Billy Strings and his band were back in action at The Capitol Theatre on Friday night where the bluegrass guitarist and singer hosted the second performance of his six-night Deja Vu Experiment run at the Port Chester, NY venue.
The six-show livestream residency was devised as an homage to the Grateful Dead‘s famous run of shows at “The Cap” in February 1971—on the exact same six dates that Billy Strings and company will play this month, 50 years later–where the Dead debuted several of their most enduring songs.
Following an opening night on Thursday, Strings and company dove into night two with the live debut of a new original, “Red Daisy”, which was followed by a cover of the Johnny Cash-penned “Big River”, a rockabilly song also covered by the Dead in their live show over the years. The set continued with “Shady Grove”, another traditional folk tune covered by Jerry Garcia‘s solo projects, followed by a cover of Tony Rice‘s “Tipper” in tribute to the late bluegrass guitarist who died late last year.
The first set of the night continued with a Strings original in “Hollow Heart”, followed by a cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Wharf Rat”–which debuted during the Dead’s 2/18/71 show–and another traditional cover of “These Old Blues”. The set closed with another live debut of a Strings original, “Hellbender”.
Watch the opening performances of “Red Daisy” and “Big River” from Friday’s Deja Vu Experiment webcast below.
Billy Strings – “Red Daisy”, “Big River” – 2/19/21
The band returned to open the second set with another live debut of “Secrets”, followed by the first of two Greensky Bluegrass covers of the night with “A Letter to Seymour” from the jamgrass outfit’s 2014 If Sorrows Swim album. The music continued with covers of Jerry Garcia’s “Loser”, Doc Watson‘s “The Train That Carried My Girl From Town”, “Black Mountain Rag”, and Gordon Lightfoot‘s “Cold on the Shoulder”, before Strings returned to his own songbook for a rendition of “Home”, the title track from his 2019 Home LP.
Following another Greensky cover in “Wings for Wheels”, the show came to a close with a take on J.J. Cale‘s “Ride Me High” and one final live debut of a song titled “Know It All”.
Scroll down to check out photos from Friday’s fan-less performance below.
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Setlist: Billy Strings | The Capitol Theatre | Port Chester, NY | 2/19/21
Set One: Red Daisy*, Big River (Johnny Cash cover), Shady Grove (traditional cover), Tipper (Tony Rice cover), Hollow Heart, Wharf Rat (Grateful Dead cover), These Old Blues (traditional cover), Hellbender*
Set Two: Secrets*, A Letter to Seymour (Greensky Bluegrass cover), Loser* (Jerry Garcia cover), The Train That Carried My Girl From Town (Doc Watson cover), Black Mountain Rag (traditional cover), Cold on the Shoulder (Gordon Lightfoot cover), Home, Wings for Wheels (Greensky Bluegrass cover) > Ride Me High (J.J. Cale cover), Know It All*
* Live Debut