Freebird Live - Jacksonville Beach, FL (February 3)

We took our time leaving Gainesville for Jacksonville. We took some photos with a sweet Gators/Grateful Dead mural, then got some yummy BBQ.

The drive was quick and gloomy, and we arrived at Jax Beach with enough time for walking the beach and getting some food (fried pickles for me, please).

We got into the venue and were disappointed to see that they had put up a rail... a very narrow rail that didn't even cover the full width of the stage. Pretty pointless, really. We got our spots and visited for a while.

They kicked the show off with "40 Miles From Denver" and "Northern Song", before bringing a nice surprise with "Romance Blues". Hell yes. The sound wasn't as good up front as it was the night before in Gainesville, but the song selection more than made up for it. They played Hot Rize's "Going Across the Sea", which is always a treat, and Ben sang Colin's request of "Someday's Reunion". Next, they busted out an oldie but a goodie with "Shady Grove"> "Wheel Hoss"> "Shady Grove". So hot. The set finished out with "Piece of Mind"> "East Nashville Easter"> "Piece of Mind". And this "POM" was absolutely killer. This was a long, fiery set.

During set break the crowd really started to fill in, and by the time the boys hit the stage for the 2nd set, it was on its way to being a complete madhouse.

They opened with Jeff's newest song, "What the Night Brings", which is definitely becoming one of my new favorites. A few more songs in we got a little sherif saga love with "Sometimes I've Won" and "On the Run"... oh, and "Southern Flavor" in the middle of "On the Run". NICE.

At some point, the crowd was pretty wild and one guy in particular wouldn't leave Alison alone. He grabbed her, at which point she told him he did not have permission to touch her, but he didn't stop. All at the same time, our new friends Dave and Dan came to help her and Jeff stepped to the edge of the stage to yell at the guy. Finally, he backed off. Thanks, guys!

The 2nd set finished out with "Dawn's Early Light", "My Gal", and "Granny Woncha Smoke Some". When they left for the encore break, the crowd cheered louder than any crowd that size I've ever heard. The boys were definitely pleasantly surprised by this, playing "Kentucky Mandolin" and "Crazy Train" for the encore. "Crazy Train" was the perfect choice for the end of this show.

Written by Dorothy St.Claire

Yonder Mountain String Band
2/3/11 Freebird Live, Jacksonville Beach, FL

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