Photo Credit: Jeese Faatz
On Saturday night, Billy Strings brought his summer tour to TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park in Indianapolis, Ind. The musician performed a total of 29 songs spread over three jam-packed sets, included was a solo set during the halfway point of the concert. Additionally, last night’s show did not have a traditional set break in order to make the most of night two in Indy.
Strings’ started the concert with a tune off his self-titled EP, opening the show on “Slow Train” before working into Saturday’s first cover, William “Billy” Hayes’ “I’ll Remember You, Love, in My Prayers.” The band rolled into a handful of originals next, including “Watch It Fall,” “Turmoil & Tinfoil” and “Nothing’s Working,” before covering Bill Emerson’s “Home of the Red Fox,” the latter melted into Renewal’s “Secrets.”
The first set continued with a rendition of The Dillards’ “There Is a Time,” followed by a cover of The Stanley Brothers’ “Rank Stranger.” For the final tune of the night’s initial set, the ensemble landed on fan favorite, “Highway Hypnosis.” Then, the band – Jarrod Walker (mandolin), Royal Massat (bassist), Billy Failing (banjo) and Alex Hargreaves (fiddle) – exited the stage leaving Strings to take on the next set of songs independently.
The musician preluded what was to come by speaking directly to the audience; he shared, “I just wanted to maybe play a little flat-picking for you guys.” He continued, “I just decided to opt out of set break tonight myself.” Strings cited strict curfews as the catalyst for the welcomed shift before running through a take on the traditional “Beaumont Rag,” which led into a cover of Peter Rowan’s “Black Mountain Rag.”
Strings unaccompanied stage time continued with the traditional “John Henry,” which came before Norman Blake’s 1972 track “Randall Collins,” a song that was performed for only the second time ever, following a 2020 debut in Nashville, Tenn. Sam Patterson Trio’s “Haul de Woodpile Down” arrived next, before a take on The Delmore Brothers’ “Brown’s Ferry Blues.” For the final song of the solo set, Strings landed on the traditional “The Cuckoo,” capping the illustrious display on the clawhammer banjo.
The night’s final set opened on Bill Monroe’s “Uncle Pen,” followed by a dip into Strings’ personal repertoire on “Know It All” before returning with a cover of Larry Sparks’ “John Deere Tractor” and New Grass Revival’s “Whisper My Name.” “Home” arrived during the sets midway, prior to a take on Béla Fleck’s “Tentacle Dragon (Revenge of The).” Then, Strings offered up “Red Daisy” and segued in a pairing of “Leaders” and “Wargasam.” For the final songs of the night, the musician and his band dug into Jimmy Martin’s “Tennessee” before finishing on The Stanley Brothers’ “Train 45.”
Following last night’s monstrous display, Strings and his band will take a well-deserved break from the road, returning later this week, on Thursday, Aug. 4, when they will perform a headlining slot during the first night of the Hinterland Music Festival in Saint Charles, Iowa. Single-day and weekend passes are still available for the Midwest music event. For more information, visit hinterlandiowa.com.
Scroll down to view the complete setlist.
TCU Amphitheater at White River State Park – Indianapolis, Ind.
July 30, 2022
Set I: Slow Train, I’ll Remember You, Love, In My Prayers*, Watch It Fall, Turmoil & Tinfoil, Nothing’s Working, Home of the Red Fox^ > Secrets, There Is A Time%, Rank Stranger#, Highway Hypnosis
Set II: Beaumont Rag$? > Black Mountain Rag$, Bound to Ride#?, John Henry$?, Randall Collins@? > Haul de Woodpile Down!?, Brown’s Ferry Blues1?, The Cuckoo$?
Set III: Uncle Pen+, Know It All, John Deere Tractor=, Whisper My Name-, Home > Tentacle Dragon (Revenge of The)~, Red Daisy, Leaders > Wargasam, Tennessee\, Train 45#
? Billy Strings solo
* William “Billy” Hayes cover
^ Bill Emerson cover
% The Dillards cover
# The Stanley Brothers cover
@ Norman Blake cover
! Sam Patterson Trio cover
+ Bill Monroe cover cover
= Larry Sparks cover
– New Grass Revival cover
~ Béla Fleck cover
\ Jimmy Martin cover
1 Delmore Brothers cover
Setlist via BillyBase.net