If you are unfamiliar with Widespread Panic (WSP / Panic) they are a jam band from Athens, GA with a large arsenal of songs and a genre that uses elements of jam band, southern rock, blues rock, jazz fusion, and psychedelia rock. Much like the fans of the Grateful Dead, Panic fans tend to follow the band all over the country during their tours chasing their idea of the perfect set, fans of WSP are known as "spread-heads". This show was my first Panic show and I am not going to lie JB and the Boys spoiled me and brought the heat with Fridays setlist!! They played my favorite song, Diner, as well as others that my friends and I were hoping to hear. I know I would have enjoyed the show not knowing any songs but it just makes it better when they play your favorite jams! The setlist below is from the Friday, August 31st, 2018 show in Nashville, it was their 1st night of a three night concert series.
Want to experience the show for yourself? Click this link PANICSTREAM
Hodge's favorites: Pleas, Space Wrangler, Bear's Gone Fishin', Diner, Surprise Valley, Blue Indian, and Pigeons
2. Ascend Amphitheater
Ascend Amphitheater is located in the heart of Nashville, TN literally 0.3 miles from the main strip on Broadway Street. First reason this is a top takeaway is that we were able to walk to the venue from our hotel which was super convenient. No parking or having to worry about Uber just a nice little walk on Broadway Street and we were there! Next thing that stood out to me was the size of this amphitheater compared to what I am used to. Ascend only holds a maximum of 6,800 which is not a lot compared to my usual venue, Lakewood Amphitheater in ATL, which holds 18,900. I liked how small it was though because there wasn't a bad spot in the lawn! We sat on the left side if you are looking at the stage, this is known as the "Jimmy-side" at Panic shows because its the best view of lead guitarist Jimmy Herring. Definitely recommend this venue to anyone looking to see a show in Nashville!
3. Diner (JB Rap/Ramble)
As I mentioned in the first takeaway WSP played an incredible setlist at the Friday show and on that setlist was one of my favorites, Diner. Diner is a song from the bands 1993 album Everyday. This song has been my favorite for awhile now and was the main song I was wanting to hear before the show! The studio album version is good but it's really the live versions you want... In the live versions Jimmy Herring, or Mikey Houser depending the date of the recording, the lead guitarist has three long and energetic solos that really get you on your feet, but the best part of this song is the middle when the lead singer John Bell (JB) starts "rapping/rambling". All the instruments slow down and faintly play in the background while JB starts muttering and rapping in a way that you almost cant tell what he is saying. It's a really interesting part of the song because the song is energetic and fast paced but the rap is mellow and toned down. You really have to hear it to understand it!
Check out Diner by WSP for yourself on Spotify with the link below!
4. Rooftop Bars
Broadway Street in Nashville, TN reminds me of a cleaner and more country version of Bourbon Street, meaning that its always a party on the strip! There are so many choices of bars to visit and mostly all of them have live music, sometimes multiple bands on different floors of the bar. One thing that I didn't get to experience last time I went because of the cold was the rooftop bars. Living in Carrollton we dont really have a scenic rooftop bar but in Nashville they are everywhere and so much fun. Our favorite was Dierks Bentley's Whisky Row who's rooftop bar was one of the highest in downtown Nashville! It was just really cool to be outside and have a view of the whole strip/city. If the weather is right and the sun is shinning I would 10 time out of 10 recommend taking the hike to the top of the many bars on Boradway!
Photo taken on rooftop of Dierks Bentley's Whisky Row
5. After Party in Downtown Nash-Vegas
This was my first concert in Nashville but I have been to the town a few times before just to go out on the strip. This trip was definitely my favorite because going out after the show was like a big after concert party! Once we left the amphitheater literally it seemed like the whole venue just walked straight to the bars. This is what made it so fun because you would run into somebody that went to the show and then you automatically just started talking Panic and music. Besides the fact that there were a ton of spread-heads out and about Nashville is a great place to go for a weekend and have a good time! There is an over load of live music in this town, every bar has 1-4 stages and mostly all of them have a rooftop bar now! Get to Nashville it's something everybody should do once!
Hodge's favorite Bars: Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row, Jason Aldean's Rooftop Bar & Kitchen, Honky Tonk, Tootsies, and Ole Red!