Widespread Panic cut its teeth, like so many of its forebears, on the southern bar circuit, where winning fans and influencing patrons takes a unique combination of musical panache and from-the-gut persistence. John Bell and Michael Houser had spent the better part of five years writing, playing and racking up life experiences as collaborators and friends by the time the fully-coalesced band’s first official show took place in 1986. From there, the Panic spread stealthily but immutably, via disc -- their first full-length, Space Wrangler, followed in 1987 -- and, even more importantly, the constant gigging that shaped them into one of the era’s most extraordinary live bands. Panic separated themselves from the crowd by working both ends of the sonic spectrum -- crafting tightly-wound and memorable songs and using those as jumping off points for improvisations that turn heads and then keep them bobbing.
Posted on January 16, 2013
Peabody Opera House
1400 Market Street St. Louis, MO 63103