Setting the Tone
Random Panic Openers
We have all had that moment at a Widespread Panic - when the lights come down, the crowd noise goes up, and in your head, your mind is spinning with the thought of “What are the boys gonna kick it off with tonight?” Sometimes, the band will start it off nice and slow and ease the crowd into the night; other times, they will just smack you in the face with a 2 x 4’ and you are just along for the ride at that point. This week, we look at four shows with ‘random’ openers, featuring songs that ended up in the first slot only a handful of times, or just once. We start way back in 1987 with the only “Feelin’ Alright” opener, and then jump ahead to the 1990s with strong - and rare - showings from Paolo Soleri in New Mexico (1996) and the American Theater in STL (1999). Closing it out this week is probably one of top “HOLY S&%T” moments in the band’s history, the historic “Sweet Leaf” opener from the first night of NOLAWeen 2000. Good thing the UNO Lakefront Arena is well constructed because we both thought the damn roof was gonna come off!
Links below go to whole show streams from Panicstream.
05 January 1987 - Athens, GA - Uptown Lounge
Feelin’ Alright > Chilly Water
Source: SBD > Analog (M) > CD
11 June 1996 - Santa Fe, NM - Paolo Soleri
Papa’s Home > C. Brown
Source: AKG 468
22 June 1999 - St. Louis, MO - American Theater
Blight > Worry
Source: FOB/DFC B&K 4021 (XY) > EAA PSP2 > DA-P1 by Steve Brothers
27 October 2000 - New Orleans, LA - UNO Lakefront Arena
Sweet Leaf > One Arm Steve > Makes Sense To Me
Source: FOB/DFC Schoeps MK4V (ORTF) > KC5 > M222 > NT222 > AD1K > HHb by Charles Fox