Billy Strings Closes Deja Vu Run with First-Ever “Help”> “Slip”> “Franklin’s” and 3 New Originals

February 25, 2021
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Photo by Jesse Faatz

As seen on The Relix Channel on Twitch, Billy Strings continued to honor the Grateful Dead on the final night of his crowdless Deja Vu Experiment at The Capitol Theatre on Wednesday night, nodding to the San Francisco legends with a slew of first-ever covers, including a rousing second set version of “Help On The Way” > “Slipknot!”> “Franklin’s Tower.”

Of course, Strings’ entire, six-night, no-repeats run aligned with the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead’s February 1971 performances at The Cap, and he was sure to do one final ESP Experiment with the virtual crowd, asking them to mentally project an image to Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon (naturally, results have been mixed).

Strings and company – Royal Masat (bass) Jarrod Walker (mandolin) and Billy Failing (banjo) – opened their finale at The Cap with the ’60s Keith Allison cut “Freeborn Man” and later made waves with a nice “Me and My Uncle” sandwich containing Strings’ own “Living Like An Animal.”

The first debut of the night came with Strings’ new instrumental original “Libby Phillips Rag,” followed by his first ever take on the Dead’s “Cassidy” and a set-closing “Wargasm,” which was revealed to be another new original in the Strings repertoire.

For set two, fans finally got their “Dust In A Baggie,” which bled nicely into the Dead’s “Deal.”

Strings’ last new original of the night came with an instrumental called “Running The Route,” but Deadheads were most thrilled to hear the aforementioned trio of “Help”> “Slip”> “Franklin’s” which marked Strings’ first go at the legendary suite.

Strings closed the evening with the emotive Dead favorite “Brokedown Palace,” as well as his own expansive “Meet Me At The Creek,” which clocked in at around 14 minutes.

Check out the full setlist, a teaser video and some photos below:

Billy Strings
Feb. 24, 2021
The Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY
Deja Vu Experiment, Night 6

Set I: Freeborn Man, Cocaine Blues > Clinch Mountain Backstep, Me and My Uncle > Living Like An Animal > Me and My Uncle, I Only Exist, Libby Phillips Rag^, Cassidy*, Wargasm^

Set II: Dust In A Baggie > Deal, Running The Route^> So Many Miles, Help On The Way*> Slipknot!*> Franklin’s Tower*, Brokedown Palace, Meet Me At The Creek

^New Billy Strings Original
*Cover, Live Debut