Cloud 9 press
Eric Krasno & Leslie Mendelson Perform Private Set At Panic En La Playa: Full Set Audio
At the end of January, Widespread Panic returned to Riviera Maya, Mexico, to host the eighth edition of the destination festival, Panic En La Playa. Also on hand for the celebratory weekend were Eric Krasno and Leslie Mendelson, both of whom are veterans of the tropical music event and were tapped as part of the 2019 Playa Allstars.
Ahead of the Playa Allstars performance on Monday, January 28, which closed out the festival in full, Leslie Mendelson and Eric Krasno performed a private performance in the suite of an attendee named Jim Shaw. During the intimate showcase, the duo also welcomed two other performers at Panic En La Playa, including vocalist Kalu James of supporting act Kalu and the Electric Joint and multi-instrumentalist Cochemea Gastelum.
With Leslie Mendelson on an acoustic guitar and Eric Krasno on an electric, the pair shared vocal duties as they worked through a cover-heavy setlist. To open the performance, Mendelson offered up two solo songs, The Kinks’ “Waterloo Sunset” and The Rolling Stones’ “Waiting On A Friend,” while settling into the space. For the first song performed as a duo, Krasno joined Mendelson for “Deep Elem Blues,” the traditional number that became a staple of the Grateful Dead repertoire, and a gorgeous rendition of Talking Heads’ “Heaven.” Next, the two musicians shared the lead vocals on “Scarlet Begonias,” ahead of takes on Tom Petty’s “You’re So Bad” and Jimmy Cliff’s “The Harder They Come.”
Midway through the performance, Krasno and Mendelson welcomed their first guest, Cochemea “Cheme” Gastelum. He offered his flute styling on The Shirelles’ “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” and the Grateful Dead’s “Friend Of The Devil” before leaving the duo to perform “Time Is On My Side,” written by Jerry Ragovoy and popularized by The Rolling Stones in 1964. Gastelum returned for an Eric Krasno original, “Please Ya” off the guitarist’s 2016 solo album Blood From A Stone, which was used to expertly segue into yet another classic Dead track, “Sugaree.” To close out the performance, Kalu James, namesake of Kalu And The Electric Joint, appeared for a final rendition of The Band’s “The Weight.”
Set: Waterloo Sunset, *Waiting On A Friend, Deep Elem Blues, Heaven, Scarlet Begonias, You’re So Bad, The Harder They Come, #Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, #Friend Of The Devil, Time Is On My Side, #Please Ya > #Sugaree, @The Weight
* Leslie Solo
# With Cochemea “Cheme” Gastelum On Flute
@ With Kalu James On Vocals