by John A. Zara
It's not often that a 20-something gets the chance to play and tour with one of the preeminent jam bands in the country. But that's exactly what happened the day before Widespread Panic was slated to open their fall tour with a two-night run at the N. Charleston Coliseum. The Athens, Ga. jammers announced that Duane Trucks would fill in on drums for Panic's founding member Todd Nance, who would be "taking time off to attend to personal matters."
Trucks is no stranger to the scene. His older brother is slide-guitar wiz Derek Trucks, and his uncle, Butch Trucks, is a founding member of the seminal Southern-rock outfit The Allman Brothers Band. But this was a step up to the big league. All in all, Trucks did a hell of a job holding rock-solid rhythm.
The focus for Friday night leaned heavily on older material, especially in the first set. After the break came back-to-back ZZ Top covers and a double dose of Talking Heads.
Saturday night gave way to another show stacked with old favorites like, "Ribs And Whiskey," "Pigeons," "Hatfield," and "Chilly Water." Some slightly newer tunes came into the fold with the appearance of "Up All Night" and "Shut Up and Drive." Notable covers of "She Caught The Katy" (Taj Mahal), "I Walk On Guilded Splinters" (Dr. John), and "Wish You Were Here" (Pink Floyd) collectively brought the house down. See below for full setlists.
Widespread Panic's fall tour continues through November, and they are set to play Charlotte, N.C. on New Year's Eve.