Billy Strings and his band have to be feelin’ good going into Monday after the fast-rising bluegrass guitarist welcomed his Colorado fans for a sold-out, three-night run at Denver’s Ogden Theatre over the weekend. Following a cover-heavy opening night at the Ogden on Friday, the weekend run continued on Saturday and Sunday with two top-notch performances with more excellent covers and even a live debut.
Saturday’s show kicked off with a handful of originals from his 2019 Home LP beginning with “Taking Water” and “Hollow Heart”, and continued with “Tipper” and “While I’m Waiting Here”. The first set continued with more covers with the band’s takes on John Hartford‘s “I’m Still Here”, The Monkees‘ “Last Train to Clarksville”, and The Stanley Brothers‘ “Nobody’s Love Is Like Mine”. Following a performance of a Strings’ original in “Running”, Billy and his band kept the “Running” momentum going into the break with a set-closing cover of Jackson Browne‘s “Running on Empty”.
The band returned to the stage to fill the second half of the show with more originals ranging from “Away from the Mire”, “Long Forgotten Dream”, “Real Shit Kicker”, and “Doin’ Things Right”, followed by Jimmy Cliff‘s “Sitting in Limbo” and the Grateful Dead‘s “China Doll”. The show came to a close with the encore performance covering Steve Young‘s “Seven Bridges Road”.
Watch the entire performance from Saturday via the webcast player below.
Billy Strings – 12/14/19 [Full-Show Pro-Shot Video]
Setlist: Billy Strings | Ogden Theatre | Denver, CO | 12/14/2019
Set One: Taking Water, Hollow Heart, Tipper, While I’m Waiting Here, I’m Still Here (John Hartford cover) > Last Train to Clarksville (The Monkees cover) > So Many Miles, Nobody’s Love Is Like Mine (The Stanley Brothers cover), Enough to Leave, Dust in a Baggie, > Running, Running on Empty (Jackson Browne cover)
Set Two: Away from the Mire, Long Forgotten Dream, Real Shit Kicker, Blue Eyed Darlin, Doin’ Things Right, Sitting in Limbo (Jimmy Cliff cover), Highway Hypnosis, China Doll (Grateful Dead cover), Meet Me at the Creek
Encore: Seven Bridges Road (Steve Young cover)
Billy Strings and company were back in action on Sunday, where they opened their weekend-closing performance at the Ogden with “Everything’s the Same” following by a take on Little Feat‘s “Willin'”. The first set covers continued with renditions of Davis Grisman‘s “Unwanted Love”, The Beatles‘ “And Your Bird Can Sing”, and a pair of tunes from the Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys songbook in “The Big Mon” and “I Haven’t Seen Mary in Years”. The set came to a close following more covers of Jerry Garcia‘s “To Lay Me Down” and The String Cheese Incident‘s “Black Clouds”.
The second half of Sunday’s performance opened with Strings’ cover of “Little Maggie” before moving forward with an original in “Slipstream”, Black Sabbath‘s “Planet Caravan”, John Hartford’s “All Fall Down”, and Cher‘s “Believe” before returning to his own catalog to close the set with “Turmoil & Tinfoil”. For the encore, Billy Strings and bandmates Billy Failing, Royal Masat, and Jarrod Walker surrounded the main mic for a communal cover debut of a traditional gospel song, “If Your Hair Is Too Long, There is Sin in Your Heart”.
Watch some clips from Sunday’s Billy Strings show at the Ogden below.
Billy Strings – “If Your Hair Is Too Long, There is Sin in Your Heart” – 12/15/19
[Video: Zach B.]
Billy Strings – “Believe” [Cher cover] – 12/15/19
Strings enjoy a few days of well-deserved rest before heading to Nashville, TN this weekend for the 2019 edition of his second annual “String The Halls” benefit concert at Marathon Music Works on Saturday, December 21st. Head to Strings’ website for upcoming tour and ticket info.
Setlist: Billy Strings | Ogden Theatre | Denver, CO | 12/15/2019
Set One: Everything’s the Same, Willin’ (Little Feat cover), New Camptown Races (Muleskinner cover) > Unwanted Love (David Grisman cover), All of Tomorrow, And Your Bird Can Sing (The Beatles cover), The Big Mon (Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys cover), I Haven’t Seen Mary in Years (Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys cover), Home, Sorry is a Highway, To Lay Me Down (Jerry Garcia cover), Black Clouds (The String Cheese Incident cover)
Set Two: Little Maggie (traditional cover), Slipstream > Red Rocking Chair (Traditional cover) > Planet Caravan (Black Sabbath cover), All Fall Down (John Hartford cover), Doin’ My Time (Lester Flatt & Eart Scruggs cover), Believe (Cher cover), 10 Degrees & Getting Colder (Gordon Lightfoot cover), Turmoil & Tinfoil
Encore: If Your Hair is Too long, There is Sin in Your Heart*
* Live Debut