Billy Strings debuted a Procol Harum cover during Tuesday’s concert at WAVE in Wichita, Kansas. Strings led his band through their first ever take on the location-appropriate “The Devil Came From Kansas” to kick off the show.
Procol Harum’s Gary Brooker and Keith Reid co-wrote “The Devil Came From Kansas” for inclusion on the group’s 1969 studio album, A Salty Dog. Billy Strings, banjoist Billy Failing, bassist Royal Masat and mandolinist Jarrod Walker followed the cover debut with the beloved “Dust In A Baggie” before working “Taking Water” from the Grammy-winning 2019 album Home into a nicely extended version of Frank Wakefield’s “End Of The Rainbow.”
Tuesday’s first set continued with “Hellbender,” the first of seven songs from the just-released Renewal that made the setlist in Wichita. Strings then led his group through covers of the Grateful Dead’s “Wharf Rat” and John Hartford’s “All Fall Down.” The four-piece capped the set by pairing Renewal cuts “Nothing’s Working” and “Heartbeat Of America.”
Billy and his band began last night’s second set with a trio of Renewal tracks: “Red Daisy,” “Fire On My Tongue” and “Fire Line.” The traditional “Reuben’s Train” followed and a particularly cool moment came at the end as a train passed by the venue and blew its horn as per notes on Phantasy Tour. Strings returned to Renewal for the tender “In The Morning Light.” From there, the quartet dug in on “Highway Hypnosis” and dusted off Johnny Winter’s “Cheap Tequila” for the first time since February 21, 2020 — a span of 93 shows.
A well-jammed “Pyramid Country” came after the bust out and featured a tease of JJ Cale’s “Ride Me High.” Billy showed off a dirty and distorted tone throughout his solo. “Pyramid Country” bled into “Little Maggie” to close the frame. Strings and company then went with Arlie Duff’s “Y’all Come” as the evening’s encore. Next up for Billy Strings is a concert at The Jones Assembly in Oklahoma City tonight.
Watch fan-shot video featuring last night’s “Taking Water” and “Wharf Rat” below:
Setlist (via PT Billy Strings)
Set One: The Devil Came From Kansas , Dust In A Baggie, Taking Water > End Of The Rainbow, Hellbender, Wharf Rat > All Fall Down, Nothing’s Working, Heartbeat Of America
Set Two: Red Daisy, The Fire On My Tongue, Fire Line, Reuben’s Train , In The Morning Light, Highway Hypnosis, Cheap Tequila, Pyramid Country  > Little Maggie
Encore: Y’all Come
-  – FTP
-  – Train passed by venue and blew horn at end of song
-  – Ride Me High tease