Staff Picks Volume 1

Jeff Milbourn is nugs.net’s Vice President of Technology, resident Widespread Panic apologist, and possibly Goose’s #1 fan. Longtime Widespread Panic fans have probably enjoyed his tapes from ’90s Panic shows. For the first installment of our Staff Picks series, there’s no one better to share their list of favorites from across the years.

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Widespread Panic: 11/17/1998 – Calvin Theater, Northampton, MA

This was a top Widespread Panic show when it happened and remains a top show still today. This is WSmfP at their best. Houser screams, Jo Jo is dynamic and omnipresent, Schools thunders and drops bombs, Todd and Sunny crescendo, and JB sings like an angel throughout the entire show.

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Bill Withers: 10/06/1972 – Live at Carnegie Hall

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David Byrne: 11/28/2001 – Austin City Limits

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Goose: 12/07/2019 – Old Town Pub, Steamboat Springs, CO

Favorite new band. Period. This show felt special, it took place on my birthday and the first song they sing is Happy Birthday to the Wiz Kid, Peter ‘Handini’ Anspach.

Gov’t Mule: 05/03/2013 – Mahalia Jackson Theatre, New Orleans, LA

I Love Mule. I Love dirty NOLA Mule even better. I’ve seen a lot of great NOLA Mule shows over the years but this one is something else. “On Your Way Down” with Jonathon ‘Boogie’ Long and “The Hunter” > “Good Morning Little School Girl” > “The Hunter” with Alvin Youngblood and Smokey Greenwell are required listening.

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Widespread Panic – April 3, 1996; Huntsville, AL.

To many, this is one of Panic’s best shows and certainly a sign of things to come in the mid-90s. The setlist is incredible and the band fired on all cylinders from opener to encore. 

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Widespread Panic – July 2, 2002; Cedar Rapids, IA.

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Widespread Panic – July 18, 1997; Memphis, TN. 

Before kicking off a ridiculous show which, of all bands, Barenaked Ladies opened, JB growls, “How about a big ole’ hand for Barenaked Ladies . . .  Barenaked everything!” Classic JB, classic Panic show at Mud Island.

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Widespread Panic – May 2, 2019; New Orleans, LA. 

This is the show that should not have been. As many probably know, The Rolling Stones were supposed to headline Jazzfest. When they canceled, Fleetwood Mac was booked to fill the slot, yet they too canceled (quite fortuitously). Panic stepped in to fill the void. The speculation was that Panic would incorporate at least one song from the Stones. Not so. Instead, they decided to blow out the Fairgrounds on their own terms, with a nod to Dr. John. 

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Widespread Panic – January 27, 2020; Riviera Maya, MX.

This is Panic’s most recent show available on nugs.net. It will be replaced on the list of best shows by the next show the band plays. And that’s the point. You can never beat the anticipation of the “next one.”

nugs Picks: November 2019

The year is rapidly coming to a close. Fall tours are ending and many artists will take a few weeks off to rest, reflect, and prepare for a new year of music. Before we charge into a new decade, we’re taking a look back at some of our favorite shows from 2019.

The String Cheese Incident: 6/27/19

Widespread Panic: Durham, NC 3/31/19

Umphrey’s McGee: Jim Thorpe, PA 3/21/19

Greensky Bluegrass: Red Rocks Amphitheatre 9/15/19

Dead & Company: Wrigley Field 6/15/19

Gov’t Mule: Island Exodus X 1/23/19

Spafford: Nashville, TN 10/5/19

Billy Strings: Hoxeyville Music Festival 10/18/19

The Disco Biscuits: Camp Bisco 7/20/19

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong: Domefest 5/18/19

nugs.net archive: Panic Halloween ’10

Widespread Panic –New Orleans, 10/30/10

We are kicking off our new blog by diving into the archives to surface some of our favorite high-quality downloads available on nug.net.  With 895 downloads in the archives, it’s hard to choose just one show that encapsulates what Widespread Panic does. Widespread Panic has been a heavy hitter in the Jam community for 30 years and are the heart of southern improvisational music. After narrowing down the many choices of killer shows, we found one that has all the right goods to bring to you. Holiday shows are always a special time with Widespread Panic but nothing comes close to their Halloween runs , which seem to be filled with a never ending supply of sit-ins, covers and rockin’ setlists.

New Orleans, 10/30/10 and the days surrounding it, exemplify what Widespread Panic does best. With great song selections from their own catalog and even a sit-in from Dr. John, the Night Tripper himself; only in New Orleans. This show has it all, with covers of Talking Heads “Papa Legba,” JJ Cale’s, “Ride Me High” and a blazing “Spanish Moon” originally by Little Feat, that is jammed out to extensive proportions.

The show also features Jimmy Herring on lead guitar. While Jimmy was still fairly new to the band after the passing of original guitarist, Michael Houser, Herring took to Panic like a fish in water and he shows his masterful guitar work throughout this entire performance and so does each member of the band, making this show a classic on nugs.net.

Stand out original songs include: a first set, “Dirty Side Down,” a newer song from that performance that has since become a classic. It’s very interesting to hear the development of these songs throughout the years and we can hear these changes within the hundreds of shows in the archives. “Henry Parsons Died” shows jazz flavored solos and incredible bass playing from Dave Schools. The second set opens with an always welcome, “Climb To Safety” as the band says, “climb aboard!” Into “Chilly Water.”

Dr. John enters the stage and plays a great rendition of “Right Place, Wrong Time” that has raw energy and those voodoo vibes that only he can bring. They continue with, “Dream Warrior.” Here Widespread shows what they do best while playing with the jazz/blues legend. The 12 minute “Arlene” is relentless and anytime Panic plays this song watch out, you’re going somewhere! The spectacular show closes with a Grateful Dead staple, “Creampuff War.”

It really doesn’t get much better than this and I am positive there will be many more shows from Widespread Panic in the upcoming posts.

Be sure to check out this recording of Halloween 2010 and so many more on nugs.net.  This soundboard recorded professionally mixed show is available for purchase as downloadable mp3, lossless, and CD shipped to your door.  It’s also available on demand.    Rock ON!

-Jam Band Purist