Varsity Theatre - Baton Rouge, LA (January 26)

First "Cabin Fever" Show, 2011

Yonder's first show since their NYE concert was one I will never forget. I was visiting the South for the first time in a coon's age and I happened to make a couple of friends who were also into Yonder Mountain String Band while in Mississippi. I had no idea what to expect on my drive down to Baton Rouge. As soon as we found the venue we realized that it sits pretty much on the LSU campus. We got there early and parked right next to The Varsity Theater. There was a donation based coffee shop right next door to the venue at which we witnessed some college student organize a Rubix cube in under three minutes.

We went into the bar that was connected to the theater and immediately began to meet people that were there for the show. This show was the first time I have seen them east of the Mississippi river and the crowd seemed much more diverse than the shows I have been to on the West Coast and in the Rocky Mountains. There were quite a few college students and young professionals at the show as well as a lot of old time Yonder fans. The energy was like a cocktail made on Bourbon Street. The fans were ready to do some serious boot scootin'.

The show started and right away I knew it was gonna' be a good night. It was boot scootin' indeed. I haven't heard a "40 Miles" in a long time and the one they played in Baton Rouge hit the spot. The set continued to get better and better with an above average (sick!) "Oklahoma" followed by a phenomenal "Winds of Wyoming" where the band really seemed to be on point. All the boys were on fire, especially Dave singing those low notes and picking away at that banjo.

During the second set they opened up with my Mississippi buddy's favorite song "Catch a Criminal." Everyone seemed to be having a good time; especially the people up front who were jiggin' away to a stellar bluegrass band. Half of the people in there had never heard of Yonder before that night and their feet were stompin' just as hard as the Yonder veterans. I eventually made my way up to the balcony and did some square dancing with the local girls who were loving Yonder and telling me how free the music made them feel.

Between Classic Yonder favorites and a little Jimmy Cliff to mellow the mood everyone at The Varsity Theater in Baton Rouge, LA had a Good night of bluegrass. I'm willing to bet that all the people who saw Yonder for the first time that night will remember the name Yonder Mountain String Band .

Written by Jake Ridinger

Yonder Mountain String Band
1/26/11 Varsity Theatre, Baton Rouge, LA

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