Widespread Panic brings in 2019 with shocking return of ‘The Waker’

Widespread Panic closed out their three-day run at Atlanta’s Fabulous Fox Theatre on Monday (Dec. 31) with an emotional performance and the return of “The Waker.”

Recap WSP Atlanta Shows 12/29/18 – 12/31/18

The band kicked off their three-day run at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Ga on Saturday night, with their first ever “Vacation” show-opener.

Covers of the night included Van Morrison’s “Send Your Mind,” Neil Young’s “Walk On,” Warren Zevon’s “Lawyers, Guns, and Money,” JJ Cale’s “Ride Me High,” Traffic’s “Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys,” and an night closer, returning to Neil Young for “Mr. Soul.”

Set-list for 12/29/18

Set One:
Vacation, Send Your Mind, Up All Night, Walk On, Walkin’ (For Your Love), Fishwater > Bear’s Gone Fishin’ > Papa’s Home > Fishwater

Set Two:
Disco, Lawyers Guns & Money, Driving Song > Ride Me High > Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys > Airplane > Drums > Cease Fire > Jam > Driving Song > Contentment Blues

Encore:
Chainsaw City > Mr. Soul

Night two was opened with a slow version of “Porch Song,” (Front Porch) while the Sunday show was concluded with a closing encore of a normal-paced (Back Porch) version.

Setlist for 12/30/18

Set One:
Porch Song > Chunk of Coal, Christmas Katie > Action Man > Christmas Katie > Radio Child, Gradle, Cotton Was King, Big Wooly Mammoth > Love Tractor

Set Two:
Hatfield, Surprise Valley > Tie Your Shoes > Blue Indian, Rebirtha > Jam > Ribs & Whiskey, Sleeping Man, Climb To Safety, Tall Boy

Encore:
Pickin’ Up The Pieces > Proving Ground > Porch Song

The New Year’s Eve show began the first set with a seated John Bell as the band opened up with a stirring rendition of Buffalo Springfield’s, “For What It’s Worth.”

Widespread Panic rang in 2019 with more than balloons, and confetti. Following the celebratory countdown to the New Year, issued by bassist Dave Schools and Tour Manager Steve Lopez, the band returned to stage. Fans stood in awe, with many in tears, as Panic opened up the third set of the night with “The Waker.”

Written by the late co-founding guitarist of Widespread Panic, Mikey Houser, the song has been left untouched by the band following Houser’s last performance of it in 2002 at Red Rocks. 1,083 performances have gone by since fans last heard the song played live, leaving many to believe “The Waker” had been retired forever.

Set One:
For What It’s Worth, Ain’t Life Grand, Genesis, Blight, May Your Glass Be Filled, Space Wrangler

Set Two:
Thought Sausage, Travelin’ Light, Pleas > Good People, Honky Red, I’m Not Alone, Saint Ex, Holden Oversoul

Set Three:
The Waker > Arleen, Pigeons, Greta, I’m So Glad*, Little Lilly, Pilgrims, Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress > Chilly Water

Encore:
End of the Show^, Protein Drink > Bastards In Bubbles > Sewing Machine

Author: Gloria Ruth Finney

Gloria Ruth Finney is a Music Journalist based in Nashville, TN. She uses her experience as a multimedia journalist and on-air reporter to produce creative content by combining her passions for music and news.