Despite a storm of ice and snow outside Wednesday night, the Kalamazoo-bred bluegrass powerhouse packed a sold-out Intersection for a long evening of entrancing jams. Recap, photos, video, set list.
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It’s always good to come home.
After a winter tour that spanned the East Coast and parts of the Midwest — and despite being greeted by a nasty, icy, mid-week snowstorm — Kalamazoo-bred Greensky Bluegrass basked Wednesday night in the exuberant love of a capacity, home-state crowd at The Intersection in Grand Rapids.
With a hefty line of concertgoers that extended well down Grandville Avenue SW before the show, West Michigan’s bluegrass powerhouse made up for the concert’s late start with two sets emblazoned with entrancing jams, psychedelic lighting and audience sing-alongs.
One fan called it “very much a massive Michigan ‘Welcome home.’ ”
The evening’s sold-out show had the feeling of a meet-up of old friends, with the five-piece band launching into a three-song flurry at the outset, paying homage to Michigan weather and their home state with “Worried About the Weather,” “Tied Down” and “All Four” — the perfect soundtrack for a reunion of Michigan fans starved for a local GSBG concert.
The opening set of covers and originals included a nod to Michigan’s Steppin’ In It and Joshua Davis with a take on “Break of Day,” Doc Watson’s “Reuben’s Train” and a 13-minute closing rendition of Prince’s “When Doves Cry” that warmed fans to the core.
The second set unfurled a longstanding GSBG tradition with “Casual Wednesday,” a song the band began playing years ago on a wintry Wednesday and a tune hardcore fans relish as a mid-week celebration.
The ballad segment of the set featured “In the Morning Light,” a song co-written by mandolinist Paul Hoffman and fellow Michigan bluegrass star Billy Strings, followed by a jam on “Kerosene.” Dobroist Anders Beck, in particular, stood out as one of the night’s MVPs.
After closing out the set by bookending opener “Worried about the Weather” with “Reasons to Stay” from the band’s latest studio album, “Stress Dreams,” GSBG uncorked an encore featuring Earthwork Music founder Seth Bernard’s sublime, “Baby You’re Power,” interwoven with “Don’t Lie” from 2011’s “Handguns” — a powerful jam showcasing the best of the band’s musicianship and songwriting.
– By John Sinkevics, Kyle Jay Schollart and Anna Sink
PHOTO GALLERY: Greensky Bluegrass at The Intersection
Photos by Anna Sink
VIDEO: Greensky Bluegrass at The Intersection
SET LIST: Greensky Bluegrass at the Intersection
Come back Sunday for another photo gallery from Wednesday’s show.
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