Sweetwater 420 Fest Day 2- Atlanta, GA

Dopapod sweetwater 420 fest

Day two had the most bands I wanted to see. Luckily there wasn’t a major overlap. Anders Osborne, Trombone Shorty, Dopapod, and Jackie Greene all played in close succession and nearby. I was able to see all of Dopapod and segments of the rest. In the evening, I even stayed for 2/3 of Widespread Panic before leaving to beat the rain. This was the most Widespread I’ve heard. More on them in a bit.

The takeaway from the day was time with friends. Shopping the familiar vendors, eating from new food trucks, and catching up on a deeper level. Together we found a way to get me into the “honey hole” which is a quasi-VIP area next to the stage. We watched all of Dopapod together before I had to get food. I’m sorry I didn’t get to hear more from the other acts on my list but I thoroughly enjoyed the weather, especially knowing it would rain tomorrow.

sweetwater 420 festival day 2 lineup
Widespread Panic. They’ve been around since the mid-1980s and this was their territory. They got their start in Athens Georgia but have toured extensively since. Currently, they hold the record for most sold-out shows at Red Rocks. Their fans are intense and passionate about the band, almost as passionate as those who don’t like them. As for their sound, picture a cross between Conway Twitty and Quicksilver Messenger Service. That’s the best I can come up with. I have seen them a few times but never with focus or for too long. Tonight was fine but it made for an interesting insight.

Watching die hard fans freak at the first few notes of songs that I have no emotional connection to was interesting. I know I’ve jumped with excitement at shows and to do so along with the entire crowd is great. To watch it happen is strange. It reminded me of a Dead & Company show last year at Citi Field. I was standing at the end of an aisle and was asked to sit down by some woman who looked like she was already having a bad day. Her boyfriend was doing his best to contain his dancing to his seat. She did stand for Casey Jones (or was it Uncle John’s Band?) If she was a Greyhead who only listened to Skeletons in the Closet, she was going to have a very different night than most.

While I may not see Panic in their own gig, I will ensure I stay respectful of each person’s preferences and experiences. If you’re a huge Panic fan, I’d love to hear what other bands you do and don’t like. That’s what friends do and that was the takeaway from today.



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Comments (2)

  • George Eckenroth 3 years ago Reply

    I have always been ambivalent toward Panic. If they are playing at a feastival, I will listen and enjoy but I will never go out of my way to see them. Kinda like eating mediocre pizza. Not my favorite, I know locals may love it and rave about it but hey, it’s still pizza. Even bad pizza is better than top 40 pizza.

    aemandee 3 years ago Reply

    That’s a good attitude. I do the same. I wouldn’t buy a ticket but I danced a bit.

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