On Thursday night, Billy Strings hit Brooklyn Bowl Nashville for a live-streamed concert to kick off his virtual Streaming Strings Tour of Nashville venues. The show was streamed via FANS, which usually inserts clips of listeners dancing in their homes into the stream. For this special broadcast, however, the “be in the stream” clips were projected onto the screens above the venue’s bowling lanes rather than inserted into the stream feed, allowing Billy and company to look out at their virtual “audience” as they played.
After a first set comprised of a mix of originals, classic bluegrass tunes, and a cover of the Grateful Dead‘s “China Doll” for good measure, the quartet—comprised of Billy Strings on guitar, Billy Failing on banjo, Royal Masat on bass, and Jarrod Walker on mandolin—opened set two with a ripping run through “Dust In A Baggie”. “Pyramid Country” followed before flowing seamlessly into an ominous cover of J.J. Cale‘s “Ride Me High”. Between songs, Billy made note of the viewers dancing on the screens and the beauty of the newly-launched but still-empty venue, which he said he hoped to play “filled with sweaty hippies” on the next go-around.
After a rendition of Home track “Must Be Seven”, Strings addressed the “moment you’ve all been waiting for” before welcoming special guest Marcus King to the stage. King, who usually performs on electric guitar, grabbed an acoustic for his two-song sit-in to get into the bluegrass spirit of the performance. While best known for his fiery electric leads, King showed off some impressive bluegrass picking chops as he backed the band on a performance of George and Ira Gershwin‘s “Summertime” in the dual-acoustic style of Doc Watson and David Grisman while Billy sang lead. Next, Billy threw it over to King for “a song his grandfather always used to play,” blues standard “Big Boss Man”, on which King sang lead. With time for a couple more after Marcus King took his bow, Billy and company closed out the show with runs through “Ernest T. Grass” and “Little Maggie”.
Watch the show’s first two songs below and scroll down to check out a gallery of photos from the performance via photographer Jesse Faatz.
Billy Strings – “Watch It Fall”, “Slow Train” – Brooklyn Bowl Nashville (Streaming Strings Tour) – 7/16/20
[Video: Billy Strings]
The Billy Strings Streaming Strings Tour continues tonight, Friday, July 17th, with the tour’s second and final show at Brooklyn Bowl Nashville. In addition to Brooklyn Bowl, the tour will see Billy and company play at such legendary venues as Station Inn, City Winery, Exit/In, and 3rd & Lindsley through next Saturday, July 26th. The shows will be streamed on a rotating schedule via FANS, Station Inn TV, Nugs TV, and TourGigs. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds will be equally divided and donated to the ACLU, Backline, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. To order your pay-per-view stream for tonight’s show and the rest of the Streaming Strings virtual tour, head here.
Of note, Billy Strings will also join Marcus King on Monday night for his second Four of a Kind livestream from Nashville. For more information, head here.
Setlist: Billy Strings w/ Marcus King | Brooklyn Bowl Nashville | Streaming Strings Tour N1 | 7/16/20
Set One: Watch It Fall, Slow Train, While I’m Waiting Here, Doin’ My Time, I’m Goin’ Fishing, China Doll > So Many Miles > Dealing Despair, Enough To Leave, Away From The Mire
Set Two: Dust In A Baggie, Pyramid Country > Ride Me High, Must Be Seven, Summertime*, Big Boss Man^, Ernest T. Grass > Little Maggie
*w/ Marcus King on guitar
^w/ Marcus King on guitar and vocals