Billy Strings returned stateside for a three-night run at Waterfront Park in Louisville, KY over the weekend. This came as Strings returned from his Hawaiin work-cation to take part in the special Billy & The Kids livestreams with Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann earlier this month. The Louisville shows also marked Strings’ first concerts since his three-night run at Mobile, AL’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium April 9th–11th.

Though Strings hadn’t taken the stage with Billy FailingRoyal Masat, and Jarrod Walker in six weeks, they appeared in fine form to kick off the series on Friday. Strings made the crowd feel right at home with the show-opening “Eight More Miles To Louisville”. Kentucky-centric music was an ongoing theme of the evening, which also saw renditions of “New Rose of Old Kentucky” as well as the “Kentucky Girl” encore.

Saturday saw a more conventional program that featured a new song, “Thunder”, containing lyrics written by Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, as well as a first set “Black Clouds” and “Wargasm” one-two punch. The highlights came in the second set, however, as Strings and company fired up the “Pyramid Country” train that just would not stop as it passed through “Ride Me High”, “While I’m Waiting Here”, a relevant “Banks Of The Ohio”, and finally back into “While I’m Waiting Here” for the first break of the set.

During the closing show on Sunday, the bluegrass ensemble welcomed up Trevor Shepich, a guitarist Strings had noticed in the audience the first two nights.

“I’ve been seeing Trevor around the scene for a bit now, picking all over the place. He’s a great player,” Strings said, per JamBase. “I saw him out here in the crowd the last two nights and figured let’s jam.”

The designated hitter joined the band on renditions of Phish‘s “Back On The Train” and the Grateful Dead’s “Bird Song”, both of which featured fierce back-and-forth playing from Strings and Shepich before the latter departed and the set closed with “Know It All”. In the proverbial bottom of the seventh that is the second set on the final night, Strings had a welcome treat in store as he fired off the opening chords to “Help On The Way”.

Strings would go on to perform the full “Help On The Way” > “Slipknot!” > “Franklin’s Tower” suite from Blues For Allah, but not before fitting in a birthday tribute to Bob Dylan—who would turn 80 the following day—with “Tangled Up In Blue” fitting in between “Help” and “Slipknot!”. For the encore, the band chose the relevant Tom Petty song “Time To Move On”, followed by “Little Maggie” to bring the three-night affair to a close.

Scroll down to check out a number of fan-shot videos from Billy Strings’ three-night run at Waterfront Park. As well as some photos from photographer Jesse Faatz as well as full-show audio of Friday’s concert courtesy of taper DavidPuddy.

Billy Strings – “Lumpy, Beanpole & Dirt” (Bad Livers) – Louisville, KY – 5/21/21

[Video: Music City Maven]

Billy Strings – “Hide & Seek” – Louisville, KY – 5/21/21

[Video: Josh Haims]

Billy Strings – “Thunder” (Robert Hunter) – Louisville, KY – 5/22/21

[Video: Music City Maven]

Billy Strings – “Ride Me High” (J.J. Cale) – Louisville, KY – 5/22/21

[Video: Music City Maven]

Billy Strings – “Slow Train” – Louisville, KY – 5/23/21

[Video: Music City Maven]

Billy Strings, Trevor Shepich – “Back On The Train” (Phish) – Louisville, KY – 5/23/21

[Video: Ohio Grown]

Billy Strings, Trevor Shepich – “Bird Song” (Grateful Dead) – Louisville, KY – 5/23/21

[Video: Music City Maven]

Billy Strings – “Help On The Way” (Grateful Dead) > “Tangled Up In Blue” (Bob Dylan) > “Slipknot!” (Grateful Dead)– Louisville, KY – 5/23/21

[Video: Music City Maven]

Billy Strings – “All Fall Down” (John Hartford) > “Franklin’s Tower” (Grateful Dead) – Louisville, KY – 5/23/21

Billy Strings – “Time To Move On” (Tom Petty) – Louisville, KY – 5/23/21

[Video: Music City Maven]

Billy Strings – “Little Maggie” – Louisville, KY – 5/23/21

View Videos

Billy Strings – Waterfront Park – Louisville, KY – 5/21/21 – Full-Show Audio

Setlist: Billy Strings | Waterfront Park | Louisville, KY | 5/21/21

Set One: Eight More Miles To Louisville, Dust In A Baggie > Tipper > Red Rocking Chair > The Heart Of Mine, Dealing Despair > Running On Empty > Dealing Despair, Show Me The Door > Show Me The Door, Must Be Seven > Bronzeback, Am I Born To Die

Set Two: Sophronie, Watch It Fall, Home Of The Red Fox > New Rose Of Old Kentucky, Fire Line, Lumpy, Beanpole And Dirt, Everything’s The Same, Hide & Seek

Encore: Kentucky Girl

Setlist: Billy Strings | Waterfront Park | Louisville, KY | 5/22/21

Set One: Red Daisy, Like Of Me, Thunder, Taking Water > End Of The Rainbow, Hellbender, Black Clouds, Wargasm, Leaders

Set Two: Pyramid Country > Ride Me High > While I’m Waiting Here > Banks Of The Ohio > While I’m Waiting Here, Down In The Hollow, Away From The Mire, Big River

Encore: Long Forgotten Dream

Setlist: Billy Strings | Waterfront Park | Louisville, KY | 5/23/21

Set One: Fire On My Tongue, Morning Light, Slow Train, This Old World, Thirst Mutilator > I Know You’re Married, Doin’ My Time, Back On The Train [1], Bird Song [1], Know It All

Set Two: Secrets, Running The Route > Running, Help On The Way > Tangled Up In Blue > Slipknot! > All Fall Down > Franklin’s Tower, Meet Me At The Creek

Encore: Time To Move On, Little Maggie

[1] w/ Trevor Shepich