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Widespread Panic with Yonder Mountain String Band 

When: Sat., Oct. 1, 7:30 p.m. 2011
In the mid-’80s, while Phish were forming in furry, gentle Vermont, a similar nascent jam-band phenomenon was emerging in the South in the form of Athens, Georgia’s Widespread Panic, who added some Allman Brothers grit to distinguish themselves from Phish’s neo-Grateful Dead approach. And if the Georgia boys never got quite the same level of national exposure as their Yankee scenemates, they rivaled them as catalysts of a growing jam-band circuit.

Over 25 years, the Panic has probably played to as many people as any band of their era, their Memphis stops over the years demonstrating the growth of their audience and the genre they helped form. And so a band that once played at the tiny Antenna club will headline FedExForum this week. Widespread Panic stops at the Forum as part of a 25th anniversary tour that lasts through the fall. They have a couple of dates scheduled for next year, but this is the last full tour the band will undertake before going on an indefinite hiatus. This could be the last chance for Mid-South fans to see a band — long ago an institution — many of them have likely grown up with.

Widespread Panic plays the FedExForum on Saturday, October 1st. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $45. Colorado jam band Yonder Mountain String Band opens.

— Chris Herrington

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