Last night, Billy Strings stopped by the Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas in the City of Sin, captivating the audience from start to finish. During his performance away from the endless lights of the strip, Strings paid tribute to The Bard, Bob Dylan, dishing out three songs in honor of his birthday – including his debut rendition of Dylan’s 1964 classic “Motorpsycho Nitemare.”
Strings kicked off his diverse setlist–spanning genres and paying homage to musical legends–with a vibrant rendition of Jimmie Skinner’s “Doin’ My Time,” setting the tone for the high-octane performance that lay ahead. Strings and his band flawlessly navigated the intricate melodies of “Running the Route,” seamlessly transitioning into the introspective “Taking Water,” which showcased their exceptional musicianship. Next came a soul-stirring cover of The Stanley Brothers’ “I Only Exist,” which was followed by Sam Patterson Trio’s “Haul de Woodpile Down.” The crowd was then treated to the heartfelt ballad “Watch It Fall” before experiencing the infectious energy of “The Preacher and the Bear,” an Arthur Collins classic.
Strings displayed his virtuosity with his lively tune “Libby Phillips Rag,” leaving the audience in awe of his mastery over the instrument. The band continued to explore with Jeff Austin’s “15 Steps,” and the introspective “Nothing’s Working.” The traditional “Sally Goodin” Covered before a penultimate “Show Me the Door” before Strings closed the set with Jackson Browne’s “Running on Empty.”
As the second set began, the band paid tribute to Tony Rice with a heartfelt performance of “Tipper.” The crowd erupted in applause as Strings introduced a live debut of Bob Dylan’s “Motorpsycho Nitemare,” delivering an electrifying performance with steady guitar and pristine vocals – each lyric of the descriptive song landed. His songs “My Alice” and “This Old World” followed before they dove again into the lively rhythms of another group which inspires, this time in the form of New Grass Revival’s “Whisper My Name.” The spirit of bluegrass pioneers Ralph Stanley and The Dillards shone through as the band performed “I’ve Just Seen the Rock of Ages” and “Ernest T. Grass,” respectively. Strings continued to mesmerize the crowd with the introspective “Secrets,” followed by a heartfelt performance of “Wild Bill Jones,” another homage to The Stanley Brothers.
The evening reached its crescendo with the anthemic “Meet Me at the Creek,” captivating the audience with its infectious energy. Strings then paid tribute to the legendary Dylan with a soulful rendition of “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” and the thought-provoking “Drifter’s Escape.” Strings and his band rounded out the night with “All of Tomorrow,” leaving the audience in a state of reflection. As the final notes faded away, they bid farewell with the lively and spirited “Come Down the Mountain Katie Daly,” ensuring that the crowd was left with an exhilarating musical memory that would resonate long after the show ended.
Strings will perform at BottleRock Napa Valley on May 26 next.
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Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas – Las Vegas
May 24, 2023
Set I: Doin’ My Time (Jimmie Skinner cover), Running the Route > Taking Water, I Only Exist (The Stanley Brothers cover), Haul de Woodpile Down (Sam Patterson Trio cover), Watch It Fall, The Preacher and the Bear (Arthur Collins cover), Libby Phillips Rag, 15 Steps (Jeff Austin cover), Nothing’s Working, Sally Goodin ([traditional] cover), Show Me the Door, Running on Empty (Jackson Browne cover)
Set II: Tipper (Tony Rice cover), Motorpsycho Nitemare (Bob Dylan cover) (Live debut by Billy Strings), My Alice, This Old World, Whisper My Name (New Grass Revival cover), I’ve Just Seen the Rock of Ages (Ralph Stanley cover), Ernest T. Grass (The Dillards cover) > Secrets, Wild Bill Jones (The Stanley Brothers cover), Meet Me at the Creek, Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right (Bob Dylan cover), Drifter’s Escape (Bob Dylan cover), All of Tomorrow, Come Down the Mountain Katie Daly ([traditional] cover)