Following the solid first night of music, Widespread Panic returned to Oxon Hill, Maryland—within spitting distance of the nation’s capital—to play their second show of the weekend at MGM National Harbor. The sextet performed a classic show with mostly old school heaters. Boy, were they on one last night, as evident by the face-splitting grins of the band members.For the second consecutive night, Widespread Panic opened with an instrumental that has been played since the band’s earliest days. “The Take Out” led an opening cluster of songs off their debut album Space Wrangler. For the 1125th (or 1126th depending who you ask) time, the band performed in moon-time for another cut from their debut album with the lunar “Porch Song.” A truly one-of-a-kind cover of Bloodkin’s “Can’t Get High” followed, a tune that dates back to ’93. For the third time in four songs, another take from Space Wrangler arrived in the electric form of a warm, farmer’s soul in “Holden Oversoul.” The bouncing cover of David Bromberg’s “Old Neighborhood” was welcomed warmly by the hungry crowd. The cover has been a staple of the band’s catalog since its legendary debut at the 2001 NOLAWEEN run with the help from Col. Bruce Hampton and Karl Denson. After a slight pause, the band lifted off into a soaring “Airplane” complete with lightning maelstroms from Jimmy Herring levitating through “The Take Off Jam”. Keeping the pedal to the floor, Widespread steamrolled into “Rebirtha”, which featured a spirited JoJo Hermann on keys dueling with Herring’s relentless guitar.Dave Schools stepped into the spotlight for a furious rendition of Vic Chesnutt’s “Sleeping Man”, which the band first debuted in ’95. To close the first set, Widespread performed a bad-ass reminder that “Ain’t Life Grand” with John Bell playing his “tiny guitar”. All songs of the first set predate ’95—with exception to “Old Neighborhood” (2001)—and foreshadowed the epic music still ahead.Following a brief setbreak, Widespread Panic came out swinging with a rockin’ “Proving Ground > Impossible > Proving Ground” sandwich. The old classics rolled out one by one with “Picking Up the Pieces”, “Junior”, “Diner”, as each song was given a refined examination. Under the microscope, the music was outstanding, as beat for beat the band built up intensity and was in peak form throughout the entire evening. A majestic “Surprise Valley” was played straight through in all of its glory. The “Drums” was particularly noteworthy with Duane Trucks and Sunny Ortiz exchanging blows to their respective kits. Sunny went on an absolute rampage with Duane matching his fervor. Duane continued at the helm into a whirlwind “Cease Fire”, which marked only the third song to have debuted after ‘95. Returning to their self-titled second album, the boys wrapped up the set with an uplifting performance of “I’m Not Alone” before finding the fuel to close with a scorching-hot “Love Tractor”.The band left the stage, but the audience remained transfixed, eager for the ensuing encores. Widespread Panic did not disappoint. An energetic romp through Jerry Joseph’s “North” mellowed out gracefully into Van Morrison’s “And It Stoned Me”, bringing the second night to a mythical conclusion.The band was on point the first night, but on night two, a rough outline of a setlist with only the coordinates of point A and point B were roughly estimated. The path between was yet to be determined. The artful and synchronous chemistry between the band members was painstakingly obvious as they wove tight but meandering jams into the spaces and transitions from a loosely, built song structure. The setlist kicked it back to the band’s roots. No bells and whistles, just badass rock and roll. The graphic backdrop was abandoned as the band got back to the basics. Their wickedly, delighted faces betrayed their usual stoic professionalism. The enjoyment was reflected from the band to the audience in mutual respect. Tonight, Widespread Panic returns to the MGM National Harbor to wrap their St. Panic’s Day run. Another round, goodpeople?Check out a few photos from Saturday night’s show below courtesy of photographer AJ Genovesi.Head to the band’s website for a full list of upcoming tour dates and ticketing information.Setlist: Widespread Panic | MGM National Harbor | Oxon Hill, MD | 3/16/2019Set One: The Take Out > Porch Song, Can’t Get High, Holden Oversoul, Old Neighborhood, Airplane, Rebirtha > Sleeping Man, Ain’t Life Grand*Set Two: Proving Ground > Impossible > Proving Ground, Pickin’ Up The Pieces, Diner > Junior, Surprise Valley > Drums > Cease Fire > I’m Not Alone, Love TractorEncore: North, And It Stoned MeNotes * w/ JB on tiny guitar“And It Stoned Me” LTP 1/27/18 Playa Seite (40 shows)Widespread Panic | MGM National Harbor | Washington, D.C. | 3/16/2019 | Photos: AJ Genovesi Load remaining images
Caribbean-born actress Parisa Fitz-Henley thrilled TV audiences in the role of American actress Meghan Markle as the Lifetime movie, “Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance,” premiered on Sunday May 13, ahead of the Royal Wedding this Saturday.The Kingston-born Fitz-Henley, 41, lit up the screen as she joined Murray Fraser in chronicling the courtship and love story between Prince Harry and his fiancée.Performance seemed like the real Meghan Feedback from those who watched the TV show was that Fitz-Henley’s performance was so good many assumed it was Markle herself on the screen.The film documents from the moment the couple met after being set up on a blind date by friends, through their initial courtship when they were able to keep their romance under wraps, and ultimately the intense global media attention surrounding their relationship and Meghan’s life as a divorced bi-racial American actress.“Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance” was executive produced by Merideth Finn and Michele Weiss and written by Scarlett Lacey and Terrence Coli. The wedding of the real-life Prince and Markle will occur Saturday at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. The ceremony itself begins at noon UK time or 8 AM ET. ABC News will begin with a special edition of Good Morning America from 5-10 AM ET May 19. GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts and World News Tonight’s David Muir will lead the live coverage from Windsor. Dad cannot attend wedding Markle’s dad, Thomas Markle, told TMZ that he will not attend the royal wedding and walk his daughter down the aisle following the controversy about his staged paparazzi photos. He also told the site that he suffered a heart attack six days ago but checked himself out of the hospital to attend the nuptials. However, “he’s now decided not to go because he doesn’t want to embarrass the Royal Family or his daughter.”Presiding Episcopal Bishop Michal Curry will join The Dean of Windsor, The Rt. Revd. David Conner, who will conduct the Service. The Most Revd. and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, will officiate as the couple make their marriage vows.