Widespread Panic Plays Full Set Of Bloodkin Songs For The Late Daniel Hutchens In Red Rocks Finale [Videos]
After two incredible musical evenings on Friday and Saturday, Generalized panic returned to Morrison, CO on Sunday for the final show of the race, the 63rd consecutive group sold out Red rocks show off as a headlining act. As many expected, the band paid tribute to a recently fallen Athens rocker friend and colleague, Daniel Hutchens, with a first full set of Bloodkin covers, from seldom-played gems to songs that have become Widespread Panic staples over the years.
Related: In Memoriam: Daniel Hutchens, Co-Founder Of Beloved Athens Band Bloodkin, Dies At 56
John bell stepped out with his red beanie upside down, as ominous as the storm on the horizon, before kicking off the Red Rocks finale with “Can’t Get High,” which has been a staple in the band’s catalog since its debut in live in 1993. The first surprise came early with a “Wet Trombone Blues” adapted to the weather. WSP has only played this Bloodkin tune four times before, and hasn’t dusted it off since 7/6/2016, a gap of 383 shows.
As the Denver skies offered their first signs of precipitation, JB sang Hutchens’ lyrics, “The rain has been found to move / Wherever your hat hangs / Good luck I think you’re going to need it / When you are caught off guard in the storm.
Two more commonly played covers followed with an ethereal “Henry Parsons Died” preceding the rhetoric “Who Do You Belong To?” (“Clearly not yourself!”) Before JB was captivated by “Quarter Tank of Gasoline”. The band barely functioned on vapors and hard punching punches compressed into every syllable of Hutchens’ poetic and heavy lyrics.
The spread continued to frisk Hutchens and his partner Bloodkin Eric Carterrepertoire, both new and old, and debuted in Bloodkin’s 2021 release “Trashy,” Black market tango. The track was one of a handful recorded in one take by Danny, Eric and their supporting cast for the new record. Before presenting the song, JB said the obvious: “If you haven’t noticed, we’re paying tribute to our brothers Danny and Eric tonight. Brothers, Bloodkin.
JB changed the lyrics to the familiar tune “Makes Sense to Me” with the lyrics “I’d rather have love than a gun! Continuing to amaze, the Panics followed up with a second debut of the night in “Mercy Train to Bogart”, the last track from Bloodkin’s 1996 album, Vine. Jimmy herring donned the conductor’s hat to take that train past Bogart, through Busan, before exiting the tracks and into a black hole of spiraling scales and multidimensional guitar riffs.
To complete the first set, Panic delivered a pair of “Success Yourself” and “End of the Show”, two of the last three songs from Bloodkin’s 1994 release, A lucky charm. “Success Yourself” hasn’t appeared on a WSP setlist since 07/06/2013, the same show as the last “Wet Trombone”. JB took out his mandolin for this heavy-hearted “End of the Show”, which closed the first set for the first time. Before leaving the stage, JB returned to the microphone for a last grateful goodbye: “Thanks, Bloodkin. Thanks, Mr. Danny!
Throughout the emotional tribute set there were some heartbreaking moments that softened even the most stoic of hearts. Daniel Hutchens’ brutally honest lyrics blend a clever blend of self-deprecating reality with lofty romantic ideals (“We suck but we are real”). Like dreaming of the stars lying in the gutter or finding pure happiness while drenched to the bone at a WSP show, Hutchens’ lyrics capture the struggles of everyday life, the highest of peaks and feeling down and dirty rock-bottom that he explored with grace and humility. Daniel Hutchens was a supreme lyricist, and his charisma and talents will be missed. So thank you, Mr. Danny. Thank you.
The group resumed their war path of gratuitous destruction upon the return of the set break, channeling Hell’s fury and Heaven’s form with an absolutely raging second set. To kick off this second series of grills, Panic performed a punchy “Postcard”, a tune inspired by band fan and friend Thomas “Bear” Guenther. Duane Trucks, Sonny ortiz, and JB’s slide guitar led the band through a hard-hitting “Rock” before an uplifting “Pleas” took the audience to the Sunday Service at Red Rocks Church, Reverend Jimmy Herring scattering the clouds Of rain remaining with its sacred guitar riffs.
The music stream turned into a monster version of Murray McLauchlan‘s “Honky Red” before Dave Schools passed the vanguard to lead the charge across the River Styx and across Vic Chesnutt‘s “Protein drink> Sewing machine”. When Schools broke down the gates of Hell, Jimmy Herring was already standing there, half-solo, throwing fistfuls of fire in all directions.
After a slight break to cool off, the steady roll of Duane Trucks’ drums introduced a satisfying “Diner”. Last night’s performance featured a colorful JB rap he couldn’t sleep in, but luckily the restaurant opened early (“at 4:48”). He then put music on the jukebox while drinking his coffee and bowed his head just to “lie there, before the respectable people arrive.” (“Holy place appears in the funniest places”). A scorching jam slowed down and turned into a dreamlike “Jamais Vu” before the group took their final break of the second set.
For the creme de la creme, Panic whipped up a 29-minute “Plane> Red Hot Mama> Fishwater” segment that took off> descended> and ultimately left an audience “locked in too long” wanting “Mo ‘, mo’, me !!” “Red Hot Mama” and “Fishwater” featured sizzling call and response sections with Jimmy Herring’s gold PRS guitar pieces with schools. Later in “Fishwater,” Trucks and Sonny clashed over their respective drum kits before Schools and JB exchanged a heated vocal conversation. When the group walked away after the second set, the stage was still smoking and all the falling precipitation instantly evaporated. Most fans would gladly have paid for that last half hour of non-stop jamming.
Back for the recalls, JB joked, “Thanks for bringing us back to health, you weekend Red Rocksians.” To start the recall of three songs, Jojo hermannThe tinkling piano led the band through the beloved ‘Blue Indian’. The sound echoed across the dark mountain sky and echoed between the two massive rock columns as the audience embodied the living testimony of the lyrics, “We have a party going on! / Lots of strong minds!
By keeping the good vibrations to the maximum, WSP played Skip James‘”I’m so happy” for the tenth time only. The song debuted in 2003, but was shelved until Colonel Bruce Hamptonpassed away in 2017 (Hampton, a longtime WSP mentor, incorporated the tune into his number many years ago). To round off 2021’s festive return to live music at Red Rocks, Panics performed a bouncy “Love Tractor”.
If you missed the WSP at Red Rocks, don’t worry, there’s a full schedule on the horizon. A total of 33 shows are on hold for 2021, which is already shaping up to be a legendary year. Next up for Panic is the dedication ceremony for the Riverfront Park Amphitheater in Wilmington, North Carolina, July 16-18. For the full list of shows, click here. Until next time friends, be well. Hope to see you in NC!
Check out the setlist for Widespread Panic’s third and final night at Red Rocks as well as a selection of photos and videos from the show.
Widespread Panic – Red Rocks – Set One preview – 6/27/21
Widespread Panic – Red Rocks – Set One preview – 6/27/21
Generalized panic – Red Rocks – “Blue Indian” (partial) – 06/27/21
[Video: Mic Lipp]
Setlist [via PanicStream]: Generalized panic | Red rocks | Morrison, CO | 06/27/21
Series 1: I Can’t Get High, Wet Trombone Blues, Henry Parsons Passed Away, Who Do You Belong To?, A Quarter Tank Of Gas, Trash, It Makes Sense To Me, Mercy Train To Bogart, Succeed -same, End of show * (63 minutes, all songs from Bloodkin)
Second series: Postcard, Rock, Pleas> Honky Red (Murray McLauchlan), Protein drink / Sewing machine (raw.), Diner> Jamais Vu (The world has changed), Plane> Red Hot Mama (Funkadelic)> Fishwater ( 98 min)
Again: Blue Indian, I’m So Glad (Skip James)> Love Tractor (18 minutes)
Notes * with JB on the mandolin
– ‘Wet Trombone Blues’ LTP 7/06/2013 Grand Targhee (383 shows)
– ‘Quarter Tank of Gasoline’ LTP 10/19/2018 Milwaukee (66 shows)
– ‘Trashy’ played for the first time (Bloodkin)
– ‘Mercy Train To Bogart’ performed for the first time (Bloodkin)
– ‘Success Yourself’ LTP 7/06/2013 Grand Targhee (383 shows)
– ‘Jamais Vu’ LTP 10/19/2018 Milwaukee (66 shows)
– The first time ‘End of the Show’ closed the 1st set
– All original Bloodkin 1st set
– Full show with Edie Jackson, ASL performer