Billy Strings Plays ‘Gold Rush 3000’ In Chicago

The guitarist loaded the setlist for his official Lollapalooza Aftershow with rare covers.

By Scott Bernstein Jul 28, 2022 8:31 am PDT

Billy Strings offered a revised version of Bill Monroe’s “The Gold Rush” entitled “Gold Rush 3000” to start his encore last night at The Metro in Chicago. The take featuring Strings on Casio DG-20 Synth guitar was one of 21 covers played as part of Billy’s official Lollapalooza Aftershow in advance of his appearance at the festival in Grant Park today.

Initially released as a single by Bill Monroe in 1968, Strings performed “The Gold Rush” 14 times between November 14, 2019 and May 14, 2022. Last night’s reworking saw Strings start “Gold Rush 3000” by jamming on Harold Faltermeyer’s “Axel F” and utilize a drum machine. Fiddler Alex Hargreaves picked up on the “Axel F” hints as Billy strummed his synth guitar, Royal Masat offered a steady bass line, mandolinist Jarrod Walker delivered rhythmic work and Billy Failing plucked multiple banjo solos. Watch fan-shot video featuring “Gold Rush 3000” below:


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Strings treated fans to a solo “Guitar Peace” to get the concert underway. The rest of the band joined in on the ensuing cover of Pink Floyd’s “Fearless.” The quintet then paired the instrumental “New Camptown Races” with Reno & Smiley’s “Unwanted Love.” Billy looked to 2017’s Turmoil & Tinfoil next for “All Of Tomorrow” and “Salty Sheep.” The latter combines traditional songs “Salt Creek” and “Sheep In The Meadow.”

Billy Strings and his bandmates filled the rest of Wednesday’s first set with covers. The Old & The In Way-popularized “The Hobo Song” saw action for the first time since July 16, 2021 before the group presented just their second “Lumpy, Beanpole, & Dirt” of the year and fourth ever take on Allen Reynolds’ “Ready For The Times To Get Better.” Last night’s “I’ve Just Seen The Rock Of Ages,” a song penned by John Preston and initially recorded by Larry Sparks And The Lonesome Ramblers, was also a 2022 debut and led into The String Cheese Incident’s “Black Clouds” to close the frame. Billy played “Black Clouds” earlier this month with The String Cheese Incident at Red Rocks.

Last night’s second set was also heavy on covers. However, first up was the original “Dos Banjos,” which fittingly saw Strings and Failing on banjos. The traditional “Red Rocking Chair” then gave way to “Gone A Long Time” before more traditional fare came in “Shady Grove” and “Ruby.” Next up was a cover of Pearl Jam’s “In Hiding,” which was last played on November 17, 2021 and started a sequence that also included Failing’s “So Many Miles” and the Strings original “Dealing Despair.”

Another rare cover followed “Dealing Despair” as the five musicians offered Garcia and Grisman’s “Dreadful Wind & Rain” for its first play of the year. The instrumental “Libby Phillips Rag” was then trotted out for just the fifth time ahead of takes on Jeff Austin’s “Fiddling Around” and “15 Steps.” Billy crowdsurfed during the “15 Steps” jam.

Strings and company closed out the set with Blackfoot’s “Train, Train.” The band launched the encore with the aforementioned “Gold Rush 3000” and ended the night by gathering around a single mic for “I’m A Lucky Girl! Hooray! Oh Boy!” and “Freedom.” The former is a jingle used in commercials for Van Scoy Diamonds that returned for the first time after its debut on November 19, 2021 and the latter is an original written by Strings and Lindsey Lou.

Billy Strings makes his Lollapalooza debut today on the T-Mobile Stage before Metallica’s headlining set. Watch live on Hulu starting at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.

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Setlist (via BillyBase.net)

Set One: Guitar Peace [1] > Fearless, New Camptown Races > Unwanted Love, All Of Tomorrow, Salty Sheep, The Hobo Song, Lumpy, Beanpole, & Dirt, Ready For The Times To Get Better, I’ve Just Seen The Rock Of Ages, Black Clouds

Set Two: Dos Banjos [2], Red Rocking Chair, Gone A Long Time, Shady Grove, Ruby, In Hiding > So Many Miles > Dealing Despair, Dreadful Wind & Rain, Libby Phillips Rag, Fiddling Around, 15 Steps, Train, Train

Encore: Gold Rush 3000 [3] [4], I’m A Lucky Girl! Hooray! Oh Boy! [5], Freedom [5]

  • 1. Billy Strings solo
  • 2. Dos Billys
  • 3. BS on Casio DG-20 Synth guitar
  • 4. Axel F intro
  • 5. Single mic
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