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Story and photos by Dave VaculaWidespread Panic, the American rock band out of Athens, Georgia, continued its 25th year celebration on tour with three sold out shows June 24th, 25th, and 26th at the beautiful Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado. They have the record for the most sold out shows at Red Rocks clocking in at a stunning 39. The current lineup consists of: guitarist/singer John Bell (JB), bassist Dave Schools, drummer Todd Nance, percussionist Domingo "Sunny" Ortiz, keyboardist "Jo Jo" John Herman and guitarist Jimmy Herring. WSP have taken the art and science of musical diversity in nearly every show they perform. A combination of southern rock, blues rock, progressive rock, funk and hard rock mixed throughout nearly every song. Each member of the band shares the lead duties throughout their dynamic performances.
Not a soul was sitting at Red Rocks throughout the entire three days. The diverse crowd danced and partied under the star-lit skies as the mountains created a stunning backdrop. WSP's first set started off with the tracks: "Postcards," "Glory." "Send Your Mind," "Sleeping Man," and the newer tune but another crowd favorite"Dirty Side Down." They continued on with "Ribs and Whiskey," "Party at Your Mama's House," "Space Wrangler," "Blackout Blues" and "Climb to Safety." Their first song played after a short break was "Pigeons," then "fish water", "L.A", "Jack," "Visiting Day," "Do What You Like," "Pleas." The first evening ended with"Imitation Leather Shoes," "Papa's Home" and "Junior." The lit up their encore with "This Part of Town," "1x1" and "Radio Child" to finish off the first evening in dramatic fashion.
Widespread Panic has that special knack on taking you on a new journey with each song. They never have the same song list nor same show twice. WSP are truly one of the tightest bands on the planet today. These guys work their magic individually and collectively. Jimmy Herring on rhythm guitar leading the way or some thundering bass grooves from Dave Schools mixed with Todd Nance explosive drums, with Sunny Ortiz percussion's, and Jo Jo's keyboards cutting throughout each song. Bell tops it all off with his buzzworthy guitar rifs and his soulful southern fried vocals.
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