Greensky Bluegrass approached its annual two-night run of Red Rocks Amphitheatre with the same energy, vitality, and style that the quintet had the first time they played at the fabled Morrison, Colorado venue, plus a seriously upgraded catalog and a decade of honing their skills to a razor’s edge.

Greensky has always been one of those bands that is so much more than the sum of its parts. While the group boasts some of the most distinguishable singers and instrumentalists in the scene with Anders Beck’s time-stopping, face-melting dobro chops and Paul Hoffman’s raw, million-dollar vocals, it takes more than just those twin pillars to build a successful Greensky tune. It takes “Banjo” Michael Bont’s endless array of rolls, fills and jams. Add to that Dave Bruzza’s impressive, gruff yet melodic vocals and stellar guitar skills and the rock-solid foundation of Mike Devol‘s bass—the heartbeat of every Greensky tune.

The band’s first night on the Rocks was dominated by their own tunes, though Steppenwolf did manage to slip a “Born To Be Wild” into to the encore. There were fan favorites like “What You Need”, “Demons”, “Courage For The Road”, and plenty more, as well as newer tunes and a couple of special shout-outs.

Hoffman took a moment to show some love to the band’s crew by dedicating “Grow Together”, a tune originally written for his own wife and child, to Maggie and Marcy, the respective wives of band photographer Dylan Langille and lighting designer Andrew Lincoln, who are soon to be parents themselves. Before the night was over, he also thanked Jam Cruise and Cloud 9’s “Empress of Cool,” Annabel Lukins, to whom he dedicated one of the new songs of the weekend, first set closer “Solstice”. Apparently Hoffman had written the tune on her couch in nearby Winter Park, Colorado.

The second set brought the heat as well, including “Broke Mountain Breakdown”, the first song Beck ever wrote with his original band, The Broke Mountain Bluegrass Band (featuring flat picking firebrand Jon Stickley, Leftover Salmon’s banjo whiz Andy Thorn, and The Infamous Stringdusters’ bass player Travis Book). That epic collaboration of talents will be having a reunion show in Denver later this year. Speaking of heat, the second set ended with unexpected blasts of fire.

Night Two was a mercilessly jam-filled pair of sets bursting with more beloved classics like “Old Barns”, “Tarpology”, and “Train Junkie” as well as later fare like “All 4” and the singalong lover’s delight “Windshield”, plus some stuff from Greensky’s latest disc, Stress Dream, like show opener “Give a Shit”.

Greensky also managed to squeeze a special guest appearance into the jam-packed first set with a visit from the lovely and talented Sierra Ferrell, the country-folk songstress who’s the pride of West Virginia, for a duet on “Holy Roller”. Her sweet voice mixed magically with Hoffman’s echoing howls and elevated the song to one of the evening’s many high points.

Greensky Bluegrass With Sierra Ferrell – “Holy Roller” – 9/16/23

Later in the second set, GSBG welcomed Josh Rilko and Oliver Bates Craven from Ferrell’s band to sit in during “Burn Them”, which featured more on theme pyrotechnics.

Greensky Bluegrass With Josh Rilko & Oliver Bates Craven (Sierra Ferrell) – “Burn Them” (With Pyro) – 9/16/23

[Video: Max Berde]

To wrap up the weekend, the band offered a pair of tunes, Jimi Hendrix’s “Fire” (which featured a return of the pyro column from the previous night) and the run-ending “Living Over”, with its circular theme perfectly summing up the closing of the circle that began the band’s first visit to the venue some ten years prior.

From bright go-getters looking to set the jam-grass scene on fire to elder statesmen of the genre inspiring and elevating the next wave, there’s no band out there more deserving of its success than Greensky Bluegrass. Through blood, sweat, and relentless touring, they earned every accord and remain humble, eager to show what they have up their sleeves, and just as likely to melt your face as they were at the very beginning, What more could you ask?

Click below to view fan-shot videos plus a gallery of photos courtesy of Kit Tincher from Greensky Bluegrass and Sierra Ferrell at Red Rocks.

Greensky Bluegrass – “Give A Shit”, “Old Barns” – 9/16/23

Greensky Bluegrass – “Boys Of Summer” (Don Henley) – 9/16/23
[Video: Max Berde]

Greensky Bluegrass – “Fire” (Jimi Hendrix) (With Pyro) – 9/16/23

[Video: Max Berde]

Sierra Ferrell – “Don’t Let Me Down” (The Beatles) – 9/16/23

[Video: Max Berde]

View More Videos

Setlist: Greensky Bluegrass | Red Rocks Amphitheater | Morrison, CO | 8/15/23

Set 1: What You Need > Demons, Grow Together, Fixin’ to Ruin, Like Reflections, Courage for the Road, Entirely Mine, Solstice

Set 2: Wish I Didn’t Know > Monument, Late Night Talking, Broke Mountain Breakdown > While Waiting, A Letter to Seymour, In Control, All for Money, Kerosene

Encore: Past My Prime, Born to be Wild (Steppenwolf)

Setlist: Greensky Bluegrass | Red Rocks Amphitheater | Morrison, CO | 8/16/23

Set 1: Give A Shit, Old Barns, Blood Sucking F(r)iends, Distracted, Holy Roller (Sierra Ferrel), Reasons to Stay, Train Junkie, Handle With Care, Born Again

Set 2: How Mountain Girls Can Love, Burn Them, Radio Blues, Screams, All 4, Tarpology > Boys of Summer (Don Henley) > Tarpology, Windshield, Run or Die

Encore: Fire (Jimi Hendryx), Living Over