The Social - Orlando, FL (January 31)

Florida? Yeah sure, why not? We found a good deal on plane tickets and went for it. This run is me, Colin, Alison, and Lori. We rented a convertible and started off our Florida run at The Social in Orlando.

We met up with Steve, Theresa, and Michael at the venue. The best part about waiting outside, was that it was 70 degrees. We weren't wearing sweaters, or coats, or snow boots... it was glorious.

I was very happy to see that the venue was nice and small. The stage was just big enough for the band, and we were nice and close. Sometimes it can feel awkward to be so close to someone when they are performing, but most of the time the energy flow between the band and audience is unmatched. These smaller shows are my absolute favorite.

We had heard a couple of days earlier that Dave had seriously injured his picking hand. We were concerned that this would mean that they would need a replacement (we wouldn't even let ourselves worry about cancellation), but Dave was wrapped up and ready to rock.

The band came out only a few minutes after 9, opening with Alison's favorite song, "Cuckoo's Nest". For me, I didn't get really excited about any particular song until "And Your Bird Can Sing", one of my favorite covers that I was hoping to get on this run. I just can't believe it happened so early! Most of the rest set was really on fire, with "Idaho", "Takes a Lot to Laugh", "Steam Powered Aereoplane", "Walking Shoes", and "Elzic's Farewell" being my favorites of the set. Even though there were a handful of songs played that aren't particularly my favorites, this first set was so much fun. I think it was the energy of being right up front, seeing our friends, and being in a warm climate - we had a blast.

So, not only was it warm outside, it was warm inside. Very warm. OK, it was HOT. I've only been to one hotter show, and that was at the Ogden in 2010. And at both shows, the band turned their fans to us for the set break. Such nice guys. But thank God I always bring my own fan!

Set 2 started with a ferocious "Death Trip", followed by a killer "Part "1. Always a favorite. They slid right in to "Fingerprint", followed by "Hit Parade of Love" and "Life's Too Short". We don't get these two songs very often. A couple songs later and Kevin brought out a couple lyric sheets for Ben and Jeff, but they were right in front of our faces and could easily be seen. Ben grabbed his bow, flicked away the pages, and started jabbing at all of us in the front row. What song would it be? It was "New Horizons"> "Come Together"> "New Horizons". Always a hit with the crowd, and it seems like it's a sandwich favorite of the band. The 2nd set ended with "Night Out" (love the harmonies in this song), "Little Rabbit" (felt like I was going to pass out from the heat), "No Expectations" (a little slowdown, but not much of a cool down), and a freaking raging "Oklahoma" (so close to melting to a puddle on the floor). Did I mention how hot it was in there? Those who were closer to Jeff must have gotten sprayed with headbanging sweat, but they loved it. There was a whole group of Jeff fanatics, taking photos and video taping during some of the high energy moments. It was fun to watch. And it was also really nice to see Adam's mom right against the stage in front of Adam. So sweet.

This was an intimate, high-energy beginning to a run of shows. We knew we were in for a great week...

Written by Dorothy St.Claire

Yonder Mountain String Band
1/31/11 The Social, Orlando, FL

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