Oak Mountain Amphitheatre

All posts tagged Oak Mountain Amphitheatre


Widespread Panic
Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
Pelham, AL

1: Imitation Leather Shoes, Wondering > I’m Not Alone > Climb To Safety, Ride Me High > Makes Sense To Me, Airplane > Pusherman > Henry Parsons Died

2: Big Wooly Mammoth > Chilly Water, Thought Sausage, Red Hot Mama > Porch Song > Drums > Papa’s Home > Surprise Valley > Papa’s Home, All Time Low

E: Wish You Were Here > Flat Foot Flewzy

[Soundcheck: ‘Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin’]

Soundboard Source

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 5.36.59 PM


Widespread Panic
Oak Mountain
Pelham, AL

Set 1:

01. Intro/Tuning
02. Ain’t Life Grand
03. Hatfield >
04. Love Tractor
05. Blue Indian
06. Tail Dragger
07. Climb To Safety >
08. Proving Ground
09. Jack
10. Chest Fever >
11. Henry Parsons Died

Set 2:

01. Intro/Tuning
02. Holden Oversoul
03. Sleepy Monkey >
04. Sharon
05. On This Mountain Side
06. No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature
07. Rebirtha >
08. Coconut >
09. Fishwater
10. Vacation
11. Life During Wartime

12. Encore Break
13. Genesis
14. All Time Low
15. Protein Drink/Sewing Machine

Source: Soundfield SPS200 > Sound Devices 788t (24/48)

Recorded by: Daniel Kopp
Taped & Transferred by Daniel Kopp

*A Team Dirty South Recording*

//Please support artist by purchasing their albums, merch, and seeing their live shows. Also, tell your friends about them.//

Widespread Panic
Oak Mtn Amp.
Pelham AL

Set 1
02. Old Neighborhood
03. Pleas>
04. Mr. Soul
05. Bears Gone Fishing>
06. Shut up & Drive
07. Visiting Day
08. Smokestack Lightning
09. The Last Straw
10. Give

Set 2
11. Thought Sausage
12. B of D
13. Bust it Big>
14. Maggot Brain>
15. Chilly Water>
16. Baby Please Don’t Go>
17. Drumz>
18. Schools Zone>
19. Tie Your Shoes>
20. City of Dreams>
21. Tie Your Shoes
22. Conrad

23. Encore break
24. Down
25. Good People>
26. Imitation Leather Shoes

Source: Neumann U89i (card)> Neve Portico 5012 (silk mode)> Tascam HD-P2 (OWM)
Taped, tracked, seeded by Adam Downs (@Big_Perm_taper)

Photos by Roger Patteson

Widespread Panic
Oak Mountain Ampitheatre
Pelham, AL

Set I
01. Pleas >
02. One Armed Steve
03. Travellin’ Light
04. Sandbox >
05. Hatfield >
06. Climb To Safety >
07. Chilly Water >
08. Me and The Devil Blues >
09. Chilly Water

Set II
01. Heroes >
02. Greta
03. City Of Dreams
04. Walkin’ >
05. Rebirtha >
06. Going Out West
07. Ain’t No Use* >
08. Drums** >
01. Drums and Bass >
02. I’m Not Alone >
03. Tallboy

04. Disco
05. Porch Song

* with Stanton Moore on drums, Theryl deClouet on vocals
** with Stanton Moore on Flo-Drum

[Travelin’ Light Tour; ‘A Love Supreme’ jam before ‘Drums’; ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ jam before ‘I’m Not Alone’; Galactic, G. Love & Special Sauce, and Guster opened; G. Love & Special Sauce’s set featured Mike on guitar for ‘This Ain’t Livin”]

Source: AKG483>Oade M148>SBM-1 (fob/dfc/xy)
Transfered by : Max Hester

Widespread Panic
oak mountain amph.
pelham, al

one set

Love Tractor, Take Out > Porch, Weight of the World, Walkin’, Space Wrangler, Hatfield,
Makes Sense to Me, Pigeons, Jack, Stop/Go, Proving Ground

E: I’m Not Alone

Widespread Panic
Pelham, AL
Oak Mountain Amphitheatre

Set 1:

01) Surprise Valley >
02) Bear’s Gone Fishin’ >
03) C.Brown
04) Wondering >
05) The Waker
06) Stop-Go >
07) Tall Bay >
08) Chilly Water

Set 2:

01) Greta >
02) Walkin’
03) Little Lilly >
04) Ride Me High >
05) Little Lilly >
06) Drums*>
01) Proving Ground** >
02) North** >
03) Proving Ground** >
04) Climb to Safety**


05) Fishwater >
06) Sometimes >
07) Henry Parsons Died

* with Brad Rosen on drums/percussion
** with Jerry Joseph on guitar/vocals

Notes: First ‘North’; ‘Under Pressure’ tease after ‘Stop-Go’; ‘Cars’ jam after ‘Greta’; Jerry Joseph & The Jackmormons opened

source: AKG 480b/ck61 (FOB) > m248 > HHB @ 48k
taped by: assuming this is Julian Eldridge

Widespread Panic
Oak Mountain Amphitheater
Pelham, AL.

Set 1:

01. Intro
02. Porch Song >
03. One Arm Steve >
04. Makes Sense To Me
05. Blue Indian >
06. Diner >
07. Sleeping Man
08. Big Wooly Mammoth > Jam >
09. Jack
10. Radio Child

Set 2:

01. Intro
02. All Time Low >
03. Disco >
04. Hatfield >
05. Dyin’ Man * >
06. Red Hot Mama * >
07. Drums * >
08. Jam * >
09. Heaven >
10. Love Tractor


01. Crowd
02. Pusherman
03. Ain’t Life Grand

* with Colin Butler on turntables, Robert Barnett on drums

[Big Ass Truck opened show]

Source: B&K 4021 > EAA PSP-2 > Apogee AD1000 (48kHz)
Location: FOB / DFC
Taped by Smiley, Steve Brothers, Klaus & Matt Kinder
Transferred by Smiley & BobbyHurley

Widespread Panic
Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
Pelham, AL
September 30, 1994

Set 1

01. Wonderin’ >
02. Junior
03. Pickin’ Up The Pieces
04. Ain’t Life Grand
05. Little Kin >
06. Chilly Water
07. Pilgrims >
08. Hatfield >
09. Henry Parsons Died
10. Porch Song >
11. Fishwater

Set 2

01. Heroes >
02. Travelin’ Light
03. Can’t Get High >
04. Blackout >
05. Walkin’
06. Diner >
07. Airplane >
08. Love Tractor


09. Dream Song >
10. Mr. Soul

Notes: Wonderin’ fades out and fades back in @ 2:05-about 10 seconds missing

[The Grapes and The Freddy Jones Band also appeared]

Source: SBD > DAT @ 48.0khz
Converted, Edited, and Seeded by D.P. Swint

Widespread Panic
Oak Mountain Amphitheater,
Pelham, AL

~Set 1~
01. Pigeons >
02. Pleas,
03. You Got Yours >
04. Makes Sense To Me,
05. Happy Child,
06. Holden Oversoul >
07. Sleepy Monkey,
08. Heroes,
09. Pilgrims >
10. The Shape I’m In

~Set 2~
01. Ain’t Life Grand,
02. Diner >
03. I’m Not Alone,
04. B of D >
05. Henry Parsons Died >
06. Nobody’s Fault But Mine,
07. Walkin’ (For Your Love) >
08. Papa’s Home >
09. Drums >
10. Papa’s Home,
11. Space Wrangler >
12. No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature,

01. Travelin’ Light

[Joan Osborne opened]


This is a VERY sweet sbd. It came to me on a 1st Gen Cass. I removed the little hiss that was there.
There is a tape flip near the end of Pilgrims and in the Jam in Papa’s before drums. ENJOY!

Source: CASS(1st Gen)>DAT(Panasonic 3700) > Zefiro ZA2>Cooledit Pro>CDwav

Converted, Seeded and Remastered by Alan Schwartz.

Widespead Panic
Oak Mountain Amphitheater
Pelham AL

Who Do You Belong To?
Weight Of The World
Makes Sense To Me
Driving Song >
Diner > Jam >
Driving Song
Pickin’ Up The Pieces*
Flat Foot Flewzy**

E: Werewolves of London***

* with Jimmy Herring on guitar, John Popper on harmonica
** with John Popper on harmonica
*** with Big Head Todd and the Monsters, Blues Traveler, Col. Bruce Hampton and the Aquarium Rescue Unit, The Samples
[HORDE show]

Source: DSBD

2000-08-13Photo courtesy of Widespread Panic / Brown Cat

Widespread Panic
Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
Pelham, AL

Set 1:
1. Give
2. Weight Of The World
3. Driving Song >
4. Disco >
5. Driving Song
6. Tall Boy >
7. Walkin’ (For Your Love)
8. Christmas Katie >
9. Radio Child
10. Conrad

Set 2:
1. Blackout Blues
2. Little Lilly >
3. Stop-Go
4. Happy Child > Fixin’ To Die > *
5. (I Walk On) Guilded Splinters > *
6. Drums >
1. Drums (cont’d) >
2. Coconut >
3. Sharon
4. Ain’t Life Grand **

5. Goin’ Out West
6. City Of Dreams

7. Travelin’ Light

* – w/ Col.Bruce Hampton on guitar/vocals & Jeff Mosier on banjo;
** – w/ Jeff Mosier on banjo]

source: AUD ((FOB, DFC/14th row)AKG481>Oade248>GP ADC20)

Widespread Panic
Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
Pelham, AL

Set 1:
1. Imitation Leather Shoes
2. Wondering >
3. I’m Not Alone >
4. Climb To Safety
5. tuning
6. Ride Me High >
7. Jam >
8. Makes Sense To Me
9. Airplane >
10. Pusherman >
11. Henry Parsons Died

Set 2:
1. Big Wooly Mammoth
2. Chilly Water
3. Thought Sausage >
4. Red Hot Mama >
5. Porch Song >
6. Drums >
7. Drums & Bass >
1. Papa’s Home >
2. Surprise Valley > Papa’s Home
3. All Time Low

4. Wish You Were Here
5. Flat Foot Flewzy

source: AUD ((FOB, DFC/14th row)AKG481>Oade248>HHB)

Widespread Panic
Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
Pelham, AL

Set 1:
1. tuning
2. Action Man >
3. Pigeons >
4. North
5. Down >
6. Weak Brain, Narrow Mind
7. Dyin’ Man
8. Bear’s Gone Fishin’ >
9. Arleen >
10. One Arm Steve

Set 2:
1. crowd
2. The Waker >
3. Space Wrangler >
4. Low Rider
5. Blue Indian
1. Love Tractor >
2. Drums > Tears Of A Woman >
3. Sleeping Man >
4. Greta >
5. Fishwater

6. Papa Legba >
7. Red Beans

source: AUD (Schoeps CMC64>oadeM248>AD1000)



Photo courtesy of Widespread Panic / Brown Cat

Widespread Panic
Oak Mountain Amphitheatre,
Pelham, AL

1: Conrad, One Arm Steve > Barstools and Dreamers, Action Man, This Part Of Town, Greta > Christmas Katie > Let It Rock > Radio Child

2: Disco > Bear’s Gone Fishin’ > Driving Song > Blight > Driving Song > The Waker > Last Dance > The Harder They Come* > Drums* > Fixin’ To Die, Low Rider > Love Tractor

E: Ride Me High > Dream Song

* with Dr. Arvin Scott on percussion

[First ‘The Harder They Come’; ‘Alabama Bound’ rap by JB during ‘Let It Rock’; ‘Fire On The Mountain’ jam before ‘Drums’; ‘Here Comes The Sun’ tease by Dave after ‘Drums’]

This show is available as an official WP Archives Multitrack release


Photos courtesy of Widespread Panic / Brown Cat

Widespread Panic
Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
Pelham, AL

Set I

01. Postcard >
02. Ophelia >
03. Coconut >
04. L.a. >
05. Impossible >
06. Mercy >
07. Worry
08. Dear Mr. Fantasy >
09. Imitation Leather Shoes

Set II

10. Casa Del Grillo
11. Surprise Valley >
12. Down On The Farm
01. Holden Oversoul >
02. All Time Low >
03. Arleen* >
04. Drums** >
05. Astronomy Domine Jam* >
06. All Along The Watchtower* >
07. Fishwater*


08. crowd
09. Down
10. Ain’t Life Grand

* with Dr. Arvin Scott on percussion
** with Dr. Arvin Scott on percussion, Peter Jackson on percussion

[‘Hey Jude’ tease by Dave after ‘Dear Mr. Fantasy’; ‘In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed’ tease during ‘Holden Oversoul’; ‘Ribs And Whiskey’ rap by JB during ‘Arleen’; Last ‘Down On The Farm’ – 04/17/99, 250 shows]

Source: AKG 481 > Oade m248 > mod. SBM-1 > PCM-M1 @ 48.0khz
Location: fob, dfc

Transferred, Edited, & Seeded by D.P. Swint


This show is available as an official WP Archives Multitrack release


28 JUNE 1996

SET 1:
1. Space Wrangler > 11.16.37
2. Disco > 4.20.73
3. Tallboy > 8.07.37
4. Rock 6.56.39
5. Better Off 6.09.30
6. Junior 5.01.71
7. Aunt Avis > 8.02.48
8. Sleepy Monkey > 7.15.39
9. 1 x 1 > 5.24.72
10. Makes Sense To Me 4.49.15

SET 2:
1. Airplane > 12.57.56
2. And It Stoned Me > 5.44.35
3. Henry Parsons Died 6.13.55
4. Stop-Go > 11.14.57
5. Barstools and Dreamers% 13.32.49
1. The Take Out* > 2.56.29
2. Blackout Blues* > 7.35.17
3. Proving Ground* > 7.04.73
4. Arleen* > 10.20.56
5. Hatfield* > 11.50.01
6. Porch Song* 4.14.12

7. Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys* 13.34.29

% – contains lengthy quote from “Satisfied”
* – with David Blackmon on fiddle





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.

~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
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