John Bell Widespread Panic on Musical Adventures
The following excerpt is from Relix interview with Widespread Panic founder John Bell. We agree with John on his assertion that a certain adventurous lifestyle type gravitates toward similar adventurous music.
Thank You John & WSP for keeping it fresh and adventurous for close to 3 decades now.
Regarding the live setting, Bell says he enjoys seeing movement throughout the crowd. While he’s seen a lot of great concerts, he thinks audience participation is generally a little more cerebral with less movement, like a Leonard Cohen show—maybe the best concert he’s ever seen—or a Van Morrison concert. But it’s different at Panic shows, where there’s “that bodily participation that I see on those rare occasions I look out. Usually, my head’s down,” he laughs.
But Bell thinks that there’s a reason why these particular kinds of fans continue to attend Widespread Panic concerts over and over. “Every generation has a certain type of person or a type of people that gravitate toward an adventurous lifestyle, whether it’s the way they do things in their own lives—you know, mountain climbing, skiing, extreme sports. They like adventure; they like surprises,” he says. “And some folks like to experience their music that way, too. Other folks want to come out and have more of a Vegas mentality, they want to come back to hear the same songs, and the same old jokes and get what they’re expecting.”
I’m Walkin for your love I’m Walkin