I never imagined using the term “hippy mosh pit.” It doesn’t make much sense either when it’s used to describe the dance floor during part of a bluegrass show. But when I found myself in the middle of one during the Greensky Bluegrass show this past Friday night, I realized pleasant oddities such as the hippy mosh pit are only possible through the power of good music and happy vibes.
We arrived at Birdy’s a little early in the evening to a small crowd covering only a couple of tables. Hopes of grabbing a bite to eat and a refreshing beer on the side patio were quickly halted with the long pause and glare we got from the bartender when we asked about food. Starving, we decided to take a quick trip across the street for a snack. When we returned thirty minutes later the crowd had multiplied. A summer-like breeze whirled it’s way around the humming chatter, exciting the senses into a feel-good consciousness equated to an outdoor summer festival.
It wasn’t long after we got back that Greensky Bluegrass stepped on stage. For those who aren’t familiar, the five man, all string instrument band consists of Dave Bruzza on guitar, Anders Beck on dobro, Mike Devol with his upright bass, Mike Bont on banjo, and Paul Hoffman rocking the mandolin. No style was left behind as each member exchanged moments leading the songs that varied in length. Shifting the lengths of the songs from a few minutes to an extended version was a nice twist, like a fusion of jam band meets bluegrass. I also enjoyed the blend of original music mixed with bluegrass covers of artists like Prince and Pink Floyd.
The full dance floor consisted of a variety of people mostly dancing with their eyes closed and in their own happy place. A multitude of songs got the crowd bouncing around a little more, building up to the quick explosion of the hippy mosh pit. I say quick, well because it was. And it wasn’t like an angry storm of hippies bashing into each other. More like a burst of excitement that produced bodies bouncing off of each other.
As the final song played, we noticed a lonely patron who was enjoying the show with his eyes closed and his head leaned back on the ATM machine. We were sure he’d open them as the crowd enthusiastically cheered the group back on the stage for an encore. But no such luck. Hopefully he’ll read this and know better next time that the Greensky Bluegrass performance is well worth keeping your eyes on.