Last night, Greensky Bluegrass played their first of a two-night run, at Morrison, CO’s beloved Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The sold-out Red Rocks occasion comes on the heels of an intimate Friday night pickin’ party at Denver’s Ogden Theatre. The California Honeydrops took care of the opening duties for the Friday show, wowing the should-to-shoulder crowd with their funky R&B infused, bluesy jams. Greensky had fun inviting up a handful of guests, as well as sprinkling in some Phish and Grateful Dead teases throughout their high-intensity jam grass.
Greensky Bluegrass opened the first set with “Past My Prime”, taking their time with the intro, slowly trickling into an explosion before Paul Hoffman took it away with his silky-smooth vocals. Smoothly transitioning into “Bone Digger”, the band got loose and comfortable, picking up the speed before moving into “A Letter From Seymour”. With lighting designer Andrew Lincoln painting a cosmic, rainbow tapestry, the five-piece prepared for take-off, as Michael Arlen Bont fired off a twangy solo on banjo.
Next up was the Hoffman led “In Control”, with Anders Beck laying down some intricate licks on dobro. Picking up the pace, Bont let out the opening lick to New Grass Revival’s “Can’t Stop Now”, with the five-piece trading off solos down the line, one after another. Dave Bruzza was sounding sharp and quick-witted, showing off some impressive flatpicking skills on his beautiful sunburst acoustics guitar. At home, Greensky offered up a debut, “What You Need”, inviting up tour manager and frequent guest Guido Baptista to help out on the vibraslap.
Greensky Bluegrass – “Burn Them” – 9/22/2018
[Video: Kyle Isaac]
With a well placed “Burn Them” and “Like Reflections”, the guests kept coming as the Greensky boys invited up Umphrey’s McGee keyboardist, Joel Cummins, to assist the band on “Jaywalking”. The addition of keys was a pleasant surprise for the Red Rocks throwdown, and the band was enjoying themselves with an additional sixth member. Keeping Cummins on stage, Greensky brought set one to a close with a cover of Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved”, throwing in a serious tease of the Grateful Dead’s “Shakedown Street”.
Greensky Bluegrass w/ Joel Cummins – “Jaywalking”> “Could You Be Loved” – 9/22/2018
[Video: Kyle Isaac]
The band took a brief set break, giving the sold-out crowd a chance to refuel on liquids, and prepare for a rowdy second set full of high-octane bluegrass. Hoffman took the lead on lyrics, as Greensky Bluegrass opened up the second set with “Old Barns”, with a different “New Barns” arrangement. With not a worry in the Colorado sky, Bruzza led the band through “Worried About The Weather”, as Beck stole the show and dazzled the crowd with a ripping solo.
“Who is Fredrico” was up next, before inviting up the California Honeydrops onstage to help out on “Night Time Is The Right Time”. Leading the way again on vocals, Bruzza took charge into “Take Cover”, as Beck let out some twangy-electrified sounds that one would question possible on a dobro. Moving forward, the band picked up the pace once again with “Freeborn Man”, doing the country classic cover justice.
Greensky Bluegrass w/ California Honeydrops – “Night Time Is The Right Time” – 9/22/2018
[Video: Kyle Isaac]
With a crowd howling for more, Greensky continued with the theme of “free”, working in a badass cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird”. The crowd got what the asked for, with Greensky firing off on all cylinders, as Beck, Bont, Bruzza, Hoffman, and Mike Devol wowed the crowd with an electrified jam out of the perfectly placed cover. Taking a second to catch their breaths, the band mellowed the mood with “The Four”, impressively showcasing their delicate harmonies. Reflecting on home and the leaps they have made over the years, Greensky played “The Four”, before bringing set two to a close with “Living Over”, a perfect way to cap the first of two nights at Red Rocks. The band came back out to encore “Gimme Some Lovin'”, making room for an all-out dance party, one last time for the evening.
Greensky Bluegrass heads back to Red Rocks Amphitheatre tonight, with Brooklyn-based funk-outfit Turkuaz helping out with the opening duties. Nugs.tv will again be offering up an option for fans to webcast from home.
For more information on Greensky’s upcoming dates and ticketing information, head to the band’s website.
Setlist: Greensky Bluegrass | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO | 9/22/2018
Set One: Past My Prime > Bone Digger, A Letter to Seymour, In Control > Can’t Stop Now (1), What You Need (2)(3), Burn Them (4), Like Reflections, Jaywalking (5) > Could You Be Loved (5)(6)
Set Two: Old Barns (7), Worried About The Weather, Who is Frederico (8), Night Time Is the Right Time (9), Take Cover (10), Freeborn Man (11)(12)(13) > Freebird > The Four > Bottle Dry, Living Over
Encore: Gimme Some Lovin’
(1) – w/ Shout quotes
(2) – FTP
(3) – w/ Guido Batista (vibraslap)
(4) – w/ Lindsay Mosier & Keith Kinnear (tambourine)
(5) – w/ Joel Cummins
(6) – Shakedown Street tease
(7) – New Barns arrangement
(8) – w/ Lech Wierzynski & Johnny Bones
(9) – w/ California Honeydrops
(10) – Simpsons Theme tease
(11) – Divided Sky tease
(12) – Streets of Cairo tease
(13) – Freebird tease
Greensky Bluegrass Upcoming Tour Dates
9/23 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre @
9/26 – Omaha, NE – Slowdown *
9/27 – Des Moines, IA – Brenton Skating Plaza *
9/28 – St. Paul, MN – Palace Theatre *
9/29 – Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theater *
9/30 – Columbia, MO – Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival
10/2 – Fort Wayne, IN – The Clyde Theatre
10/4 – Asheville, NC – Salvage Station
10/5 – Arrington, VA – The Festy Experience
10/6 – Port Chester, NY – The Capitol Theatre
10/7 – Stratton Mountain, VT – Stratton Mountain Resort
10/31 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theatre #
11/1 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theatre #
11/2 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox #
11/3 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox #
11/7 – Crystal Bay, NV – The Crystal Bay Club/Crown Room #
11/8 – San Francisco, CA – Warfield Theatre #
11/9 – San Diego, CA – Observatory North Park #
11/10 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre #
11/12 – Phoenix, AZ – The Van Buren #
11/14 – Oklahoma City, OK – The Jones Assembly #
11/15 – Houston, TX – House of Blues #
11/16 – Austin, TX – Stubbs BBQ #
11/23 – Kalamazoo, MI – Kalamazoo State Theatre
11/24 – Kalamazoo, MI – Kalamazoo State Theatre
11/17 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater #
12/7 – 12/11 – Puerto Morelos, Mexico – Strings & Sol
12/28 – Chicago, IL – The Riviera Theatre
12/29 – Chicago, IL – The Riviera Theatre
12/30 – Chicago, IL – The Riviera Theatre
12/31 – Chicago, IL – The Riviera Theatre
@ – with Turkuaz
* – with Ghost Light
# – with The Lil Smokies