Greensky Bluegrass displays talent at Roots N Blues N BBQ

Calmer than other groups, Greensky Bluegrass gave festival-goers a chance to relax after a long weekend.

The loud trumpet of Trombone Shorty’s set faded into the background as festival-goers walked through the path of vendors selling merchandise and food. As Trombone Shorty grew quieter and quieter, the sound of Greensky Bluegrass and their unique set of instruments grew louder and louder from the opposite stage.

The members of the band stood in a straight line onstage, each touting a string instrument. At first glance, they seemed to be just like any other bluegrass band with a banjo and acoustic guitar, but Greensky Bluegrass also featured a dobro, mandolin and upright bass, adding to their unique sound. Despite the lack of usual instruments, like drums or keyboard, they managed to attain a similar sound with a great balance between the bass and soprano instruments. Each instrument worked well with the others, creating separate lines that matched up in beautiful ways.

Though their music was good, the band was not particularly engaging or exciting to watch. Greensky Bluegrass was more the kind of band to play in the background as festival-goers ate with their groups of friends, chatting over the instrumental parts. It did provide a nice alternative to Trombone Shorty for those who don’t love the loud, intense atmosphere of that end of the festival, but it was also hard to stay interested knowing there was such a fantastic show going on nearby.

Despite this lack of excitement, though, the atmosphere of the show was beautiful. The quieter music combined with the cooling weather and end-of-day exhaustion setting in over the crowd created a sense of peace and calm. The band played what I like to call “movie montage music”-- that sort of epic music played in the more pleasant parts of a movie, when the main character is driving off into the sunset halfway through. It was a very nice moment to take in how pretty the festival was around me and how happy I was to be there, especially with a sweet song playing in the background. It felt like the perfect way to wind down such a crazy festival on a Sunday evening.

That being said, there wasn’t much else to take in. Yes, the musicians were phenomenal in their skills, but there was little variation. Every song sounded extremely similar-- beginning with vocals, taking a break for instrumentation, picking the vocals back up and then ending with a long, silent pause for the musicians to tune their instruments again. Under the lights and out in the open air, though, Greensky Bluegrass was a great way to end the day.

Edited by Siena DeBolt | sdebolt@themaneater.com

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