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Widespread Panic Welcomes Ivan Neville At Panic En La Playa

JAMBASE - January 26, 2019

Widespread Panic kicked off the eighth installment of Panic En La Playa on Friday at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, Mexico. The Southern-jam titans welcomed Ivan Neville for a pair of songs during their open set and delivered a memorable jam-heavy closing stanza for their first of four headlining shows at the destination festival.

For their first performance of 2019, the six-piece act nodded to their beach locale by opening things up with “Coconut.” JoJo Hermann stepped up to sing lead next on “One Arm Steve.” “You Should Be Glad” was used as a springboard for their first segue-filled run of the night. The track from their 2006 release From Earth To America worked its way into setlist staple “Junior.” Neville emerged next fronting the ensemble and on Curtis Mayfield’s “Pusherman” from the Super Fly soundtrack. The keyboardist stuck around as they wound their way back into “You Should Be Glad” to cap off the stretch. The back half of the set was highlighted by the pairing “Diner” and “Stop Breakin’ Down” Blues” along with a rowdy “Imitation Leather Shoes.”

After a set-opening take on “1×1,” Widespread Panic looked to “Worry” as the catalyst to a non-stop jam-heavy stanza. Last night marked just the fifth take on the tune since 2016. Setlist staples in the form of the Vic Chesnutt-penned “Aunt Avis” and “Driving Song” followed. The sextet reached for the rarity “Impossible” next as it transitioned into a jam on “The Other One.” “Rock” eventually emerged out of the Grateful Dead tune. A return back to “Driving Song,” the traditional blues song “One Kind Favor” and “All Time Low” brought the segue-filled set to end. John Bell & Co. offered up a two-song encore of “Ophelia” by The Band and “North” to bring their first of four shows at Panic En La Playa to a close.