Greensky Bluegrass 10.5.11

The Loft
Lansing, MI

Words & Photos By Greg Molitor

October 5th found Michigan filled with jam concerts. On the west side of the state, STS9 and Digital Tape Machine were playing in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo respectively, and in Lansing, the Mitten’s own Greensky Bluegrass graced us with their presence at The Loft for a CD release party. Their new album Handguns is a huge accomplishment in the band’s young history, and I made my way up to Lansing to give the band their due respect.

I arrived to The Loft later than usual, around 11:30 PM, and upon entering the venue, my good friend Al told me that I had missed the first set. A few minutes later, the band came onstage to an energetic crowd that had clearly shown up to get down. Greensky Bluegrass instantly commands attentions. This evening’s set led us through many peaks and valleys as many effects laden, spacious jam segments were slowly built into intense bluegrass breakdowns that featuring lightning fast and downright nasty pickin’. One thing is for sure... whatever song Greensky decides to play, they play the hell out of it. It’s refreshing to see a band that takes their craft as seriously as they do.

During their cover of Bruce Hornsby’s “King of the Hill”, the band’s fog machine was laying down the smoke so thick that the fire alarms began to sound. Rather than stop the tune mid jam, Greensky Bluegrass played even faster. The crowd was screaming with delight at the insanity of the moment. I’d never seen such an odd turn of events at a show, and after the alarm debacle, the night became truly one to remember. Greensky finished their set with a beautifully performed version of Pink Floyd’s “Time”. No matter what song the band is moving through during set, whether it be a cover or an original, Greensky owns it. With precision, skill, and all sorts of love, they truly play songs how they’re meant to be played, and on this evening, I felt extremely fortunate to be a part of that magic one more time.

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