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Review: Greensky Bluegrass at the Bluebird Theater, 2/8/12

Greensky Bluegrass last night at the Bluebird Theater.
Greensky Bluegrass last night at the Bluebird Theater.
Nick Callaio

GREENSKY BLUEGRASS @ BLUEBIRD THEATER | 2/8/12


Greensky Bluegrass played two sets of organic, roots-oriented bluegrass for a packed Bluebird crowd. With more than a decade under its belt and about seven years of consistently touring, the Michigan-based bluegrass quintet has developed a solid fan base. And last night the guys made it clear that they came to play for those eager fans, who knew the words to each of the songs and often responded favorably to a tune they recognized within the first couple notes.

Greensky Bluegrass last night at the Bluebird Theater.
Greensky Bluegrass last night at the Bluebird Theater.
Nick Callaio

The band's sets were traditional but far from boring: It was traditional in a sense that the outfit kept true to the grassroots nature of the genre, but it kept it from becoming boring by utilizing a variety of techniques with their playing throughout the evening. It's odd not having a drummer there to keep the rhythm, but guitarist David Bruzza did exceptionally well to replace that crucial element with the help of Mike Devol on the stand up base. Paul Hoffman on the mandolin, meanwhile, displayed admirable control and patience with the tiny instrument.

Greensky Bluegrass last night at the Bluebird Theater.
Greensky Bluegrass last night at the Bluebird Theater.
Nick Callaio

The extended jams the band embarked on from time to time were smooth. The group took us on a spirited journey of pain and sorrow filled with cohesive solos and engaging chord progressions. What sets Greensky apart from the array of bluegrass bands on the scene is their virtuous use of effects on the guitar, mandolin and dobro. At times the band crossed over into jam territory, but the players took care not to get too tangental. Instead the players stayed most within the fine lines and played along side of the band, rather than showboating.


CRITICS NOTEBOOK


Personal Bias: Some of the first traditional bluegrass bands I have ever explored.

Random Note: The show was sold out and someone brought over free pizza from Fat Sully's during set break.

By The Way: They will be in Boulder tonight at the Fox Theatre and they are making 40+ stops on this current tour.


SETLIST

Greensky Bluegrass Bluebird Theater - 2/8/12 Denver, CO

Set I Into the Raftors Groundhog Wheel Hoss J2L King of the Hill Grow Bananas Cold Feet Can't Stop Now 200 Miles from Montana Demons All Four

Set II Pig in a Pen Kerosene A.C. Little Maggie No Idea Bust bowl What's Left of the Night Jaywalking Terp Jaywalking Gunboats

ENCORE Small Axe



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