Photo by Jesse Faatz

On Wednesday night, Billy Strings and Trey Anastasio took New York by storm at the city’s rooftop venue, Pier 17. The duo, backed by Strings touring band, closed out a setlist of diverse material consisting of Strings’ originals, bluegrass standards, a Pink Floyd cover and a pair of Phish classics.

Preceding the appearance of the Phish frontman, Strings led his band through a spirited first set featuring a diverse collection of material including John Hartford’s “In Tall Buildings” and Pink Floyd’s “Fearless.” The collection of songs was intermixed with beloved Strings’ originals including “Dust in a Baggie,” “Watch It Fall,” and a jammed-out rendition of “Turmoil and Tinfoil” to close out the first set.

As set two began, Strings fans knew they were in for a treat as the band opened with an energetic “Sally Goodin,” during which each of the band members traded solos, and melted right into “Must Be Seven.” After “Meet Me at the Creek”–another Strings original–the band moved into covers of David Grisman’s “16/16” and Bill Monroe’s “Close By,” after which Anastasio took the stage. 

The pair kicked off the end of the night with their first Phish cover, “Back on the Train,” Strings, Anastasio, Jarrod Walker on mandolin, Royal Masat on bass, Billy Failing on banjo and Alex Hargreaves on fiddle almost immediately were in sync. Anastasio traded licks with the young bluegrass musicians and assisted Strings on lead vocal duties on a few songs.

Strings and Anastasio then played “Love and Regret” – a Strings original. The slow ballad was complemented by Hargreaves’ fiddle and Strings changed a lyric to “That sweet guitar that Trey’s gonna play,” to which the audience erupted in applause. Next came the bluegrass standard “I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome,” which Phish has covered numerous times over the years. 

The duo then covered John Hartford’s “All Fall Down,” which saw the two musicians edge closer towards their shared jamband inclinations. After another cover, of The Doc Watsons Family’s “My Love Comes Rolling Down,” Anastasio and Strings launched into Phish fan-favorite, “Gotta Jibboo” to close out the night. As the pair began to jam, Strings let out Anastasio’s signature “siren” sound, much to his delight. The two musicians traded acoustic licks, only for Strings to go complete shred-mode and apply overdrive to his guitar, turning it electric. The audience erupted once more as Strings introduced the band and led them in a bow onstage, with Anastasio front and center.

Strings and Anastasio will both be performing at the upcoming Peach Festival beginning June 30. Strings will perform two sets on Thursday, beginning at 9:30 p.m. and Anastasio will perform with the Trey Anastasio Band on Saturday, July 2 beginning at 10:00 p.m.

Visit the Relix Stream Guide to purchase live streams for each day.

Billy Strings
Rooftop at Pier 17 – New York, N.Y.
June 29, 2022

Set I: Red Daisy, End of the Rainbow > Running the Route, Hellbender, Dust in a Baggie > Dealing Despair, Watch It Fall > In Tall Buildings, Home, Fearless, Turmoil and Tinfoil
Set II: Sally Goodin > Must Be Seven, Meet Me at the Creek, 16/16, Close By, Back on the Train, Love and Regret, I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome, All Fall Down, My Love Comes Rolling Down, Gotta Jibboo