Bluegrass Sensation Nickel Creek Returns to the Stage

Nickel Creek at the Murat Theatre inside Old National Centre. Indianapolis, IN. | 02.10.24
Nickel Creek at the Murat Theatre inside Old National Centre. Indianapolis, IN. | 02.10.24

Indianapolis, IN. – It’s been nine plus years since Bluegrass Power Trio NICKEL CREEK has been out on tour. That all changed at the end of 2023 when the band hit the road in support of their fifth major album, CELEBRANTS (out now via Thirty Tigers) – Side Note: Celebrants is technically the bands seventh studio album but the first two albums (Little Cowpoke & Here to There ) are no longer in print and the band redefined their style in 2000 with the release of their self-titled (breakthrough) album, Nickel Creek (produced by Allison Krauss).

Featuring original members Chris Thile (vocals, mandolin) and siblings Sara Watkins (vocals, violin/fiddle) and Sean Watkins (vocals, acoustic guitar), this Bluegrass sensation has been pushing the boundaries of traditional Bluegrass for close to 34 years. It was amazing to finally get the opportunity to see them perform live in the Murat Theatre inside Old National Centre this past Saturday night. They were joined on stage by Jim Picker (stand-up bass) and proceeded to thrill fans of all ages as they played a lengthy two-hour set highlighting material from their newest release, along with playing fan favorites that put them on the map. 

The stage gave the appearance of being inside a big barn due to a full length curtain that hung behind the players and the lighting designer made use of the space “in between the rafters” to change the setting and feel of the show depending on the tune. I was struck by the symbiotic relationship between the musicians voices and their respective instruments both in terms of range and the roles they played within the ensemble. One of the main highlights for me was when Sara broke into “Sabre Girl” from their album THIS SIDE released in 2002. I played the hell out of THIS SIDE back in the day and was happy to hear a few tunes from that album in Saturday’s show. 

All Photos by Guest Photographer: © Tony Vasquez 2024


Nickel Creek will be out touring the U.S. through May before joining up with Andrew Bird for several dates in the month of July. Check local listings or the band’s website for a show near you and make sure to grab your tickets as this is a show you won’t want to miss! 

Setlist: Indianapolis

  • Where the Long Line Leads 
  • Ode to a Butterfly
  • When In Rome 
  • Destination
  • This Side
  • Going Out…
  • Celebrants
  • Reasons Why
  • Elephant in the Room
  • Strangers
  • The Lighthouse’s Tale
  • Scotch & Chocolate
  • Somebody More Like You
  • Sabre Girl
  • To the Airport
  • …Despite the Weather
  • 21st of May
  • When You Come Back Down (Tim O’Brien cover)
  • New Blood 
  • Smoothie Song
  • The Fox
  • Hayloft (Mother Mother cover)
  • Holding Pattern

SHOW DATE: 2/10/2024