Billy Strings continued his four-night run at The Eastern in Atlanta, GA on Friday night. The flatpickin’ jamgrass phenom welcomed fiddle player John Mailander for the entire show, which included a cover debut of The Beatles‘ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”.

Usually a four-piece, the band took the stage on Friday night as a quintet for the second time in as many nights. Strings, Mailander, Billy Failing (banjo), Jarrod Walker (mandolin), and Royal Masat (bass) quickly bailed out the ship with “Taking Water” before a short and sweet rendition of Renewal‘s “Ice Bridges”. From there came “In The Morning Light” then the oft-covered “Ernest T. Grass” (The Dillards), which took off for a cosmic, nearly-22-minute flight. The lengthy jam included teases of The Allman Brothers Band‘s “Jessica” as it traversed the outer limits of the galaxy. Strings kicked on the distortion at several points during the offering, pushing the jam into high gear and exploring the newly discovered territory.

Billy Strings – “Ernest T. Grass” (The Dillards) [Partial] – 12/10/21

[Video: Angie Eells]

A segue to the traditional standard “Little Maggie” followed, which set up a cover of Pink Floyd‘s “Fearless” that contained teases of the Strings original, “Guitar Peace”. This seven-plus minute romp through “Fearless” eventually found “Home”, which boasted a healthy jam. Here, Mailander showcased his fiddle prowess before Strings took over with more distortion-infused leads. As “Home” wound down, the quintet made its way to a set-closing “Slow Train” and sent The Eastern crowd into the break.

Still feeling the high of the monstrous “Ernest T. Grass” from set one, Strings and company wasted no time breaking out more jams, beginning the second frame with a beefy, 29-minute take on “Highway Hypnosis”. Always a jam vehicle, this telling of “Highway Hypnosis” realized some rarified territory, with each member of the band taking turns pulling the song to new heights. As usual, the jam dripped with psychedelia as it delved into some deep and scary places that few dare to wander.

Related: Billy Strings Returns To Moody Theater For An Ol’ Fashioned Barn Burner In Austin [Photos/Videos]

After a drive through “This Old World”, Strings and his band went back to the cover catalog, pulling out Doc Watson‘s “The Train That Carried My Girl From Town”. This segued to another traditional standard, “Black Mountain Rag”,  before “Show Me The Door” and “Away From The Mire” ended the second set. With time for one more, the five-piece outfit returned for a debut of The Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. Clocking in just under five minutes, each member of the band got involved on the microphone, providing backing vocals for Strings as he sang the “White Album” classic.

Check out the full audio of the second night at The Eastern via the player below, courtesy of taper Zmanatl. Furthermore, scroll down for a photo gallery and setlist of the performance. Billy Strings will continue his run at The Eastern tonight, December 11th, followed by a final show at the venue on December 12th. Head to Strings’ website for tickets and additional tour information.

Billy Strings – The Eastern – Atlanta, GA – 12/10/21

[Audio: Zmanatl]

Setlist: Billy Strings | The Eastern | Atlanta, GA | 12/10/21

Set One: Taking Water [1] > Ice Bridges, In The Morning Light, Ernest T. Grass (The Dillards) [2] > Little Maggie (Traditional), Fearless (Pink Floyd) [3] > Home, Slow Train

Set Two: Highway Hypnosis [4], This Old World, The Train That Carried My Girl From Town (Doc Watson) > Black Mountain Rag (Traditional), Show Me The Door, Away From The Mire

Encore: Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (The Beatles) [5]


[1] Feel Like A Stranger tease
[2] Jessica tease
[3] Guitar Peace tease
[4] I Can See Clearly Now tease
[5] FTP – The Beatles


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