Billy Strings honors Mac Miller in Pittsburgh [Videos]
“It’s Wednesday night in Pittsburgh on a long tour, maybe Billy Cordes let go of the accelerator tonight and it will be a fairly calm spectacle, ”the skeptics thought. Oh, they couldn’t have been more wrong.
The concert rewarded those who made the trek on weekdays with plenty of highlights, including a teasing-turned-jam tribute to the late Pittsburgh-born rapper. Mac Miller on “What is it for?” as well as the beginnings of Grateful dead the staple live “Peggy-O”.
Billy Strings opened the show with other bluegrassers Leftover salmon‘s “Down in the Hollow” in front of the original instrumental “Libby Phillips Rag”, inspired by an ID card found in an Airbnb in Nashville with the namesake of the title on it. The band then released a cover of the bluegrass song “I’ve Just Seen The Rock of Ages” credited to the Stanley Brothers.
Billy Strings – “I Just Saw The Rock of Ages” (The Stanley Brothers) – Pittsburgh, PA – 11/8/21
The crowd really started to make noise for “Hide & Seek” when Billy took the helm for a wild and exhilarating jam through uncharted territory as his loyal companions, Jarrod walker, Billy’s failure, and Masat Royal dazzled the sea of cheerful people in Pittsburg, PA with their deft plectrum techniques.
The originals “Watch It Fall” and “Dust in a Baggie” followed, before audiences were treated to a rare Bad livers cover “Lumpy, Beanpole & Dirt”.
Then come the always pleasant “Ice Bridges”, followed by a Frank Wakefield pick up “End of the Rainbow” to complete the first set.
Billy Strings – “Watch It Fall” – Pittsburgh, PA – 11/8/21
The second set vomited with a scorching “Fire on My Tongue” which raised doubt in the audience’s brain “… I don’t trust the ashes of my mind.” Strings then told us how he used to sing and play this next song when he was only six or seven years old, titled “Stone Walls and Steel Bars” by Stanley Brothers, containing a very complicated subject for little budding William.
Related: Billy Strings Nods At Jerry Garcia On Two Night Run At Westville Music Bowl [Photos/Videos/Full Audio]
Next comes “Turmoil & Tinfoil” with the bouncing bass beat of Royal Masat leading his string mates through the tumultuous air as they took turns falling into oblivion. Billy then sent the crowd into an uproar when he paid tribute to the late rapper and Pittsburg native Mac Miller with an instrumental track of “What’s the Use?” Channeled billy Thunder cat for a very fun take on the song, including another tease with “I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny nash before recast in “Turmoil & Tinfoil”.
Then the band dove into the original tune “Thirst Mutilator” before Johnny cash‘s “Grande Rivière”. The quartet then honored the audience with a debut track of “Peggy-O” for a beautiful interpretation of the traditional cover favored by the Grateful Dead. Jarrod Walker serenaded the crowd as he easily lifted and lowered his mandolin. A timeless story of “Daisy Red” accompanied by some of Billy’s lightning fast food has kept the grasses out of the way.
Billy Strings – “History of Pittsburgh” – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – 11/8/21
Billy and the band then offered the new single “Fire Line” from the upcoming album. Renewal, in which he shared his disdain for the negative impact of oil consumption on our environment before the boys aptly expressed this speech with their stringed tools suitable for sound exploration. From there, the band traveled in the traditional tune “Reuben’s Train” and then surprised fans for a cover of “Fire Line” to end the set.
But the men weren’t done yet, as they jumped in for the Stanley Brothers’ “Rank Stranger” where Strings showed his power to evoke emotion with his vulnerable lyrics for the new original “Know It All” coming out. on the new album Renewal next month.
The moral of the story, for anyone expecting a weekday nap: don’t sleep on Billy Strings. He’ll be in or near your city on his long tour of the US And if you can’t see him live, sound engineer Andy Lytle does a good job at Billy Streams on Mixlr, showing every show that doesn’t have a live video stream.
Setlist: Billy Strings | Outdoor AE Scene | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania | 8/11/21
Set One: Down In The Hollow, Libby Phillips Rag, I Just Saw The Rock of Ages, Hide and Seek, Watch It Fall, Dust In A Baggie, Lumpy, Beanpole and Dirt, Ice Bridges, Into The Rainbow
Second series: fire on my tongue, stone walls and steel bars, torment and aluminum foil , Thirst quencher, Big River, Peggy-O , Daisy Red, Fire Line> Ruben Train> Fire Line
Again: Rank Stranger, Know It All