Words & Photos by Anthony Abu-Hanna

Michigan based bluegrass-jammers Greensky Bluegrass brought their unique take on bluegrass to New Haven on their 2024 winter tour. The quintet showed why one shouldn’t miss a weekday show. Their prowess, whether it’s on the dobro, banjo, guitar, mandolin, or bass, was on display in a packed house. 

But this writer needs to take a moment to appreciate the opener, NYC’s own Melt. This five-piece psychedelic-soul-jam band got the crowd ready for the headliners with alternating lead vocals from lead singer Veronica Stewart-Frommer and Eric Gabriel. Captivating vocals, reminiscent of Lake Street Dive’s Rachel Price from Veronica turned this crowd from just a few people to a boisterous dance party. 

Greensky Bluegrass took to the stage to boisterous applause, diving straight in to Working On A Building and getting the audience grooving. The band found their groove as they dug into Run Or Die. Restrained and nuanced in control in the first half of the song. It wasn’t kept that way forever as the trading solos across mandolin, guitar, and banjo were building up the intensity for what was about to come – a twangy descent into darkness with a dobro solo that quickly found its footing in this Type I, teetering on Type II, jam. 

Anders Beck, interacting with the crowd, talked about how today was a beautiful day, remniscing on the quote “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, before playing homage to bluegrass great Del McCoury, who turned 85 today, with a stunning rendition of Beauty of My Dreams. Controlling the vibe in the room, the band led into their bluegrass ballad In Control – which teasingly settled the energized crowd  – and with a noticeable crawl, upped the tempo before launching into a vibrant party between A Letter to Seymour and Grow Together to end their first set. 

Greensky Bluegrass launched full-steam into their second set with an uptempo Murder of Crows. New Haven’s packed College Street Music Hall. The shining star of the second set was undoubtedly Last Winter in the Copper Country nearly 20 minute spectacle of musicianship, crescendoing the evening in absolute peak form. From there through the end of the night – the pace and electricity was elevated. Fantastic live treatments of Gumboots and Kerosene, the combined songs nearing 25 minutes long, took this crowd home. Last, but not least, the band ended the evening with a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark

There are people in the jam community who say Greensky Bluegrass hasn’t been firing on all cylinders. And to those cynics, I’ve just got to say – don’t miss a Thursday show. This band is tighter than ever and their live performances are operating on a different plane of existence. 

From New Haven, signing off. 

Set 1: 

Working On A Building

Wheel Hoss


Broken Highways

Run or Die

Beauty of My Dreams (Del McCoury cover)

In Control

A Letter to Seymour

Grow Together

Set 2:
Murder of Crows

Pig in a Pen

What You Need

Walkin’ The Dog

Last Winter in the Copper Country

Middle Mountain Town





Dancing in the Dark (Bruce Springsteen cover)

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