This Monday night at 8 pm Widespread Panic will be rolling through our area on their massive 25th anniversary tour. We’ll see what kind of energy the band brings coming off two nights at the fabulous Fox Theatre in Oakland, but one things for sure, if you like loud, textured, ripping rock and roll music, you’ll be stoked to catch this show.
Panic is the type of music that’s very much an acquired taste. At this point in their career they are a core act in the jamband scene, yet they continue to be a group that people either love or hate. Some people that enjoy improvisational jam music can’t stand Panic. They don’t like the southern influence, the lead singer’s voice (John Bell), and think the tunes all sound the same. On the flip side Panic has been killing it for 25+ years, has sold out Red Rocks in Colorado more times than any other band in this history of the famed venue, and has many fans willing to travel across the country to see them.
Music, like skiing, is a matter of taste and perspective. There’s always going to be people just happy to have a tight band playing in their area that throws down a show rad enough to get people dancing, hard. But there’s always gonna be haters too. From my perspective I’ve been seeing Panic since 1998, and through the evolution of the band (current guitar hero Jimmy Herring is the third guitarist since founding member Mikey “Panic” Houser passed) all I can say is if you’ve never seen them and you have an inclination to go, you’re gonna be “havin’ a good time”, for sure.
I’ve seen Panic in small venues on the east coast and in the south. I’ve caught them in Telluride, Red Rocks, MSG, Vegas, and even done New Years with them in Atlanta, GA and Denver, CO. More often than not they play to larger crowds, but seeing them at The Grand Sierra is a real treat. An intimate venue, with good sound, the rowdy Tahoe crowd always seems to keep the boys playing to the audience whenever they gig in the Reno/Tahoe area.
Tickets are still available, and if you you’re not into making this show, you should still give the Grand Sierra’s show calendar a look as there’s a bunch of diverse acts coming through in the next several weeks, and there’s no better time to let loose and rage some good tunes than the present.