Different songs the band played over the three nights. The only song to make a repeat appearance was a cover of Robert Palmer’s “Simply Irresistible,” which was played in full Friday and reprised in truncated form Saturday.
Pop and rock covers — excluding bluegrass and folk standards — that Greensky put its spin on. Thursday’s highlights included a bluegrass version of Prince’s “Little Red Corvette,” a faithful take on Paul Simon’s “Gumboots” and a spin on the Willie Nelson and Toots Hibbert arrangement of June Carter Cash and Johnny Cash’s “I’m a Worried Man.” On Friday, the band played a faithful, powerful cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain” and led the crowd in a singalong of the Grateful Dead’s “Black Muddy River.” The run closed with an encore of J.J. Cale’s “After Midnight” and Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City.”
References to The Band on the final night. The show opened with a cover of Steppin In It’s “The Ghost of Richard Manuel,” about The Band’s singer/piano player, which segued into a cover of “The Shape I’m In.” The show ended with Springsteen’s “Atlantic City,” done the same way The Band performed it.
Nod to Washington through song, a cover on Thursday of the old-timey tune “White House Blues,” originally recorded by Charlie Poole and the North Carolina Ramblers in 1926.
Minutes opening act Cris Jacobs spent onstage with Greensky on Friday. The Baltimore-based guitarist, who welcomed Greensky’s Paul Hoffman and Anders Beck onstage during his guitar-heavy set, returned the favor by joining the band in the middle of Friday’s second set. He stayed onstage for the rest of the show, singing lead on the bluegrass-ified cover of “Simply Irresistible” and taking a solo during Greensky original “Don’t Lie.”
Songs the band performed acoustically, crowded around a mic in the middle of the stage with Thursday’s opening band, Horseshoes & Hand Grenades: the standard “I’ll Love Nobody but You” and Bob Marley’s “Small Axe,” with plenty of bluegrass-style picking.
Time the band paid tribute to jam band forefathers Phish and the Grateful Dead in one of the best stretches of the weekend. In the final set of the final night, Greensky covered “Ain’t No Bread in the Breadbox,” a song Jerry Garcia loved to play. That eventually bled in the bluegrass song “Can’t Stop Now,” which featured a lyrical jam that quoted Phish’s “Run Like an Antelope” and segued into into Greensky’s own “In Control” before heading back to “Breadbox.”
Times the band’s light show made me say “wow.” You’d think watching the same five guys play for three nights in a row would get boring, but the band has a stunning light show that played off the music. And each night, there was at least one moment when the lights blew me away. During the extended “Don’t Lie” that closed out the second night, the 9:30 Club’s glowing disco ball was called into action just as the jam hit its peak.
Fan who spontaneously embraced me during the cover of “The Chain.” Because nothing brings people together like bluegrass and Fleetwood Mac.
Times I felt bored during the run. By changing up the songs every night, welcoming sit-ins from the openers and taking the jams to unexpected places, Greensky Bluegrass kept me entertained and engaged for three straight nights.
More concert reviews from Express: