A sold out crowd welcomed Greensky Bluegrass back to the Capital District for another round of energetic and psychedelic jamgrass from the standard bearers of the genre. Opening the show was Ghost Light, featuring local favorite Holly Bowling on keys, who gave the audience a short yet stellar opening 45-minute set.
Greensky have made Albany an annual winter tour stop, returning to The Egg and a capacity and ever-enthusiastic crowd. Following “Dustbowl Overtures,” with it’s line, “It’s a New York Minute, under a New Mexico sky,” eliciting cheers from the audience, mandolinist Paul Hoffman welcomed the crowd to the show, referring to the venue as the ‘punniest venue in the country.’ With that, dobroist Anders Beck joined in with egg jokes that carried on throughout the night. First set highlights included “I’d Probably Kill You” -> ‘Nellie Kane,” as well as “Broken Highways” and “Courage for the Road,” where Beck was a heavy presence via the dobro and shone as the set came to a close.
With Set 2 came more jokes that continued as soon as the band hit the stage. Beck returned prepared and informed the crowd, “I’ve probably got a dozen, just to lay it out there.” A long “Take Cover” kicked off a set full of surprises, plus lots of banter with the crowd. The back and forth was so natural and the crowd so focused, Hoffman said it felt like “playing on a radio station, but you’re all here.” For “Casual Wednesday,” Beck laid his down dobro and took off into the crowd to greet the audience and hype up the sound and light teams on this casual Wednesday, making a Buddy Guy-style lap around the venue, before returning to the stage.
A cover of The Band’s “Atlantic City” segued perfectly into “Just Listening,” which was followed by “Mother and Child Reunion,” which contained a deep reference to eggs, their debut of the 1972 Paul Simon single. After the song, Hoffman expressed that playing that song at The Egg was a career highlight. “Furious Exuberance” > “Kerosene” would close the set with Pink Floyd-esque spaciness that paired perfectly with the evening’s light show that hovered between early ’70s psychedelia and late ’70s disco.
Ghost Light setlist via Phantasytour
Set 1: Don’t Come Apart Just Yet, My Dear> Bullseye Blues> Cold Blooded* > Don’t Come Apart Just Yet, My Dear
*with Diamond Eyes jam
Greensky Bluegrass setlist via Phantasytour
Set 1: Lose My Way, Dustbowl Overtures, Better Off, Hot Dogs (On Parade), I’d Probably Kill You, Nellie Kane, What You Need, Broken Highways, Courage for the Road
Set 2: Take Cover, Collateral Damage, Do It Alone, A Letter to Seymour, Casual Wednesday, New Rize Hill, Atlantic City> Just Listening, Mother and Child Reunion*, Exuberance> Kerosene
Encore: Drink Up and Go Home
*first time played