In an excercise typical of a healthy combination of rules 1 and 2 following last week's Savannah run, I present you with a list of "Things Widespread Panic fans like."
With at nod to these guys, and, for that matter, these guys too.
1. Destroying their bodies
Whether it's drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, a lack of sleep or, most likely, all of the above, few groups of people are into excess like Panic fans. And no one, NO ONE, is more likely to polish off an organically grown, fully vegan meal with a half gallon of bourbon. Let it be said, though, that Panic fans have good taste, and choose to destroy their internal organs with only the finest bourbons, beers, pills and powders when possible.
2. Making sarcastic remarks
Often about hippies, how they hate hippies or how dirty hippies are. It's ironic, I know.
3. The music of Widespread Panic
They pretend to like other music.
4. Dancing "my ass off"
Typically poorly. See #s 1 and 3.
5. Ridiculous outfits
As I walked out of a show last week there was a guy in a white ape suit playing a guitar and harmonica. On any other day, that might have seemed strange.
Yep. Lots of this guy.
6. T-shirts with clever sayings and/or song lyrics printed on them (men only)
This is not be confused with No. 5, and in fact has far more in common with No. 2. I suppose the female equivalent would be either a homemade dress, or an outfit that allows the girl to blend in with all the hippies wearing homemade dresses, but still look super hot.
7. Forcing other people to listen to their music.
Seriously, what makes someone decide to bring their own drum to a concert?
8. Not paying for things
I'm convinced some Panic fans have two-year community college degrees in the art of grifting.
9. Over-paying for things
This might seem at odds with No. 8, but I assure you it is not. $5 for a bottle of water? I'll have six.
10. Owning ridiculous amounts of technology
That dred-locked hippie might not have a place to stay tonight, but he's got a $3,000 laptop, a digital recorder with dual mike set and a sweet titanium mike stand. He also has an iPhone and a walkie-talkie. Can he sleep on your floor tonight?
11. Washing over you like locusts
Attention concert promoters: You cannot have too many kegs of beer or $5 bottles of water on hand for a Widespread Panic concert. I know you think you can, but you can't.
12. Selling you something
No, I don't want a veggie burrito or your charcoal drawing of "Mickey Hauser." See also: No. 8. By the way, whoever invented grill cheese sandwiches with garlic powder for $1 is a flat-out genius of consumerism.
13. Not being able to find things that are clearly in their pockets
See No. 1.
Joe Cox: Probably a Widespread fan.
14. Noticing coincidences
See No 1.
15. Talking about how awesome shows they attended were
Trust me, unless a member of the band ascended into heaven during the show you're talking about, you might as well be quiet. See also: No. 1.
16. Predicting the next song
This is often followed by an insistence that the band was, in fact, "teasing" that song "just like two nights ago in Orange Beach." See also: Knowing that was a Bloodkin song.
17. Referring to band members as "the boys."
See also: Referring to multiple shows in a row as "runs."
18. Talking about how awesome Eugene, Ore., and the entire state of Colorado are
Athens would also be on this list, except everybody already knows how awesome it is. Even people who've never been there.
Yes, I've heard. Thanks.
19. Being from Tennessee
I have no idea why. Though I once knew a guy who lived in Memphis specifically because it was a convenient place to get to Panic shows from.
20. Text messaging songs as they are played
I don't know why everybody's cousin needs to know what songs are performed at at show they are not attending, but they do. See also: Holding their cell phones up and swaying back an forth during slow Talking Heads covers, posting shaky video of songs to YouTube and having hour-long conversations on internet message boards.
21. Becoming best friends with people they clearly will never see or talk to again
See No. 1.
22. Actually seeing those people at another show, and doing them some kind of favor
See No. 1 and No. 3.
23. Holding grudges
Largely because it gives them ample opportunity to exercise their right to No. 2. I once saw a band review that panned Widespread with more than 4,000 follow-up comments posted to it (I am not making that number up), including someone posting the reviewer's telephone number and address.
p.s. - i made that number up. It was 785.
You know, just for effect.
25. Despite it all, or possibly because of it, not wanting to leave
This town is nuts, my kind of place...
I don't know who this guy is, but the visor and Colorado sky are dead giveaways.