Thursday, January 20 marked the return of Greensky Bluegrass and The Infamous Stringdusters to the Capital District, with a performance at the Palace Theatre that kept the audience warm and cozy from the frigid temperatures outside.
Greensky Bluegrass returned nearly two years after their last Albany performance, that time at The Egg with Ghost Light, and after a bit of a wait, they were back to kick off their Winter Tour ahead of the release of their new album, Stress Dreams.
Opening up the show were The Infamous Stringdusters, recently nominated for a Grammy for their Bill Monroe tribute album. They kicked off the show with “Rise Sun” off their 2019 album of the same name, and negotiated a very brief power outage, never missing a beat. The band took a few opportunities to comment on how long it’s been since they’ve seen each other, how good it feels playing live, and how much fun they were having.
Dobro player Andy Hall, a native of Binghamton spoke to Forbes this past week, recalling his view of his hometown:
The Binghamton area is beautiful — rolling hills, forests and lots of medium-size towns. Not a lot is happening there, but there are lots of colleges in the area, it was a great place to grow up and there were awesome down-to-earth people. I used to have a somewhat negative view of my hometown, but I think that just went along with the urge to escape and see the world. I went back recently to receive a distinguished alumni award from my high school and was really impressed with what they have going on with music and theater. It changed my view of my old high school for the better!Andy Hall
The nearly hour-long set from Stringdusters included covers of the Grateful Dead’s “Touch of Grey” and The Police’s “Walking on the Moon,” as well as “Colorado” and “Sirens,” with the appreciative Albany crowd grooving along. Earlier in the day, the band released “I Didn’t Know” off their upcoming album, The Fray. Listen to the full show below:
Setlist: Rise Sun*. Colorado, Sirens, Touch of Grey^, Fire, Back Home Again, Walking on the Moon%, Vertigo, If You’re Gonna Love Someone, Fork in the Road
* Power outage on stage
^ Grateful Dead cover
% The Police cover
Infamous Stringdusters photos by Zach Culver
Returning to the Palace Theatre stage for the third time, Greensky Bluegrass celebrated the pending release of Stress Dreams, which was released 30 minutes after the band took their final bows. Songs from the album, included the catchy “New and Improved,” “Monument” and “Worry For You,” which had its live debut this evening. Greensky Mandolinist Paul Hoffman noted early in the first set, “We made a plan to play this show a long time ago with the Infamous Stringdusters, and so far the plan is working.”
A rarer tune, “Bont’s Breakdown” was performed for only the fourth time in the last 12 years, with fan favorites “Go it Alone” and “Living Over” closing out the first set with a 1-2 punch.
A new arrangement of “Old Barns” led to one of the top jams of the night, with the visually explosive light show from Andrew Lincoln offering the perfect dose of psychedelic luminescence to layer over the band. “Take Cover” and “Tarpology” both left plenty of room for improvisation, entrancing the audience as they filled every minute. The show concluded with another Stress Dreams track, “Until I Sing,” with the audience praising the band one last time before heading out into the bitter winter night, a little warmer thanks to The Infamous Stringdusters and Greensky Bluegrass. Stream the show via Archive.org.
Greensky Bluegrass setlist via Camp Greensky
Set 1: Jaywalking, New and Improved, Do Harm, Train Junkie, Worry For You*, Bont’s Breakdown, Do It Alone, Living Over
Set 2: Monument, Beauty and Pain, Old Barns^, Kerosene+, Take Cover, Against the Days, Tarpology, Windshield
Encore: Until I Sing
^ new arrangement
+ “Let it Grow” (Grateful Dead) tease