Billy Strings ascended the next step of the live music circuit on Friday by making his debut at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY. The latest arena appearance for the bluegrass sensation happened to fall on Veteran’s Day and included some musical allusions to the salute to those who serve our nation.

Greeting the 14,500-capacity arena that once served as the home of the NHL‘s New York Islanders, Strings and his bandmates Billy Failing (banjo), Jarrod Walker (mandolin), Royal Masat (bass), and Alex Hargreaves (fiddle) delivered a 13-song first set. Among the highlights was a contiguous locomotive of improvisation that ran from “Away From The Mire” through “Long Forgotten Dream” into “Living Like An Animal” and finally stopped at Drew Emmitt and Bill Nershi‘s “New Country Blues”. Set one also hosted the second-ever appearance of Darol Anger‘s “Key Signator” before the first apparent allusion to the federal holiday, “Wargasm”, closed the first period.

Billy Strings – “Know It All” > “Little Maggie” (Traditional) [Pro-Shot] – 11/11/22

Lacing up for set two, Billy Strings opened with “Proud Mary” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, a band whose music is a necessity in any montage of the Vietnam War. The song choice could also be interpreted as a reference to the nearby Hudson River. Keeping the Veteran’s Day theme going, Robert Hunter‘s cracks of “Thunder” rang out through the arena as he decried conflict through his corporeal conduit Billy Strings.

The second set also contained its own lumbering segue train, stitching together “Home”, “Spinning”, Black Sabbath‘s “Planet Caravan”, and “Tentacle Dragon”. The second period would ultimately close with the improvisational feat of “Meet Me At The Creek” into J.J. Cale‘s “Ride Me High” back into “Meet Me At The Creek”.

Related: Return Of The Strings: Billy Goes Electric To Finish ‘Away From The Shire’ With Duane Trucks [Videos]

For the encore, Strings and company announced their departure with “Gone A Long Time” before giving a stern reminder to their shaggy-haired fans with “If Your Hair Is Too Long, There’s Sin In Your Heart”.

Billy Strings’ tour continues with a sold-out two-night run at The Met Philadelphia on Saturday and Sunday. For tickets and a full list of dates visit his website. Fans can tune in to his next five shows for free on nugs.

Billy Strings – “Away From The Mire” > “Long Forgotten Dream” > “Living Like An Animal” > “New Country Blues” (Drew Emmitt, Bill Nershi), “Love Like Me”, “Dark Hollow” (Bill Browning), “Key Signator” (Darol Anger), “Wargasm” – 11/11/22

[Video: Half Step]

Billy Strings – “Dark Hollow” (Bill Browning) – 11/11/22

[Video: Matt Frazier]

Billy Strings – “Proud Mary” (Creedence Clearwater Revival) – 11/11/22

[Video: bklynwmn]

Billy Strings – Second Set (After “Proud Mary”) – 11/11/22

[Video: Half Step]

Billy Strings – “My Alice” – 11/11/22

[Video: Matt Frazier]

Billy Strings – “Tentacle Dragon (Revenge Of The)” (Béla Fleck) – 11/11/22

[Video: Matt Frazier]

Billy Strings – “Gone A Long Time” – 11/11/22

[Video: Matt Frazier]

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Billy Strings – Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum – Uniondale, NY – 11/11/22

[Audio: Eric Lugassy]

Setlist: Billy Strings | Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum | Uniondale, NY | 11/11/22

Set One: Know It All > Little Maggie (Traditional), Watch It Fall, Red Daisy, Hellbender, Away From The Mire > Long Forgotten Dream > Living Like An Animal > New Country Blues (Drew Emmitt, Bill Nershi), Love Like Me, Dark Hollow (Bill Browning), Key Signator (Darol Anger), Wargasm

Set Two: Proud Mary (Creedence Clearwater Revival), Thunder (Robert Hunter), This Old World, Secrets, My Alice, Home > Spinning > Planet Caravan (Black Sabbath) > Tentacle Dragon (Revenge Of The) (Béla Fleck), Uncle Pen (Bill Monroe & His Bluegrass Boys), Show Me The Door, Meet Me At The Creek > Ride Me High (J.J. Cale) > Meet Me At The Creek

Encore: Gone A Long Time, If Your Hair Is Too Long, There’s Sin In Your Heart (Bobby Davidson)