So far in Season 37 of ACL we’ve pumped your blood with the passionate folk rock of Mumford & Sons and Flogging Molly and twitched your hips with the slinky grooves of Raphael Saadiq and Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears. Now it’s time to blow your minds with the amazing musicianship of Widespread Panic.
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The long-running Athens (that’s Georgia, not Greece) jam band is no stranger to the ACL stage – you’ve seen them on the show twice before. But this performance is different. It was shot during the South By Southwest Music Festival on St. Patrick’s Day – so you know the crowd was in the mood. Plus the band celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, and we’re thrilled they included us in the year-long party.
Like any good band, Panic promotes its recent work, with burning takes on “Saint Ex” and “Dirty Side Down” and a shimmering drift through the ballad “May Your Glass Be Filled.” But the group digs deep into its catalog here, treating y’all to fiery jams on fan faves “Junior,” “Pigeons” and even “Chilly Water” – the first song on their very first album Space Wrangler. Now that’s closing a circle.
As ACL TV head honcho Terry Lickona put it, “This was a night I’ll never forget – Widespread Panic making their debut at SxSW, celebrating their 25th anniversary and the first season in our new ACL home. We all know how wild Panic fans can be, so throw in the fact that it was St. Patrick’s Day and you can only begin to imagine how over the top this show was!”
Want a little taste? Head over to the episode page for performance and interview clips, band info, the set list and the usual batch of cool photos. Then check the listings of your local PBS station to find out when you can get in on the jams.
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Tune in next week for another couple of ACL vets – the brilliant Gillian Welch and the ever-awesome Decemberists. Details coming soon.