I'm trying to decide how to review this weekend and it's hard to even know where to begin. It's funny that the first thoughts that come to my mind for a review of this weekend have nothing to do with setlists. The highlight of this weekend was the friendships I made with people that love the Panic and are active in their recovery. The bond that's created by this whole sobriety thing is almost freakish. Michelle said at the setbreak meeting Saturday night that she was now addicted to going to shows sober. I believe that would sum up my thoughts on the issue.
There was, however, some kick ass music played this weekend. I'm not into some critical review evaluating individual performances and all that, but I can tell you about my own experience. The first night getting into the shows really sucked. I had to practice patience while standing outside waiting to get into the venue. It was good to be with other sober fans, but at this point we had really just met. It was a little uneasy and I was pretty pissed off to come walking into the venue at the tail-end of Cream Puff. I settled into my groove for the rest of the second set, but the meeting at setbreak was much needed.
The meeting introduced us all to each other and I'd say there was about ten of us in all. It was great to match some faces with names and see recovery in action at a Panic show. Incidentally, Robert Randolph was tearing it up pretty good which forced us behind a concession stand of some kind to get out of the loudness. This would become base camp for the meetings the next two nights.
The second set is when things started really heating up for the Panic. Bowlegged opener is always a sign of some sickness right around the corner. It climaxed for me during the Me & The Devil when the spotlight was on Mikey. I could barely hear a note he was playing due to the crowd going absolutely ape-shit. This would be a theme that carried on throughout the weekend. I know that the crowd ....(cont. next page)