Widespread Panic night has finally arrived. In what may be Riverbend’s biggest show in 33 years, “spreadheads” will converge on Ross’s Landing to see their Jam band perform for a 3 hour extravaganza. One of the most popular touring acts in the world, Widespread Panic has sold out Red Rocks 45 straight times, and Phillips Arena for 21 straight shows.
Widespread Panic has a solid Chattanooga connection, too – Original member, the late Michael Houser was from here, as is drummer Todd Nance. Riverbend has tried for many years to secure a WP play, but to no avail. Last fall, a contingent of Riverbend staff visited with their manager in Nashville and got the deal done. Needless to say, this should be a “don’t miss” show. They go on ½ hour early, at 9 p.m. and are expected to play until midnight.
On the Bud Light Stage, Playing on the Planet opens at 5:45 p.m., followed by former Talking Heads keyboardist Bernie Worrell and his Orchestra. A member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Bernie Worrell played with Parliament Funkadelic, as well. If you like to boogie, be at the Bud Light Stage from 7:15 until 9 p.m.
Silent Disco will continue tonight on the Bud Light Stage from 9:30 – 11 p.m.
The VW Stage features local favorites Shark Week and Rokaholix, stating at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. respectively. This will be a great place to settle in for the Widespread show and catch some great original alternative music while waiting for WP.
On the Unum Stage we find two great acts, in Willie Ziavino the C.O.T. Latin Band at 5:45 p.m. and Annie Selleck and the Uptown Big Band at 8 p.m. The C.O.T. band plays Latin flavored Trova Cubana, Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Caribbean Rhythms, Rumba and Brazilian beats with a funk twist.
Voted Best Jazz Singer in Nashville for 5 straight years, Annie Selleck joins Chattanooga’s Uptown Big Band for 2 ½ hours of top shelf high quality music. This is a great place to be if Widespread Panic isn’t your thing.
On the TVFCU Stage under the bridge, The Loop kicks things off at 6:15 p.m. with some British Rock & Roll. Loop spelled backwards is Pool. Bob spelled backwards spells boB.
This year’s big score for Riverbend in the value department is Dan + Shay, a Country Duo with a number 1 album right out of the gate with “Where It All Began”. Their single “19 You + Me” already went Gold and is still climbing. They also received a recent nomination by the Academy of Country Music for Best Vocal Duo. Dan + Shay will be on the TVFCU Stage from 7:45 until 9 p.m. Country music fans – this is a must see.
Local songbird Jennifer Daniels returns to Riverbend, much to the delight of her many fans. Look for Jennifer from 9:15 until 10:30 p.m.
Willie Ziavino & The C.O.T. Latin Band will be the Artist of the Day at Blue Water Grille at noon. The Bend Unplugged will feature Playing on the Planet at the Tennessee Aquarium at 2 p.m.
Opening night at Riverbend brought beautiful weather, great music, and a large crowd. The new wristband system went well and the lines processed quickly. Gary Allan, who had been sick enough to cancel shows earlier in the week, showed up with bells on and sang for nearly 2 hours. The acts on the VW Stage both drew in big crowds, proving that it helps to “program” the night’s music.
The Silent Disco, new to Riverbend for 2014, was a blast to watch. Located at the Bud Light Stage at 9:30 p.m. tonight and tomorrow night, Silent Disco has participants wearing headphones, listening to one of two DJ’s on the stage playing music. The crowd that watches can hear nothing, but the can see the dancers grooving to the “silent” music. Craziest thing I have seen in a while.
Bob’s ‘must see” shows: Rokoholix, Widespread Panic, Dan + Shay
See you there!
Bob Payne grew up in Chattanooga and graduated from Baylor School. He is the Entertainment Editor for the Chattanoogan.com and assistant talent buyer for Friends Of The Festival.
Email Bob Payne at email@example.com or www.facebook.com/davrik2000.
- Photo2 by Goofy