Photos by Brad Kuntz
For what could have been “one” of the last epic shows at the notorious Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte, North Carolina (which has been home to many great artists over the years ranging from Keller Williams to Bassnectar), a huge crowd packed into the venue with high hopes for what was to come from members of the bands Widespread Panic, Steely Dan, James Taylor and the list goes on; basically a super group from 5 different genres; Rock, Funk, Jazz, Blues and African fused together for an epic jam to remember this Wednesday night.
Not your average Widespread Crew, but a good crew just the same. The show was packed with hopeful heads and heavy hearts for what the night may have in store. Were a few Panic jams in the making? Whatever was to come? With Jimmy on the stage, it was sure to not be a disappointment.
The one…the only…Jimmy Herring gathered with his troops, The Ringers ,who were set up from an awesome version of Kashmire from the opening band Dustin Hofsess.
With a new look for Jimmy, and a new look for the whole band for that matter, they had heads bobbing and bodies moving right from the get go, with a solid start with “African Jam” followed by a bluesy “Pungee.” and “Annick 2.”
After the fourth song ended, and became silent, Wayne Krantz, who seemed to be playing front runner so far explained, “This isn’t my band, I’m just the only person willing to speak into the mic” and picked up his acoustic guitar while also stating he had never played with the likes of Micheal Landau (who had played with James Taylor) or Etienne Mbappe (who has played with Ray Charles) reminding the crowd that this was kind of a “garage like get together jam.”
As the leader of the band had only showed us a miniscule amount of what he had to bring to the table so far, Wayne Krantz brought an awesome acoustic song “The Ringer” to the set which was much to the delight of the fans and the band members.
There was sort of a trade of between Jimmy and Micheal during each song. While one would jam, the other would listen, but when both came together, the magic was made. It was sort of like Jimmy was Santa Clause just waiting for the elves to load the sled, and once they did, he was the one to deliver all the toys. When Jimmy was at his best, the crowd was sure to let him know.
What may have been the most controversial event of the night was when Etienne went into a bass solo and had the speakers cracking( not in a good way) leaving the crowd to wonder is this the bass set up or P.A. system that is at fault? This faulty bass continues for the next two songs and made many fans question the quality of the band.
After the two shaky songs from the shaky speaker, the band erupted with “Peaceful Ride” on into “Sloped” and followed with the most epic, heady, hardcore, blow-your-brains-out song of the night “Lord of the Ringers,” which had the crowd of 500 plus orgazaming for more. The bass was thumpin, the crowd was moving and the notes were bending, however, with the earlier technical difficulties with the P.A. System, we were told by Micheal Landau that “ If we play one more song, the place will explode” which left the crowd with one answer and one answer only;“ Blow this mother f***er UP!” And sooo.. after a delayed encore, that was just what The Ringers did…they Blew The Neighborhood Theatre Up for one last time with “The Little Money Maker.”
1. Africa Jam
3. Annick 2
4. Worried Life Blues
6. The Ringer
10. Peacful ride
12. Lord of the Ringers
ENCOURE: Little Money Maker