Greensky Bluegras & Holly Bowling 11.18.21

Crystal Ballroom
Portland, OR

Words & Photos by Alexander Zettas (WithinTheSound Studios)

Riding high in anticipation for an upcoming album release, Greensky Bluegrass are wrapping up their west coast leg of tour with support from the virtuosic pianist Holly Bowling. On the sixth date on tour they visited the iconic Crystal Ballroom in Portland, OR on November 18th. As the show opened and fans eagerly waited in line outside the venue to present proof of vaccinations and testings, it was clear that they had been awaiting a musical reunion dear to their hearts. With a band that has only been able to share live stream performances throughout the pandemic. This was a very special night.

These live stream performances have kept the band sharp. This was clear right out of the gates as they opened with “Run or Die.” A track that was also featured on Volume 4 of their Leap Year Sessions. The Leap Year Sessions being a culmination of streamed performances throughout the past 2 years released periodically here in 2021.

Next up on the setlist was the fresh new single, “Monument,” released also in 2021 and slated to be on their upcoming album. The band then slowed things down with “While Waiting” just before picking things up for an energetic first set. In closing the first set was a cover of the classic tune “Light Up or Leave Me Alone,” originally by the band Traffic.

The second set included Holly Bowling on keys for a transformed treat of 6
reensky. Opening that second set with “Before Bring Out Your Dead > Bring Out Your Dead.” The band’s new sixth member of sound encompassed the Crystal Ballroom and the energy was brought to an all new level. The band took notice and spoke upon the Ballroom’s unique bouncy floor itself and the crowd added a response of jumps and dancing at key parts throughout the set. The band also jumping in unison made it all that more fun. The exchange of solos with Holly Bowling brought a new take on classic Greensky songs like “200 Miles From Montana.” They closed the second set with an extended “Past My Prim > Don’t Lie.” With the crowd obviously not having enough, they began to shake up the Crystal Ballroom floor again in support of an encore of Otis Redding’s beautiful tune, “That’s How Strong My Love Is.”

Alexander's Photo Gallery


Set 1: Run or Die, Monument, While Waiting, Clinch Mountain Backstep, Merely Avoiding, Bottle Dry, Take Cover, Can’t Make Time, Light Up or Leave Me Alone

Set 2: Before Bring Out Your Dead > Bring Out Your Dead, All For Money, That’s What Love Will Make You Do, Demons > What You Need, 200 Miles From Montana, Past My Prime > Don’t Lie

Encore: That’s How Strong My Love Is

*All of Set 2 with Holly Bowling on keyboards.


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