Saturday, April 16, 2005

Widespread Night 2

4.15.05 Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY
Set 1: Radio Child, Little Kin, 1 x 1 > E on a G > I'm Not Alone, Nicotina, Sleeping Man, Papa's Home > Drums > One Armed Steve > Proving Ground > Action Man

Set 2: Love and Happiness, Pickin' Up the Pieces, Nebulous, Holden Oversoul, Low Spark of High Heeled Boys > Drums > Ride Me High > Tie Your Shoes > Low Spark of High Heeled Boys, Greta, Conrad the Caterpillar

Encore: Down > No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature

Notes: First Time that Love and Happiness was played; Last E on a G was on 11.16.01

I'm exhausted so this will be a quick review. Senor started off the night with a bang and a bottle of tequila. He was ready to rage. After a few shots we headed over to the venue. Again, no patdown, no search, no line... we walked right inside! We had orchestra seats and discovered that 29th row at Radio City Music Hall is a fantastic seat. We we roughly in the middle of the entire venue. We headed downstairs to the bar. Senor ordered a tequila shot and unsuccessfully tried to chat up the unfriendly bartender. I grabbed a beer and we mingled around on the mezzanine level and watched everyone come into the show.

Right away, the sound quality from the floor was several times better than the previous night. I expected that would help enhance the overall content of the show. At 8:16pm, the boys ripped into Radio Child and instantly the sound was unbelievable. I would not have picked 1 x 1 and Little Kin as songs I wanted to hear, however, they were played very well. The true test of a band is when they play something I'm not specifically fond of... and they play it so well that I was glad I heard it! Well that's how I grouped most of the songs in the first set... they fell into that category. E on a G is a song that Panic hasn't played since well before Mikey died... back in 2001. I appreciated the rare tune and Senor went nuts when they segued into a slower and mellower tune I'm Not Alone. It's one of his two favorite Panic songs. Man, if he was happy to hear it, so was I.

By that point, I was properly medicated and Senor was roaring drunk. Nicotina and Sleeping Man were part of those songs I didn't expect to hear and they performed them well. I never would have guessed that would have been the setlist to that point, but the sound was so good and they were playing tight so I couldn't really complain. Plus the light show was pretty kick ass.

Senor was pumped when they busted out Papa's Home. That would be his second all time Panic song. They picked up the pace in the second half of the set with One Armed Steve > Proving Ground > Action Man. Man, I fuckin' forgot how much I was digging One Armed Steve during the hiatus. I was excited to hear a song that I wanted to see live again. Action Man kicked my ass and I was bummed that they were ending the set!

At setbreak, we went upstairs to the bathroom on the mezzanine level. It's always the least crowded pisser at Radio City. Afterwards, on our way down to the basement bar, I called Al Cant Hang for a dial-a-shot. The lovely EvaCanHang answered and she informed me that AlCantHang was indeed passed out on their couch at 9:45pm. Wow. The line to the bar was ridiculously long so we opted for beers and headed back to our seats.

Again the theme of the night seemed to be hearing songs I'm not crazy about... like Love and Happiness, Pickin' Up the Pieces, Nebulous, and Holden Oversoul, but I was 100% pleased with their renditions. Seriously, Panic was playing great and Dave Skools was really holding everything together for the boys. Then at 10:24pm EST... they broke out one of my favorite Traffic cover songs... Low Spark. Fuckin' A! The crowd definitely went a little bonkers when they started into Low Spark. The two songs sandwiched in between, Ride Me High > Tie Your Shoes, were sweet. They segued back into Low Spark and then got the crowd going again with Greta, another big time favorite of mine and everyone it seems. The jamming set ended with Conrad the Caterpillar. Not bad. I got to hear four songs that were on my short list of "must plays."

The encore was another two songer and the closed with a smoking No Sugar/New Mother Nature, which had the entire audience getting down pretty hard. They smoked the hell out of the second half of the second set.
No sugar tonight in my coffee
No sugar tonight in my tea
No sugar to stand beside me
No sugar to run with me
I told Senor that I felt Widespread Panic was playing good enough that I would consider hitting the road and following them around for several shows on their next tour. Even without Mikey, they still play with amazing energy and hit those dark patches which are always a little freaky to explore. Overall, I felt that they hit a lot more tight funky jams more so than usual.

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