A Milwaukee musical tradition continues this autumn as Widespread Panic returns to the Riverside for three nights – Friday-Sunday, Oct. 21-23 – with an 8 p.m. show each night.
Tickets for the shows go on sale Friday, Aug. 19 at 10 a.m. at The Riverside and Pabst Theater box offices and online here.
The shows began in 2006 and last year, then-Mayor Tom Barrett officially proclaimed Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021 to be “Widespread Panic Day.”
"When we took over the Riverside Theater, Widespread Panic was one of the first artists we booked,” Pabst Theater Group COO Matt Beringer told OnMilwaukee last year. “That first year was just a Saturday night; the show sold out rather quickly, and everybody was really elated.”
The now-30-year-old Athens, Georgia band has received all manner of accolades over the years but two recent ones – the State of Georgia's Senate and House of Representatives passed resolutions honoring the group and it was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame – were especially sweet, according to founding member, vocalist/guitarist John "JB" Bell.
"We acknowledge this is a milestone few groups get to achieve,” Bell said. "It's like Hemingway's ‘Old Man and the Sea.’ Every time we go out there, we learn more tricks, bring that knowledge with us, and then apply it.
“We're way more experienced, focused and to the point, but still willing to stretch out without wandering too much.”
Mo’s Irish Pub, 142 W. Wisconsin Ave., will host after parties on the Friday and Saturday nights of the run, with Dogs in a Pile performing on Saturday at 11:45 p.m. and Tauk playing Saturday at the same time.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.