Greensky Bluegrass is a genre-bending band from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Partly because of their name, every article written about the band addresses the fact that what Greensky does is “not quite” bluegrass.
They are bluegrass in the sense that the 5-piece band features guitar, stand-up bass, mandolin, banjo and dobro, but that’s where tradition ends. Greensky Bluegrass is known for the improvisation, unique covers and multiple-set shows more associated with the Grateful Dead, Widespread Panic and other jam bands.
This was the first of back-to-back sold-out shows at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater. My wife commented that “ALL the hippies in Colorado” must be at the show. I disagreed, a lot of the audience were from out of state and surely some of the Colorado hippies were unmotivated and waited too long to get tickets. The good news is, hippies are friendly and fun-loving, and Greensky fans (affectionately known as “Campers”) are passionate about their music and lifestyle – similar to Deadheads.
The California Honeydrops, opened the show and set the tone for an incredible evening of music. As their Spotify profile indicates, “they don’t just play music – they throw parties.” Their musical influences include R&B, funk, soul, blues and New Orleans jazz. As the amphitheater filled and the sun set on a spectacular Colorado day, The Honeydrops won over the audience with their infectious dance party vibes. If you’re curious, check out their song When It Was Wrong.
Greensky opened the first set with Past My Prime, and other highlights included Burn Them and Bob Marley’s Could You Be Loved. The second set was even more inspired featuring Worried About the Weather, Who is Frederico? and they were joined onstage by The Honeydrops for an outstanding rendition of Ray Charles’ Night Time is the Right Time and closed with my personal favorite Living Over.
As with any good jam band show, there were a lot of happy hippies dancing, singing, and batting glow-in-the-dark balloons, inflatable toys and glow sticks into the air. Yes, that is a three-foot-long inflatable banana in my photo.
Peace and love.
Music-Loving Education Champion: Tim Taylor
Venue: Red Rocks Amphitheater
City: Denver, CO
Date of Show: September 22, 2018