Summer has come and gone, which means all of the summer tours have come to an end. This being said, I was cruising around the interconnect yesterday (that ones for you Rusty) to catch up on the Jam Band circuit and find out what I missed out on this summer and I came across a post on a Phish fan site called week4paug.net. The post is labeled "Guide to being a Widespread Panic fan" and it's amazing.
If you don't know who Widespread Panic is I feel sorry for you because their the best mother [insert expletive here] band in the world. If your a true fan, you'll find this hilarious. True WSP fans reside on a plateau of enlightenment; you probably think you do as well, but chances are you should get your pencil out and take some notes (you know who you are).
Warning: This guide is quite long, deal with it:
"While it is true anyone can be a fan of widespread panic, only the truly unoriginal and most sheep-like of men and women can elevate themselves to the status of super fan or true fan, as it will be referred to through the rest of this little diatribe. There are a number of things that make one a true fan of wsp, none is more important than the rest, the true fan learns to balance all attributes, and exhibit each and everyone when they enter into a discussion about or relating to wsp. The following is a detailed list of things to remember when talking about wsp, if you manage to follow this list then you will surely be considered by all you meet to be a true wsp fan.
1. The terminology:
*acceptable terms for widespread panic: these of course vary by region and time, but any of these is acceptable, The spread, Panic, or the boys . Unacceptable terms: Spread , The panic , WP or WSP the use of letters is restricted solely to writing, writing wsp is okay but saying it is a dead give away that you are either a newbie or a tool
*acceptable terms for wsp concerts, here there is only one option, concerts are shows, any other word is not cool
*band members names: john bell= jb
dave schools = schools
Todd nance = todd
Domingo Ortiz = sunny
John Herman = jojo
George McConnell= Gmac
Michael Houser= Mikey
2. The scene: While panic attracts a hippy scene as a true panic fan it is your duty to hate hippies, try coming up with demeaning terms for them like Wookie, but never take credit for inventing them, because if the term sucks hell you didn’t make it up. Also speak derogatorily of the scene at any and all opportunities, because you aren’t there for the scene, which by the way is getting worse every tour because of all the lot/tour rats and wookies.
3. Drugs: true panic fans do drugs but don’t buy drugs in the lot, because drugs in the lot are bad, you have your own dealer, and you bring your own drugs to the lot, it is important to remember that true fans do drugs, but not so many that they start acting like a hippy and most importantly they don’t do so many drugs that they cant remember what sucked about a show.
4. Beer: it has to be expensive and micro brewed if possible, when talking to other true panic fans remember your favorite beer is fat tire, this is the only great beer out there, it is okay on occasion to say Siera Nevada or sweetwater are your favorites, but if someone else mentions fat tire always nod in agreement that fat tire is in fact superior.
5. Hating Other bands: True panic fans only like panic, but they have to be well versed in other bands so as not to see uninformed, so here is list of bands that suck, and more importantly why they suck, simply use this chart when talking about other bands and people will think wow this guy is pretty smart and definitely a true panic fan
*String Cheese Incident- they are gay, noodle around, and are soft
*Dave Matthews Band- used to be cool, but have since sold out and are now horrible musicians
*moe.- these guys had potential, back when they were on further, now all they do is noodle, always mention that they play a mere 6 songs a set
*Phish- first and foremost mock their lyrics, but then mock ther fans, too many wookies.
6. Liking Other bands; as a true panic fan you must admit to likeing other bands, but only certain bands and they most either be closely related to panic or the dead, or a new band that no one but you has heard of
*Government Mule: schools plays with them
*Phil and Friends- warren plays with them who is in govt mule whom schools plays with, also lesh was in the dead, this makes phil and friends a solid choice for a second favorite band, but if you claim to have second favorite band make sure to clarify that they are no where near as cool as panic
*Grateful Dead- this is an easy one because everyone who likes panic and wants to be a true fan HAS to like the dead
Karl Denson/Dirty Dozen Brass Band/Robert Randolph/Blodkin/Vic Chesnutt/Jerry Joseph- these bands play with panic a lot so you should like them, you must like the first three, and the last to it is okay to dislike, but the dislike cant be as adiment as your dislike for the bands true panic fans hate
7.Gmac- true panic fans can either hate or love Gmac, but they cant be apathetic on this issue, if you hate gmac you have to constantly say that gmac is a b rate player and it should have been Jimmy Hearing or Sam Holt, gmac lovers have to talk about how gmac fits in with the band, and needs time, in either situation you have to honestly believe your opinion towards the band actually matters.
8. Randall Bramblet- true fans are glad he is no longer playing with the band, but always take the time to say how cool it was of him to step up and help the boys out
9. Sources - true fans always have a source close to the band so that they can be the first to start a rumor, even if you don’t have a source pretend like you do and just confirm the rumors other people have said their source told them. Not having a source is as uncool as liking the string cheese incident.
10. What Sucked about a show - this is a tricky topic not to be ventured into by the new true fan, saying a song sucked or a show sucked before anyone else is dangerous, because other true panic fans may disagree, and a show only sucks when a lot of true fans say it does. Saying certain songs sucked is a much easier route, to determine if a song sucks use this simple formula, the first 3 times a song is played it can’t suck because seeing a song played for the first, second, or third time is cool, after that the song sucks until it has been in the rotation for at least 2 years, only exception to this rule is cover songs, that is unless the cover song is on the most recent album. An example ‘Sometimes’, this song sucks, even though it is a cover it sucks because it hasn’t been in the rotation long enough and most importantly it was on the new album. This brings us to the second rule, songs on the newest album suck, and will continue to suck until the next album is put out at which point those songs suck, occasionally a song on the new album wont suck, but it is okay to say it does, such as Big Woolly Mammoth. Third, some songs will always suck due to overplay, such as All Time Low, and One Arm Steve. Songs that were played before 1996 can not suck, because they are old school. If a show contains many songs that suck you may consider the show to suck, but be careful because even one rare original or cover can make a show a classic, also consider the venue, shows at traditional panic venues like oak mountain or UNO Lakefront Arena can not suck.
11. Shows that are Incredible. Saying any show was incredible is also dangerous because it may appear as though you are neither discerning nor cynical . That show was the greatest show I have ever seen should never under any circumstances be said, because great shows are determined by the masses, not by individuals. Again it is safer to stick with songs, so here are some basic rules, all covers are good, Steve Winwood and Warren Zevin covers are AWESOME, and the rarer the cover the better, here it is important to remember that true fans memorize every stat on the everyday companion, and if you don’t know what that is you will never be a true fan, any cover in medium to heavy rotation is good but never great, example ride me high. Original songs can rarely be great unless they have been played over 500 times, example: space wrangler. Overall the true panic knows that only one or two songs per show can be great, so don’t say that more than 2 songs were great.
12. Number of Shows you have seen; Never reveal how many shows you have actually seen unless it is over 100, and if forced to always frame you number in a small time period, for instance, “I have caught 29 panic shows in the last 9 months” while you have only seen 29 shows you saw them in a small window and the person you are talking to may be lead to believe you have seen more than 29 shows.
13. Why you go to shows; for the music, no other reason, if you are there for any other reason you may come off as less than a true fan
14. Show trading/show collection; in order to be a true fan you must posses a huge collection of panic shows, and you must listen to nothing but panic shows, then when talking about panic try to reference as many shows you have on disc as humanly possible
15. Talking to other fans; always assume your panic shlong is bigger until the other person/people prove to you they are also true panic fans, and know that while there can be smaller panic fans than you there can be no bigger fans, just equals because you reside at the top of the plateau of panic fans as a true fans
Follow these steps and you will soon be the envy of every panic fan you know."