Widespread Panic Debuts Dr. John Cover In New Orleans

Widespread Panic paid tribute to hometown hero Dr. John on Saturday by debuting a cover of “Such A Night” during their second of three Halloween weekend shows in New Orleans. The band also dusted off their take on Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves Of London” as part of last night’s action at UNO Lakefront Arena.

“Werewolves Of London,” a song a number of acts including the Grateful Dead would often perform on or around Halloween, got the call to kick off Saturday’s show. Bassist Dave Schools handled lead vocals on Panic’s 11th “Werewolves Of London” of the past 25 years and first since January 29, 2018 — a span of 105 shows.

The final notes of the Warren Zevon cover were followed by drummer Duane Trucks laying down the beat signaling “Henry Parsons Died.” A romp through the beloved fan-favorite came before the pairing of “Big Wooly Mammoth” and “Aunt Avis.” Keyboardist JoJo Hermann then led the group through a well-jammed “Greta.” Next came “Second Skin,” the newest original Panic would play last night. The Earth To America gem co-written by WSP and Jerry Joseph featured a torrent of insane riffs from lead guitarist Jimmy Herring over the course of more than 12 minutes. The six-piece worked through staples “Rebirtha” and “Action Man” to end the set.

“Airplane” took flight to start the second as part of an impressive sequence that also featured covers of Curtis Mayfield’s “Pusherman” and Winston Riley’s “Arleen.” From there, the ballad “Jack” came between otherworldly segments in which Panic fit “Disco” into “Papa’s Home” and “Love Tractor” within “Chilly Water.” A cover of Tom Petty’s “You Wreck Me” then closed last night’s second set.

The band had a three-song encore in store to finish off Saturday’s show. First up was WSP’s beautiful rendition of Talking Heads’ “City Of Dreams.” Then, Hermann fronted “Such A Night,” a Dr. John classic off the New Orleans-bred musician’s 1973 album, In The Right Place. Jojo honored the artist born Malcolm John Rebennack Jr., who passed away in 2019, with a piano stellar solo within “Such A Night.” The six-piece said farewell with “Ain’t Life Grand.”

Widespread Panic caps the Halloween weekend fun in New Orleans tonight. Watch fan-shot video footage of last night’s “Werewolves Of London” and “Such A Night” below:

Setlist (via PanicStream.com)

Set One: Werewolves of London > Henry Parsons Died, Big Wooly Mammoth, Aunt Avis, Greta, Second Skin, Rebirtha > Action Man (73 mins)

Set Two: Airplane > Pusherman > Arleen, Papa’s Home > Disco > Papa’s Home, Jack > Chilly Water > Love Tractor > Chilly Water, You Wreck Me (75 mins)

Encore: City of Dreams, Such A Night, Ain’t Life Grand (18 mins)

Notes:

  • – ‘Werewolves of London’ LTP 1/29/18 Playa (105 shows)
  • – ‘Such A Night’ First time played (Dr. John)