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Published: 2014/08/27
by Adam Crawford

Greensky Bluegrass, Fox Theater, Boulder, CO- 8/3

The night after opening for Railroad Earth, bluegrass act Greensky Bluegrass played a show at the Fox Theater in Boulder, Colorado. As Greensky dobro player Anders Beck stated during the show, “Last night was for people who like Greensky Bluegrass. Tonight is for people who love Greensky Bluegrass.”

Greensky kicked things off with a cover of Prince’s “When Doves Cry.” Greensky has developed a nice intro jam to this tune over the years. The intro jam on this night was very laid-back and groovy. It seemed like the perfect way for the members of Greensky to get their instruments in key and slowly stretch their sound out. This was a spot on version of “When Doves Cry” that had plenty of improvisation.

Greensky kept things rolling through the first set with plenty of strong takes on many Greensky staples including “Just to Lie,” “Jaywalking” and “Bottle Dry” but the real highlight of the set and of the night came with the closing sequence of the first set. After briefly addressing the crowd, Anders Beck led Greensky into the crowd-favorite, instrumental “Broke Mountain Breakdown.” This was a standout version of the tune as the band moved into a funky, reggae-style jam that turned the Fox into a dance party. As the jam moved closer to its end, the end of the set seemed to be closing in before Beck led the band into “Atlantic City.” The crowd in the Fox erupted as they began to recognize the chords and Beck looked down to mandolinist Paul Hoffman and smirked. “Atlantic City” is one of those covers that just feels like it was written for Paul Hoffman to play, who nailed this version of the tune with his vocals and lead mandolin licks.

The second set saw plenty of more strong playing from Greensky including runs through crowd favorites “Demons” and “Old Barns” but no one expected the band to bust into a cover of Juvenile’s “Back That Ass Up.” The band was moving toward a take on their tune “Don’t Lie” before Paul Hoffman came to the microphone and started to sing the lyrics to “Back That Ass Up.” The rest of the group seemed to be as caught off guard as the crowd, but Greensky was able to move from the nice groove they started and follow Hoffman through a short take on the tune. Greensky then transitioned into a monstrous version of “Don’t Lie.” Toward the end of the second set, the band had one more surprise in store as they began a take on Traffic’s “Light Up or Leave Me Alone” that segued into “Reuben’s Train” and then back into “Light Up or Leave Me Alone.”

Greensky Bluegrass was fantastic on this second night of a two night stand in the greater Denver area, solidifying their place as one of the best jamgrass outfits out there right now.

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