Billy Strings and company kicked off their first tour of Europe last night at Rockefeller Music Hall in Oslo, Norway.
After playing his first-ever run of shows across the pond in the U.K. earlier this year, Strings arrived in Europe with a slightly different lineup than he brought before, having introduced fiddler Alex Hargreaves to the band in July. Along with Billy Failing (banjo), Jarrod Walker (mandolin), and Royal Masat (bass), Strings and Hargreaves delivered a double dose of American bluegrass to the Scandinavian crowd.
Of the 32 songs the band played, nearly half were drawn from its latest album, Renewal, including the show-opening “Red Daisy”. A continuous sequence of Jerry Reed‘s “Likes Of Me”, “Pyramid Country”, and “Must Be Seven” came next, followed by a taste of home with “Heartbeat Of America”. After runs through three more originals—”In The Morning Light”, “Hellbender”, and “Everything’s The Same”—the band turned to its extensive catalog of covers, pulling out the traditional “The Old Mountaineer”, Larry Sparks‘ “John Deere Tractor”, which Billy dedicated to his mom and dad overseas, and The Stanley Brothers‘ “Nobody’s Love Is Like Mine” with Jarrod Walker on lead vocals. Fan favorites “Dust In A Baggie” and “Away From The Mire” concluded the first set.
Set two began with another Renewal track, “The Fire On My Tongue”, followed by a cover of Johnny Horton‘s “Ole Slewfoot”. “Wargasm” and “Love & Regret” gave way to Frank Wakefield’s “End Of The Rainbow”, which flowed seamlessly into “Taking Water”. Then, after runs through “Know It All”, “On The Line”, and the traditional “Train 45”, the quintet gathered around a single microphone for intimate renditions of “Freedom”, the debut of the traditional spiritual “Standing In The Need Of Prayer”, “If Your Hair’s Too Long (There’s Sin In Your Heart)”, and “Rank Stranger” by Albert E. Brumley.
The band returned to its normal five-across format for the rest of the set, which included a second and third train-themed song—”Slow Train” by Leroy Drumm and Cal Freeman and the traditional “The Train That Carried My Girl From Town”—as well as “This Old World”, Leslie Keith’s “Black Mountain Rag”, and crowd favorite “Hide & Seek”, which included a geographically appropriate “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” tag. For the encore, the band selected the traditional “John Hardy”.
Check out fan-shot videos and photos from photographer Jesse Faatz below.
Billy Strings’s European tour continues tonight, Wednesday, November 30th at VEGA in København V, Denmark. For a full list of tour dates and tickets, visit Billy’s website.
Billy Strings – “Freedom” – 11/29/22
[Video: Tord Jacobsson]
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Setlist [via Billy Base]: Billy Strings – Rockefeller Music Hall – Oslo, Norway – 11/29/22
Set 1 : Red Daisy, Likes Of Me (Jerry Reed) > Pyramid Country > Must Be Seven, Heartbeat Of America, In The Morning Light, Hellbender, Everything’s The Same, The Old Mountaineer (Traditional), John Deere Tractor (Larry Sparks) , Nobody’s Love Is Like Mine (The Stanley Brothers) , Dust In A Baggie, Away From The Mire
Set 2: The Fire On My Tongue > Ole Slewfoot (Johnny Horton), Wargasm, Love & Regret, End Of The Rainbow (Frank Wakefield) > Taking Water, Know It All, On The Line > Train 45 (Traditional), Freedom , Standing In The Need Of Prayer  , If Your Hair Is Too Long, There’s Sin In Your Heart (Traditional) , Rank Stranger (Albert E. Brumley) , Slow Train (Leroy Drumm, Cal Freeman), This Old World, The Train That Carried My Girl From Town (Traditional) > Black Mountain Rag (Leslie Keith), Hide & Seek 
Encore: John Hardy (Traditional)
1. Dedicated to Billy’s Mom and Dad overseas.
2. Jarrod Walker lead vocals
3. Single mic
4. FTP- Traditional
5. “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” by The Beatles tag