WIDESPREAD PANIC @ THE FILLMORE DETROIT
Review and Photos By Tim Meeks
Detroit welcomed the southern band Widespread Panic to The Fillmore Tuesday evening. The band hit the stage with wide smiles and thanked everyone for the gracious welcome. Fans of the group both new and old were more than happy and proved it by dancing and singing along for much of the show. The seat numbers were on the tickets, but I would say they were used sparingly by most of the attendees.
The lighting was dynamic and produced one of the most intricate and entrancing light shows that I have ever seen. Multicolored LED’s danced around the stage and out into the crowd. They had a giant circular light screen in the middle of the stage that seems capable of emitting any pattern or picture deemed necessary to enhance the music – what a fantastic group of musicians they are. Founding member vocalist/guitarist John Bell has an ease on stage that seems to draw the listener into the music, and a voice to help navigate you through the song. There are two percussionists; Todd Nance on a traditional kit, while Domingo S. Ortiz sits amongst a playground of instruments that include bongo and congo drums, large cymbals, and various other items integral to the sound of the group. Bassist Dave Schools gets more unique sounds out of his 6 string bass than any player that I have stood in front of in a live setting. Found on keyboards is
John “Jo Jo” Herman, and his playing is rock solid providing an underground layer of sound that may be the most missed instrumentally if it was removed from the mix. Jimmy Herring is mesmerizing to watch on stage, and interplay between himself and “Jo Jo” throughout the jam sessions turned them into a thing of beauty.
As the show came to a close and the final encore was played, the revelry continued throughout the venue. As fans spilled out onto the streets, they continued to sing and dance their way back to their cars. A good time, it seems, was had by all.
A set list is included because as is tradition, each show is different with songs picked by the group prior to show time. Widespread Panic’s current tour runs through the end of the year with their annual New Year’s Eve show at Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. Find out more about the current tour at: www.widespreadpanic.com or follow them on Facebook® at: www.facebook.com/widespreadpanic.
Live Set List
It Ain’t No Use
True to my Nature
Big Wooly Mammoth
Ain’t Life Grand
Pickin’ Up the Pieces
Shut Up & Drive
I’m Not Alone
Baby, Please Don’t Go