Billy Failing

Do you dance when you stream a show? I can’t do it. But I’ll admit, as the stage lights came up, replacing Billy Strings’ concert poster, I could feel the gooseflesh on my arms perking up. What is a full concert experience right now? Interactive? Maybe. Original? Definitely. Happening now; unfolding with, or in spite, of me. The energy on stage must be manifested in a different way. So, what is the place of the viewer? We no longer are wrapped up in the vibe we are helping to create.

It is easy to understand that musicians whose lifeblood is not only playing for a crowd but feeding off their audience’s liveliness would feel an unfillable void during these unusual times. From a fan’s perspective, they couldn’t think of anywhere better to be than with their favorite band, with that crowd, in that sacred space of connectivity. It’s hard to imagine the artists wouldn’t have that similar longing as playing for a packed music hall isn’t safe for the foreseeable future.

“Oh my god, ok, it’s happening.” – Michael Scott

With a Billy Strings show upcoming (I almost thought I’d never say that again), is it weird that the only thing on my mind is what to wear for my first concert in four months?

Can you call Billy Strings a newcomer? Maybe not anymore, seeing as how the twenty-something-year-old virtuoso bluegrass guitarist, along with his band of three other members, is now known for selling out large venues around the country. And yet, the word newcomer feels right in the context of making important notches.

It takes a hell of a lot to get me to brave the absolute sardine-pack that is a sold-out Ogden Theatre in Denver for 3 consecutive nights. There are very few bands that would warrant something like that but Billy Strings is up there at the top of the shortlist.  Over the course of a cold weekend in December, the city of Denver was lucky enough to get to take part in the only three-night run of Billy Strings’ fall tour.

Born and raised in Lansing, Michigan, William Apostol, better known to his fans as Billy Strings, was constantly surrounded by a wide array of music. His stepfather was a picker in the Michigan bluegrass scene and surrounded Billy with an array of traditional bluegrass music including Earl Scruggs, David Grisman, Larry Sparks, and Del McCoury.

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