Photo by Jesse Faatz
On Feb. 19, Billy Strings performed the second of six livestreamed shows at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y., dubbed ‘The Deja Vu Experiment.’ The dates were chosen to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead’s February 1971 performances at the venue, which took place on the same exact dates. The first night was streamed for free on The Relix Channel on Twitch, while last night’s show aired as a pay-per-view event on FANS.
At the shows in 1971, the Grateful Dead conducted ESP Experiments, which consisted of “prompting Deadheads in the audience to focus on imagery shown by the band and telepathically send the imagery to a test subject.” (Quote via the event’s description.) A virtual version of such an experiment was conducted during ‘The Deja Vu Experiment.’ Viewers were urged to send an image (a pair of eyes for last night’s show) to a guest receiver. Guitarist Dave Bruzza of Greensky Bluegrass was the receiver for the second night; after the conclusion of the show, he video chatted with the band and presented a drawing of his vision of the image.
As for the music, Strings continued to cover Grateful Dead classics over the course of both sets. The first set saw performances of “Big River” (originally by Johnny Cash but often played by the Dead) and “Wharf Rat,” which the Grateful Dead debuted themselves at the Capitol Theatre. During set two, Strings debuted a cover of “Loser,” which the Dead also debuted at the venue in 1971.
Meanwhile, the setlist also contained a series of new Billy Strings originals. The first set opened with the novel “Red Daisy” and closed with the debut of “Hellbender.” Set two was also bookended by new originals, “Secrets” and “Know It All” respectively.
Watch a sneak peek of the first set and check out the full setlist below!
To tune into tonight’s ‘Deja Vu Experiment’ show, click here.
Feb. 19, 2021
The Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, N.Y.
Set 1: Red Daisy*, Big River, Shady Grove, Tipper, Hollow Heart, Wharf Rat, These Ol Blues, Hellbender*
Set 2: Secrets*, Letter to Seymour, Loser, Train That Carried My Girl From Town > Black Mountain Rag, Cold on the Shoulder, Home Wings For Wheels > Ride Me High, Know It All*
*debut, Billy Strings Original