Billy Strings Begins ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Halloween Run In Asheville

Billy Strings began a The Wizard Of Oz themed Halloween run on Friday at ExploreAsheville.com Arena in Asheville, North Carolina. The show featured the debuts of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and Pink Floyd’s “Brain Damage.”

Strings, mandolinist Jarrod Walker, banjoist Billy Failing and bassist Royal Masat were costumed as Wizard Of Oz characters from the black and white start of the film, before the tornado arrives in Kansas. Mimicking the look of the first part of the movie, the stage lighting was dark and shadowy for the first set and most of the second set.

The band ended the performance by looping the outro to “Spinning” over the PA as they left the stage near the end of set two. They returned to a full spectrum of colors lighting the stage and a rainbow of balloons dropping on the audience as they played “Brain Damage” from Floyd’s acclaimed album, The Dark Side Of The Moon, which is notoriously tied to The Wizard Of Oz film.

Prior to that, the show began with a debut cover of the instrumental “Red Wing” that included a “Jessica” tease, which coincided with the 50th anniversary of the death of Duane Allman. The opening set also presented the aforementioned “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” debut (sung by Failing) as well as “If I Only Had A Brain” teases within the set-closing “Highway Hypnosis.”

Elements of “If I Only Had A Brain” surfaced again during the “Black Clouds” second set opener and again on a version of “Ride Me High” that also saw “Jessica” teased and was surrounded by “Thunder.” The seamless, six-song second set also featured “Hide & Seek,” which led into “Spinning” and the balloon drop.

Billy Strings returns to ExploreAsheville.com Arena for shows tonight and on Halloween. Visit nugs.net to purchase livestreams. Watch pro-shot and audience-shot video footage from Friday’s concert below:

Audio (Taped by Jim Mal)

Setlist (via Billy Strings Setlist Page)

Set One: Redwing [1][2][3] > Fire On My Tongue > Must Be Seven, Ready for the Times to Get Better, Somewhere Over the Rainbow [4], End of the Rainbow > Ice Bridges, Everything’s the Same, Thirst Mutilator > Running, Highway Hypnosis [5]

Set Two: Black Clouds [5] > Thunder > Ride Me High [5][2] > Thunder > Hide & Seek [6] > Spinning > Brain Damage [7]

Notes:

  • [1] Somewhere Over the Rainbow tease
  • [2] Jessica tease
  • [3] debut
  • [4] debut
  • [5] If I Only Had a Brain tease
  • [6] Feel Like a Stranger tease
  • [7] debut – Pink Floyd

Band dressed as Wizard Of Oz characters (Dorothy and family before the tornado). Spinning outro was looped through the PA while the band left the stage. Entire show had the band lit in greyscale. They returned to colored lighting/balloon drop during Brain Damage.