Friday, February 11, 2011

WSP 25th Anniversary Run

It is hard to believe that Widespread Panic has been playing as a group for 25 years. I guess it should be more real to me since I first saw Panic at the Uptown Lounge in the summer of 1988. Hard to believe that was 23 years ago. In those 23 years, I have seen Panic play in a field at Carrell Farms in Monroe Ga., numerous frat houses, many different bars, small theaters and now they are selling out huge arenas all around the US. I have been to too many shows for me to count and I plan on going to many, many more!

To celebrate their 25th anniversary, the boys will be playing some local shows. The first two are in Athens on Feb 10th & 11th at the Classic center. Not only are those shows special since Athens is the place where the band was formed, but the site of the Classic center is the same site of they bands first public performance. The venue has changed, but the location is the same. The show on Thursday was smokin! They first there songs they played were the same three songs they played on the night of their first show. That is pretty cool in itself, but then they went on to play some rare songs as well as some of their usual suspects. I wasn’t in attendance for that show nor will I be at the show on Friday but I did listen to a live stream of Thursday’s show and the boys were tight! I will also listen online to the Friday show.

They will also be doing a show on Valentines Day at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. I will be at the show and luckily for me, my wife is a big fan as well and she couldn’t think of a better Valentines gift then to see Panic at the Fox. Big score for me! If you can’t make these shows but would still like to hear them perform, you can stream the shows live at The quality is very clear and it is like you are there without the crowds, lights and $8 dollar beers.

It has a lot to do with were I grew up (Monroe, Ga.) and having older sisters that went to UGA that I was lucky enough to be introduced to so much great music in Athens. I will admit that Panic’s music isn’t for everyone but over the years I have introduced many, many people to Widespread and most of them are now big fans of the band as well. I can’t take credit for their huge fan base, but I can’t help but feel that I have done a good job of growing their fan base by a pretty large number.

Congrats WSP on 25 great years!

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