Billy Strings is Bringing Bluegrass to Arenas, And We Are Here For It

Photos by Ryan Swerdlin, Recap by Max Stewart

For those who have witnessed Billy Strings live in the last few years as he has ascended into another musical realm, consider yourselves lucky. Strings taps into something so pure and awe-inspiring, it is almost hard to comprehend. Every performance feels like seeing lightning in a bottle, but after watching Strings over the past few years it is clear that every show builds upon the magnetism and complexity of the previous, with no end in sight.

Strings has a mesmerizing prowess on the acoustic guitar that will even leave casual live music fans in a spellbound state. Sure, he is a bluegrass musician at heart. But he manages to pull in so many different styles (i.e. adding spellbinding guitar effects to an acoustic guitar) and genres throughout the course of his live shows that fans of every genre be supremely satisfied. To add to that, his supporting cast are equally as talented and all augment the musical experience. Jarrod Walker (Mandolin), Billy Failing (Banjo), Royal Masat (Bass), and Alex Hargreaves (Fiddle) all are masters of their craft. And the harmonies that they pull together will send shivers down your spine.

Strings has been on an galactic ascension in the past few years, which has culminated in an arena tour across the country this spring. This included a sold-out, Friday night stop at State Farm Arena in Atlanta (yes, the arena where the Atlanta Hawks play.) To put it in perspective, Strings performed at the 165-person capacity Eddie’s Attic in 2018 in greater ATL and has grown to larger rooms when returning to town every year.

Being able to be part of that journey and see him continue to develop has been so much fun as a live music fan. And to experience that alongside my wife and for this massive arena show with some of my best friends made for an even more elevated and memorable night. The set was a fantastic mix of originals (“Meet Me at the Creek” and “Dust in a Baggie”) and covers, which included Little Feat‘s “Willin'” and Jimmie Rodgers’ “Peach Pickin’ Time in Georgia” (Strings always has a way of throwing in some local flavoring into the setlist). This band can draw in an arena crowd with stringed instruments… it truly is unbelievable and further highlights the magnetism and musical acumen of Strings and his band.

It was a surreal sight to see a packed crowd enjoying some bluegrass in the same arena I have seen Paul McCartney, Elton John, and so many large-scale events. It just means this authentic music made by real musicians is getting to be appreciated by more people. What a time to be alive, thank you Billy and the boys.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s