login | Register

...On the Eve of Widespread Panic's 25th Year Anniversary Shows in Athens, Georgia...

Posted: Feb 09, 2011

A Prelude To The Spectacle: In Athens, Georgia: Widespread Panic’s 25th Anniversary Shows

"Every generation learns to dance,
Across that floor they steal their moments..."
                          --Daniel Hutchens

Yesterday I arrived in Athens, Georgia, for Widespread Panic’s 25th Anniversary shows at The Classic Center on Thursday and Friday. Last night I stayed at the home of Danny & Kristy Hutchens. Danny’s band, Bloodkin, will play the Post Panic show at the fabulous 40-Watt Club tomorrow night. When I mentioned the intensity & significance surrounding these shows, he retorted, “It always gets really crazy when Panic plays in Athens…”

Danny ought to know, considering for the last twenty-five years he served as a friend and collaborator with Widespread Panic. Panic recorded one of his songs on their latest album Dirty Side Down. It’s also Bloodkin’s 25th Anniversary. Last week, Panic’s drummer Todd Nance sat in during the last recording session for Bloodkin's upcoming boxset on a song called “God’s Bar”. In these strange & eerie times, significant changes transpire around everyone--from salesman, farmer, nurse, doctor, school teacher, cop, artist and athlete--like some strange 21st century undercurrent leading us all into the cultural & economic unknown. Small events in our local communities verify these defining shifts of time…

The lead-colored Athens sky reminds change is afoot. Time marches on. These lines are written in a calm before the storm from the remote Hutchens music room. He’s up moving around now after a wicked bout of stomach flu last night. There’s not much time to get this dispatch down before more developments transpire later this evening. I'll check into a downtown hotel room Thursday. Tomorrow, rock & roll mayhem ensues...

Amid discontent concerning ticket scarcity, these hometown Panic shows (and 2011 tour dates) offer fans, locals and friends opportunities to reflect on the Here & Now. The past is gone. A vapor. Memories exist only in the mind if not for songs, stories and photographs. Panic's music contains many memories for many people. Regarding these Athens shows, I must say, I sympathize with the band because they’ve heard endless requests and comments from fans, friends and acquaintances regarding tickets, guest lists and backstage passes. I imagine it’s a little nerve-wracking for them. Yet, I'll wager to say they are very thankful for loyal friends & fans, and in the long run Panic will not fail to deliver musically.

They’ll be on a well-earned hiatus after this tour, so everyone should take stock of the band’s 25-year musical heritage, glories of the past, fleeting moments at hand, loved ones and prepare for Widespread Panic to go away. I even heard a rumor of someone making death threats against members of the band because this person was unsatisfied about not obtaining a ticket for these shows. No one should complain too much. The Classic Center only holds about two thousand people. Honestly, the Panic guest list would be twice that number…

Until tomorrow,

James Calemine


The Six Degrees of Widespread Panic

John Keane Interview (Keane Nominated for a Grammy on Feb 13 for production on Dirty Side Down)

Daniel Hutchens Tribute to Vic Chesnutt

The Sounds of David Barbe

The Six Degrees of the Drive By Truckers





related tags

Mystery and Manners,

Wireless from AT&T


billypanic says...

Great one buddy....see you at the FOX!!

Please login or you can to leave a comment.

If you aren't registered, Register Now to start leaving comments.

Copyright 1998-2018 by Swampland Inc. All rights reserved.