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Story by Early Coffee
WSP is among the leading touring bands in the U.S. selling out venues in record time. Widely renowned for their live performances, the band refuses to play the same show twice. It's this organic spontaneity that keeps the electricity hanging in the air all night long. The band is heavily promoting their new record Dirty Side Down while celebrating it's 25th anniversary. The band exalts and prides itself on the diverse musical influences of each band member. From southern rock, blues-rock, progressive rock, funk to hard rock genres. They throw it all into a blender on stage and create a surprising melange throughout their riveting set. You never know what is coming around the next corner or the next hanging note.
The dueling guitars of Jimmy Herring and John Bell were amazing in their structural nuances and free flowing beauty. "Proving Ground" and "Weak Brain, Narrow Mind" helped to showcase this nicely. The keyboards and percussion's rumbling downbeats warmed you completely through. School's pounding bass laid down the law at the get go, while Ortiz shaped the songs with his cowbell and conga flourishes. "Time Zones" led off beginning of the second set with authority. John Bell's soulful voice was thickly entrenched in some shadowy back bayou apparently not too far from "the crossroads" down south.
I highly recommend www.panicstream.com where Widespread allows any of their fans to record shows. "Wondering," "Traveling Man" and "Airplane" continued the journey in rousing fashion.
With encores of "Imitation Leather Shoes," "Up All Night," "Impossible" and "Heaven" to close out the first night and "Lets Get Down to Business," "Pigeons," "Cotton Was King," "Angels On High," "None of Us Are Free" along with "Waitin' for the Bus" and "Jesus Just Left Chicago" to close out the second night they painted their entire musical canvas with rich colors and organic tonalities.
Widespread Panic invites you to join their ride and more importantly to enjoy the journey.
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