Syracuse was treated to a double dose of bluegrass Wednesday night as Greensky Bluegrass and Fruition rolled into The Westcott Theater. The Kalamazoo crew returned to the Westcott stage nearly a year to the day from their last visit, this time in support of the new album, Shouted, Written Down & Quoted, released in September.
Earlier in the day, news of founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, Butch Trucks’ death cast a sadness upon the music world and the jam scene specifically. A tribute to Trucks would surely be on the agenda for Greensky, one of the premier progressive bluegrass bands on the scene today.
Greensky eased the capacity crowd into things, kicking off the set with a midtempo “The Four” that segued into a rollicking “Eat My Dust” featuring some stellar dobro work from Anders Beck. The first set remained heavy on the bluegrass the band was founded upon before slowing things down for a heartfelt rendition of “Nine Days” with Michael Arlen Bont’s banjo and Beck’s dobro again featured prominently. A lengthy run through of the Greensky staple and jam vehicle, “Broke Mountain Breakdown,” brought the highlight moment of the night, if not one of the most anticipated. Fruition’s Jay Cobb Anderson was welcomed on stage, harmonica in tow, for a ripping tribute to Trucks in the form of the Allman Brothers Band’s “One Way Out.”
“Hold On,” from the band’s latest release, kicked off the second set, segueing into a cover of the Traveling Wilburys’ “Handle With Care” and into “Blood Sucking F(r)iends.” The segue-filled second set finished up with a “Casual Wednesday” for this casual Wednesday, segueing into the new “Run or Die,” an explosive way to finish the night.
Frution, from Portland, OR, gained the respect of the early arriving attendees, ripping through twelve songs in their opening set. While also heavily based in bluegrass, Fruition blends soulful vocals and a funk downbeat to deliver a unique sound that complemented the headliners perfectly. This is a band that will be headlining stages at theaters in short order.
If you missed Greensky and Fruition at The Westcott Theater you can still catch them at The Egg in Albany on Jan. 31, the Union Transfer in Philadelphia PA on Feb. 1, and a three night run at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C.
You can also check out Greensky Bluegrass and Fruition’s upcoming tour dates here.
Greensky Bluegrass Setlist (via Jambands.com):
Set 1: The Four> E.M.D. (Eat My Dust), Into the Rafters, Room Without a Roof, White Freight Liner Blues, Demons, Nine Days, Broke Mountain Breakdown> One Way Out*
Set 2: Hold On> Handle With Care> Blood Sucking F(r)iends, Tied Down, Last Winter in the Copper Country> A Letter to Seymour> New Rize Hill, Casual Wednesday> Run or Die
* with Jay Cobb Anderson (Fruition) on harmonica