Billy Strings continued his Spring tour on Friday with the last of three fan-less livestream performances. This most recent show took place at ACL Live at The Moody Theater in Austin, TX, and followed two nights of streams from New Orleans’ Tipitina’s earlier this week.
As has been the case throughout the Spring jaunt, Strings has actively included newer material throughout the past six concerts. Friday’s show kicked off with “Secrets”, which he debuted on 2/19/21 during his Deja Vu Experiment run of livestreams from The Capitol Theatre. Strings and his backing band–comprised of bassist Royal Masat, mandolinist Jarrod Walker, and banjoist Billy Failing—caught fire early as the second song of the set, the instrumental “Home of the Red Fox”, emerged as an improvisational highlight of the entire show. Strings updated the Bill Emerson original with some overdrive-laden improvisation before returning to a more traditional environment with “Ole Slew Foot”.
The bluegrass outfit kept the Deja Vu debuts coming with “Morning Light” and “Running The Route”, before settling into Failing’s “So Many Miles”. The traveling tune delivered an idyllic improvisational plane as the band members tossed around the jam prior to debuting a cover of “New San Antonio Rose”. The Texas Playboy‘s own take on Bob Willis‘ instrumental fit into the more traditional side of the program, as set two rolled on with The Stanley Brothers‘ “Nobody’s Love Is Like Mine” followed by Strings’ “Love Like Me”, and a set-closing “Wargasm”.
Billy Strings – “Secrets”, “Home Of The Red Fox”, “Ole Slew Foot” – Austin, TX – 3/26/21
Returning to the stage for set two, Strings and company began with “Dust In A Baggie”. Oftentimes a reliable jam vehicle, this rendition instead quickly gave way to “While I’m Waiting Here” before the instrumental “Pyramind Country” appeared to steal the show. After some spirited improvisation and rapid-fire picking from Strings, the band launched into a raucous cover of Blackfoot‘s “Train Train” before pumping the brakes a bit with Johnny Cash‘s “Big River”.
There was still room for more recent debuts with “Love and Regret” before the band succumbed to “Highway Hypnosis”. A welcome take on Jerry Garcia / Robert Hunter‘s “Bird Song” came next before “Away From The Mire” arrived to serve as the final improvisational highlight and “Long Forgotten Dream” ultimately closed out the show.
Watch a preview of the second set of Billy String’s livestream from ACL Live on Friday. Strings and company return to the stage to perform a socially distant pod concert at The Long Center in Austin on Sunday.
Billy Strings – “Dust In A Baggie”, “While I’m Waiting Here” – Austin, TX – 3/26/21
Setlist: Billy Strings | ACL Live at The Moody Theater | Austin, TX | 3/26/21
Set One: Secrets, Home Of The Red Fox > Ole Slew Foot, Morning Light, Running The Route > So Many Miles, New San Antonio Rose, Nobody’s Love Is Like Mine, Love Like Me, Wargasm
Set Two: Dust In A Baggie, While I’m Waiting Here > Pyramid Country > Train Train, Big River, Love And Regret, Highway Hypnosis, Bird Song, Away From The Mire, Long Forgotten Dream