Glad
09 Saint Ex >
10 Provin’ Ground >
11 Vampire Blues >
12 Provin’ Ground

2nd Set

01 Tuning
02 Thought Sausage >
03 Machine >
04 Barstools And Dreamers
05 Mercy >
06 Bust It Big >
07 Jam >
08 Jack
01 Ain’t No Use >
02 Jam >
03 Drum Solo >
04 Jam >
05 Dream Song >
06 You Got Yours >
07 Bowlegged Woman


08 Crowd
09 Genesis >
10 Love Tractor

Source: Schoeps CCM4V’S(din)>Lunatec V2>Benchmark AD2K>
Sound Devices 722 (24/48)
Recorded By: Z-Man


Widespread Panic
Garrett Coliseum
Montgomery, AL

Set 1
s1t01 – Set 1 Intro
s1t02 – Tall Boy
s1t03 – Rock
s1t04 – Weak Brain, Narrow Mind
s1t05 – The Waker
s1t06 – Pleas >
s1t07 – Glory
s1t08 – Machine >
s1t09 – Barstools & Dreamers
s1t10 – Travelin’ Light

Set 2
s2t01 – Set 2 Intro
s2t02 – Little Lilly
s2t03 – Blight
s2t04 – North
s2t05 – Airplane >
s2t06 – Bear’s Gone Fishin’ >
s2t07 – Drums >
s2t08 – Four Cornered Room >
s2t09 – Big Wooly Mammoth >
s2t10 – Mr. Soul
s2t11 – Encore Break

s2t12 – Down
s2t13 – Flat Foot Flewzy

[‘Alabama Bound’ rap by JB during ‘Rock’; Soundcheck: ‘Glory’]

– spot of diginoise in Little Lilly patched with #25906

Source: FOB; Schoeps MK4 > KC5 > CMC6 > Lunatec V2 > HHB
DAT provided by Steve Mortlock
Transfer & edits by Jeff Mitchell

Widespread Panic
The Wharf Amphitheater
Orange Beach, AL

Set One:
01 Intro
02 Radio Child >
03 Pigeons
04 Let it Rock
05 L.A. >
06 Pickin Up The Pieces
07 Walk On
08 Better Off
09 It Aint No Use >
10 Under the Radar Jam >
11 Angels on High >
12 Going Out West

Set Two:
01 Jam>
02 Driving Song >
03 A of D >
04 Driving Song >
05 Tall Boy >
06 Rock >
07 Tall Boy
08 Sleepy Monkey >
09 Three Candles>
10 Drums>

Disc Three
01 Diner>
02 Driving Song >
03 From the Cradle
04 Crowd

05 May Your Glass Be Filled >
06 Chilly Water

Source: 4 Channel Schoeps MK4

Widespread Panic
The Amphitheatre at The Wharf
Orange Beach, Alabama

Disc I 1st Set
01 Porch Song (Slow) >
02 Low Rider >
03 I’m Not Alone
04 Walk on the Flood >
05 Weight of the World
06 Pickin’ Up the Pieces
07 Rock >
08 Climb to Safety
09 Don’t Be Denied

Disc II 2nd Set
01 Give >
02 Impossible >
03 Her Dance Needs No Body >
04 Gradle >
05 Diner >
06 Tie Your Shoes >
07 All Time Low

Disc III 2nd Set Con’t
01 Boom, Boom, Boom >
02 Flat Foot Flewsey
03 Crowd

04 One Arm Steve
05 Maggot Brain >
06 Fishwater

Recorded By: Coloartist
Seeded By: Bennett Schwartz


Widespread Panic
Amphitheater at The Wharf
Orange Beach, Alabama

Recorded By: Z-Man

Disc I 1st Set

01 Banter/Tuning
02 Send Your Mind
03 Fishwater >
04 Drum Solo >
05 Fishwater
06 Gradle >
07 Who Do You Belong To? >
08 Dyin’ Man
09 Let’s Get Down To Business >
10 This Part Of Town >
11 Jack >
12 Big Wooly Mammoth >
13 Papa’s Home

Disc II 2nd Set

01 Tuning
02 Bowl Legged Woman
03 Equipment Problems
04 *Smokin’ Factory
05 *Keep Your Lamps Trimmed And Burnin’

Disc III 2nd Set Con’t

01 Walk On The Flood >
02 Blight >
03 Jam >
04 Ride Me High >
05 #Drum Solo >
06 #Jam >
07 Climb To Safety >
08 Action Man
09 Tuning
10 Wonderin’ >
11 Can’t Find My Way Home

* With Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars On Guitar
# With Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars on Washboard

First Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning since 10/7/88!!!


Widespread Panic
The Amphitheatre at The Wharf
Orange Beach, Alabama

Disc I 1st Set
01 Tuning
02 Wonderin’>
03 Walkin’
04 Tickle The Truth >
05 Greta >
06 Christmas Katie >
07 Action Man
08 Old Joe
09 Flicker >
10 Conrad the Caterpilar

Disc II 2nd Set
01 Intro
02 Good People >
03 Stop/Go >
04 You Got Yours
05 Aunt Avis
06 You Should Be Glad >
07 Airplane >
08 Drums

Disc III 2nd Set Con’t
01 Jam
02 Proving Ground >
03 Life During Wartime
04 Crowd

05 Aint No use
06 Blackout Blues
Recorded By: Coloartist
Seeded By: Bennett Schwartz

Rainstorm happened at times.



Widespread Panic
Amphitheater at The Wharf
Orange Beach, Alabama

Recorded By: Z-Man

Disc I 1st Set

01 Tuning
02 Give
03 Heroes >
04 Love Tractor
05 Tickle The Truth
06 Ain’t Life Grand >
07 Jam >
08 Solid Rock
09 Aunt Avis >
10 You Should Be Glad >
11 All Time Low

Disc II 2nd Set

01 Junior >
02 Airplane >
03 Take Off Jam ?
04 B Of D >
05 Provin Ground >
06 Thought Sausage >
07 Machine >
08 Tie Your Shoes

Disc III 2nd Set Con’t

01 Drum Solo >
02 Surprise Valley >
03 Tie Your Shoes >
04 Surprise Valley Jam >
05 Surprise Valley

06 Tuning
07 Pleas >
08 Cream Puff War

My gear bag got rammed by a drunk during Tie Your Shoes and lost 4-5 seconds.



Widespread Panic
April 17, 1999
Von Braun Civic Center
Huntsville, AL

set 1 –
01. Big Wooly Mammoth >
02. Hatfield >
03. Worry >
04. Mr. Soul
05. L.a. >
06. Holden Oversoul >
07. Can’t Get High
08. The Last Straw >
09. All Time Low –

set 2 –
01. Down On The Farm >
02. Porch Song >
03. Gradle >
04. Blackout Blues
05. Diner >
06. Tie Your Shoes >
07. Ride Me High >
01. Drums >
02. Pilgrims
03. Tall Boy
04. crowd and tuning
encore –
05. Pickin’ Up The Pieces >
06. Fishwater

source: AKG C3000/hypercardiod
taped & transfered by J.T. Lucchesi (Home Team)

Widespread Panic
April 14, 2007
Von Braun Center
Huntsville, AL

set 1
01 intro
02 Holden Oversoul
03 Stop-Go
04 Walkin’ (For Your Love)
05 Flicker
06 Gradle
07 Diner
08 C. Brown
09 All Time Low
10 Chainsaw City

set 2
01 Pleas
02 One Arm Steve
03 Jack
04 Bust It Big
05 Mercy
06 Flat Foot Flewzy*
07 Surprise Valley
08 Airplane
09 Space Wrangler
10 encore/crowd

11 Low Rider
12 Heaven

Source: 4 mic Neumann Mix
Taped and Transferred by: KLowe


Widespread Panic
Riverside Amphitheater
University Of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL

Set 1

1. Diner >
2. Space Wrangler >
3. Henry Parsons Died
4. Blackout Blues
5. Little Kin
6. Pickin Up The Pieces
7. Pigeons
8. Heroes
9. Porch Song

Set 2
10. Makes Sense To Me
11. Can’t Get High
1. Sleepy Monkey
2. Airplane >
3. Papa’s Home > Drums > Papa’s Home
4. Junior, Holden Oversoul
5. Love Tractor
6. Maggot Brain >
7. Chilly Water

8. E: Wondering >
9. Send Your Mind

Source: AKG 451’s

Converted to SHN and seeded by Flynn Pritchett

Widespread Panic
The Nick,
Birmingham, AL

1: Driving Song, Drums, Walk On, Dear Mr. Fantasy, Stop-Go, Travelin’ Light, C. Brown, Bird Song, Contentment Blues, Conrad

2: She Caught The Katy, China Cat Sunflower > Tie Your Shoes > Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys, Space Wrangler, Barstools and Dreamers, Bowlegged Woman, New Speedway Boogie, The Other One, Turn On Your Love Light > Jam > Little Wing, Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning

Full show:

Widespread Panic
Von Braun Civic Center,
Huntsville, AL

Set 1

1. Climb To Safety >
2. Blue Indian,
3. Conrad,
4. One Kind Favor,
5. Weight Of The World,
6. This Part Of Town >
7. Junior >
8. Pilgrims,
9. Tall Boy

Set 2

1. Pleas >
2. The Fake Out >
3. Pigeons,
4. Bear’s Gone Fishin’,
5. Vacation >
6. Drums >
7. Pusherman >
8. Blackout Blues

Encore 1

1. Give
2. Porch Song

Encore 2

1. Wish You Were Here

[First ‘Give’]

Wish You Were Here


Widespread Panic
Mitchell Center
Mobile, AL.

Set 1:
01. Let It Rock
02. One Arm Steve
03. Diner >
04. Nobody’s Loss
05. Better Off
06. Little Lilly >
07. Happy >
08. Rock >
09. Makes Sense To Me

Set 2:
01. Wondering >
02. Space Wrangler
03. Junco Partner
04. Airplane >
05. Impossible >
06. Train Kept A Rollin’ >
07. Drums >
01. Tears Of A Woman >
02. Surprise Valley >
03. All Time Low
04. Crowd

05. City of Dreams >
06. Henry Parsons Died

Source: AKG 483
Taped by Unknown.
Transferred & seeded by Ty Chambers
Patched, Converted, and Seeded By: Rick

Widespread Panic
Amphitheater at the Wharf
Orange Beach, AL

Set 1
1) Intro
2) Action Man
3) Henry Parsons Died
4) Blue Indian
5) Suprise Valley >
6) Fishwater
7) Ribs & Whiskey
8) Climb To Safety* >
9) Chainsaw City*

Set 2
1) DJ Logic
2) From The Cradle
3) Bowlegged Woman
4) Flicker
5) Papa Johnny Road > Jam
6) Space Wrangler > Jam
7) Second Skin
1) Tall Boy >
2) Chilly Water >
3) Drums >
4) Immpossible >
5) Chilly Water

6) Pilgrims
7) Ain’t Life Grand

* with Jerry Joseph

Taped and transfered by: Chad Dacus (CMDawg)

~from JamBase’s Most Important Shows of the Decade

As far as anyone knew, this was it. By all accounts, Sunday, April 28, 2002 at Pelham, Alabama’s Oak Mountain Amphitheatre appeared to be Widespread Panic lead guitarist and co-founder Michael Houser’s last concert. It was the final night of a brief eight-show spring tour that felt like, and in many ways was, the “Goodbye Houser Tour.” Although not an official word had been uttered, most fans knew that Houser had contracted pancreatic cancer, and one could tell just by looking at him up close onstage that his time was drawing near. Although he would bravely perform seven more shows as he began the spring tour two months later, at this point, Sunday at Oak Mountain looked like the final one.

The venue, set in the heart of Panic Country, was packed with 10,000 serious fans and there was a tension and energy hanging in the humid Alabama air unlike anything I have personally ever experienced. The band rose to the occasion; from song selection (there wasn’t a dry eye during the “Trouble” encore) to execution to the Jerry Joseph guest appearance, it was nearly flawless and one of the best shows of the band’s legendary career. But it was more than just that. It was the way the weather coincided with the music, making it feel like bandleader John Bell had created rain during “Cortez The Killer.” It was the undeniable sense of community. It was the bittersweet, sad-yet-grateful feeling for the opportunity to say goodbye properly and rage it one more time. It was the weight of it all. Standing at Oak Mountain, bitter tears and warm rain washing over one’s face, wrapped in arms from friends both old and new, truly believing this was the final Houser jam, it felt like we were part of history on that day. (Kayceman)

~and a JamBase interview with JB years later

Q: You know there was something I’ve been thinking about for a while, and if it’s none of my business that’s fine, but I was thinking about that Sunday night show at Oak Mountain. For a lot of people who were sort of paying attention, they thought that it could potentially be the last time Mikey played. I mean I thought it was at least a possibility because the tour was ending, and that show was very over the top in my opinion. So I’m curious, what did you guys say to each other before you went on stage? I’m assuming you guys were under the impression that maybe Mikey might not be around for the next tour. Was that in your thought process at that time?

JB: Well, we’d already talked about it, and the plan was that Spring Tour would have been it.

Q: Right, that’s the impression I was under so…

JB: Well I’m not sure if the decision had already been made there, but fairly quickly after that he said, “I want to go out and play as long as I can.”

Q: Right, so leading up to that show, when you guys are going on stage, and there was a chance this might be the last time you’d get to play music with Houser, how does that situation play itself out?

JB: Well, you gotta know we were still… it’s something we’d been doing since ’81.

[Very long pregnant pause. More than what JB said, it was the way he looked – staring out the window, not exactly tearing up, but you could see the emotion in his eyes. This was the most powerful moment of the interview – the moment between words, where the thought was floating in the air, in his mind – between the two of us as we spoke of Houser.]

JB: Playing-wise, I felt no difference except for possibly some things where you just realize that he’s playing great, and you go, “Hey, it’s not just a great night; this could be… you know… this could be… the last great night.” But he’s playing his heart out till the last minute, and he was really on. And then there’d be some songs, I think, probably like, I don’t know, “Ain’t Life Grand” – there were certain tunes. And a couple times I remember him getting a little choked up, or maybe a microphone wasn’t working, who knows, but then I’d be singing it by myself and thinking, “Wow, this is about to happen just like this anyway.” We knew the possibilities. And he had his family out with him, and he was really digging it. I know he felt the most normal when he was playing. He wasn’t listening to his heart beat real fast or getting freaked out or anything. So I think it was like we were taking it as another gig, but now this was something totally different.

Widespread Panic
Oak Mountain Amphitheater
Pelham, AL

Set 1
1.) Let’s Get Down To Business (04:47.25)
2.) Action Man (04:29.27)
3.) Makes Sense To Me (04:19.23)
4.) Pusherman -> (12:46.61)
5.) Diner -> (13:36.66)
6.) Ride Me High* (09:40.47)
7.) Genesis** (08:13.33)
8.) Holden Oversoul (08:09.01)
9.) Conrad (09:20.19)

Set 2
1.) Chilly Water -> (06:19.72)
2.) Visiting Day -> (06:33.35)
3.) Chilly Water (04:47.55)
4.) Blue Indian** (05:32.61)
5.) Driving Song -> (07:18.74)
6.) Breathing Slow -> (04:08.08)
7.) No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature North*** (07:07.28)
8.) North*** (12:23.62)
9.) Cortez the Killer*** -> (17:43.17)
10.) Drums**** -> (01:32.40)
1.) Drums**** -> (21:57.52)
2.) Walkin’ (For Your Love) (05:39.13)
3.) Papa’s Home (08:34.35)
4.) Ain’t Life Grand (06:24.28)
5.) Crowd (01:17.51)

6.) Trouble** (04:06.06)
7.) Down (04:20.62)
8.) Postcard (10:31.58)

* with John Keane on guitar
** with John Keane on pedal steel
*** with Jerry Joseph on guitar/vocals
**** with Brad Rosen on percussion, Dr. Arvin Scott on percussion

[‘Nicaragua’ rap by Jerry Joseph during ‘North’; Particle opened]

{Schoeps MK41+KC5+CMC6(XY) -> Oade M148} +
{Neumann AK30+LC3+KM100 (split 2′) -> Oade M148} ->
Soundcraft Spirit Notepad 4-Channel Mixer -> mod SBM1
Recorded By Mike Falcon and Ben Morrison
Digitally Remastered and Transfered to CD BY Doug Oade


Widespread Panic
Amphitheater at the Wharf
Orange Beach, AL

Set 1
1) Intro
2) Holden Oversoul >
3) 1×1
4) Better Off
5) Tickle the Truth into Submission
6) Who Do You Belong To?
7) Jack
8) Ain’t No Use
9) Hatfield >
10) Traveling Light

Set 2
1) Thank You Faletten Me Be Myself Agin (DJ Logic)
2) Let It Rock >
3) Time Zones
4) Diner >
5) Ride Me High >
1) Drivin >
2) Dyin Man* >
3) Drums** >
4) Arleen**>
5) Drivin

7) Trouble
8) Wish You Were Here
9) Blackout Blues

* with DJ Logic
** with DJ Logic, and Jeff ‘Bird Dog’ Lane, Steve Drizos, Garrie Vereen and Steve Lopez on Percussion

Taped and transfered by: Chad Dacus (CMDawg)


Widespread Panic
Oak Mountain Amphitheater
Pelham, AL

Set 1:
1.) Surprise Valley -> (08:16.67)
2.) One Arm Steve -> (05:21.05)
3.) Weight Of The World (06:22.37)
4.) Rebirtha -> (08:15.49)
5.) Wondering (04:40.68)
6.) Old Joe* (03:55.54)
7.) This Part Of Town* (05:29.62)
8.) Impossible -> (05:44.65)
9.) Flat Foot Flewzy (05:44.70)

Set 2:
1.) Love Tractor -> (10:07.55)
2.) Good Morning Little Schoolgirl (04:46.69)
3.) Thought Sausage (05:58.51)
4.) The Waker** (03:54.02)
5.) Happy Child -> (01:17.13)
6.) I’m Not Alone* -> (03:14.08)
7.) Tie Your Shoes* -> (12:04.74)
8.) I’m Not Alone* -> (02:52.31)
9.) Drums -> (18:25.07)
1.) Jam*** -> (07:50.39)
2.) Use Me*** (11:03.16)
3.) All Time Low (03:59.30)
4.) Henry Parsons Died (12:10.21)

5.) Help Me Somebody (06:28.27)
6.) Don’t Be Denied* (07:56.22)

* with John Keane on pedal steel
** with John Keane on banjo
*** with Cecil Daniels on midi-saxophone

[‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ rap by JB during ‘Good Morning Little Schoolgirl’;
‘Little Drummer Boy’ tease by Dave after ‘Drums’;
‘Henry Parsons Died’ false start by Dave before ‘All Time Low’;
‘Amazing Grace’ rap by JB during ‘Help Me Somebody’; Rana opened]

Neumann AK30+LC3+KM100 (split 2′) -> Oade M148 -> mod SBM1
Recorded By Mike Falcon
Transfer: Dat -> Oade DAW -> DSP -> CD -> EAC -> Flac 16
Digitally Remastered and Transfered to CD BY Doug Oade

2002-04-27Photo by Kenji Sone




Widespread Panic
Oak Mountain Amphitheater
Pelham, AL

Set 1:
1.) A of D -> (03:49.36)
2.) Cream Puff War -> (03:09.61)
3.) Fishwater (11:03.67)
4.) Walk On (07:48.45)
5.) Gradle (04:46.00)
6.) Travelin’ Light (07:07.47)
7.) Junior* -> (10:26.07)
8.) C. Brown** (10:02.13)
9.) The Take Out* -> (02:22.01)
10.) Porch Song* (03:37.26)

Set 2:
1.) Bowlegged Woman (08:57.46)
2.) Climb To Safety -> (05:48.29)
3.) Little Lilly -> (07:00.49)
4.) Werewolves of London -> (06:03.06)
5.) Imitation Leather Shoes (05:25.58)
6.) Space Wrangler -> (08:20.59)
7.) Vacation -> (12:56.10)
8.) Drums*** -> (17:25.40)
1.) Jam**** -> (06:22.38)
2.) I Walk On Guilded Splinters**** -> (10:28.29)
3.) Me And The Devil Blues***** (09:36.58)
4.) Give* (05:59.73)

5.) Can’t Find My Way Home (05:04.47)
6.) Sometimes (04:37.11)

* with John Keane on guitar
** with John Keane on pedal steel
*** with Dr. Arvin Scott on percussion
**** with Dr. Arvin Scott on percussion, Robert Randolph on pedal steel
***** with Dr. Arvin Scott on percussion, John Keane on guitar, Robert Randolph on pedal steel
[‘Werewolves of London’ played during a full moon;
‘Night People’ rap during ‘Fishwater’;
‘You Better Run’ rap by JoJo during ‘Junior’;
‘Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)’ rap by JB during ‘Bowlegged Woman’;
Robert Randolph & the Family Band opened;
Last ‘Werewolves of London’ – 06/01/96, 591 shows]

{Neumann AK50+LC3+KM100 (XY) -> Oade M148} +
{Neumann AK30+LC3+KM100 (split 2′) -> Oade M148} ->
Soundcraft Spirit Notepad 4-Channel Mixer -> mod SBM1
Recorded By Mike Falcon & Ben Morrison
Digitally Remastered and Transfered to CD BY Doug Oade

2002-04-26_27_28Photo by Kenji Sone

Thirteen years later I still listen and remember and Im still amazed at what went down at Oak Mountain Amphitheater in 2002. That spring tour was a quick, close to home, 10 day, 8 show tour that was obviously manufactured as a farewell for their friend and our favorite guitarist. it was a chance for him to rip it up with his friends eight more times and vice versa. And as a fan, a chance for us to say thank you for everything.

All the stars aligned for the last three shows to take place in Pelham, Alabama too, a band/fan favorite venue. That stage was rocking as much as that bridge connecting the two lots outside. The fuzz was thick in the lots but when you made it to the right side of those turnstiles what took place is nothing short of pure Panic magic and now Panic lore.

I personally am mentally incapable of living through a late April without jamming these shows and emotionally reflecting on these three nights. Maybe it was the song choice in sync with the moon phase on Saturday night. Maybe it was those Saturday night encores where they sincerely seemed to ask for help as we were all looking for a brand new day and a brand new way to help. And JB in his lowest voice adding some Amazing Grace lyrics at the end. I mean swing low sweet chariots low voice. The next song you could hardly hear the band over the crowd as he somehow got the words out about meeting a friend, playing guitar, dreaming of being stars and playing all night in DBD.

Sunday…wow. By all accounts our Last Dance with Panic as we knew them. Maybe it was the lighting show in the distance to accompany Cortez. One thing was evident, from the first song to the after show house music, it seemed that the mission of the band was clear- to get down to business, to stop playing games, to quit with the lame pretense and tackle that which shackled us all of the pressing business. The business of the band, the business of their friendship, the business of allowing the fans in on it, and the business of life and death and honoring a man with an incurable disease. They more than tackled it.They officially communicated to us what was going down that night the best way they knew how, through their music. The song choices, the way the lights hit Houser, switching up the lyrics in Postcard to reflect the unfortunate circumstance. It was a Houser showcase.

This show was our official press release finally confirming the rumors. It was the epitome of conflicted emotions, the best of times and the worst of times. How could we feel so blessed to have been a part of it and not want to be anywhere else on the planet that night yet hope like hell something like this would never ever happen again?

JB said later, ” “Hey, it’s not just a great night; this could be… you know… this could be… the last great night….and he was really on,” speaking of Houser. Then he didnt hear him for a minute in ALG, assuming Houser was choked up. I dont think sweat was the only wetness dripping from his face onto his Fender Tele that night, and during ALG too. How could he not choke up? How did all of them not choke up?
JB may as well have said before the love song, Genesis, “this ones for Mike.”Maybe it was JB fully turning his head and shoulders to sing these words directly to Houser, “and now I’m feeling you inside, our heart is rolling with the tide, I hope it feels like an open ride, so let me stay with you!” Thats when about 10,000 of us facing the stage choked up. They came out into day and our skys of blue had turned to gray. But I think we were very clear to say to the band that night that we never looked away and never will.

Music and emotion are synonyms, whether it’s who is playing the music or the emotions the music invokes in the listener. And nobody expresses emotion like Widespread Panic. Its the one show I can simply think about the lyrics, his solos, and our reactions to his solos and no matter what I’m doing I get full on chills and an all arm hair salute. Its the show where the crowd noise at those key moments is just as chilling as the music. Maybe it was his solo right before the “powdered sugar in her hair…touch of a halo” Diner rap. Maybe it was the Trouble, Down, Postcard encore where the love flowed through everyone there. I think it was every freakin solo he did that night that was so smokin and emphatic as he climbed the neck of that guitar higher and higher and bent those strings like nobody else can- sending us into a state of pulsating bliss and soul shakin life each time.

A couple of months later a show ended in Iowa and he went home after probably giving his bashful wave and head nod to the crowd again. Only five short weeks after that he went on to live the Moon Times. That timeline shows me what his friends on stage, what they accomplished each show, and what we all meant to Michael Houser.

People pose the question, was your first show life changing? My second show changed it in a way where I knew that I’d be chasing shows in my free time for as long as they tour and making free time to chase shows. But it was 3 shows in late April 2002, sometime after my centennial mark, that TRULY changed my life. It was what they did and how they did it and how they let us be part of it. This was the run that shattered my perceptions of what a band/fan relationship is. It showed me what is possible through art. It gave me the consciousness that whatever life throws you, including the death of loved ones, that you can persevere. It showed me how you can face adversity with courage, composure and dignity. It was so much bigger than the music and the scene.

Im not sure why I feel the need to remind. If you were there you need no reminder. I think its that after all these years and as hard as I shook my bones and yelled and clapped it just never seems like it was enough compared to what he brought us. So I try to honor him in some way every January 6, August 10, and of course April 26-28. I feel like I owe that and so much more.

These shows were where the word family took on new meaning for me with the fanbase and it became familial with WP as well because of the way they let it play out for us.

Whether your first show was 25 years ago or last year, if you want to get lost in a run of kickass music with more emotion than you can stand, think of the circumstances and listen again to April 2002 at Oak Mountain. Get chills once more on this anniversary.

We miss you and thank you Mikey:)

Drew Davis
Widespread Panic Fan

2002-04-26aScan by Frederick Scott Phillips