Orpheum Theater - Madison, WI (February 19)

How could it already be the end of tour?! I know that by this time, the band and crew were exhausted, but for us, it seemed like the tour just flew by.

We were lucky enough to get to go to Madison a couple of days early to spend time with our friends and witness history in the making with the protests at the Capital. By our third day in town, we had all bought Wisconsin shirts and we were ready for some Yonder.

The weather was unseasonably warm in the midwest this week, but the cool-down was on its way. By the time we got in line, it was getting pretty darn cold. We had a handful of friends come up from the south, and they weren't totally ready for the shock. Once inside, we went straight up to the balcony and claimed a couple rows of seats. It's definitely a different experience to see Yonder in the balcony, but at the Orpheum, this is the place to be.

We visited for what seemed like HOURS, but finally, the boys came out. And... BAM! A Ten opener. The place immediately exploded. The sound, the lights, everything was so great from the front of the balcony. They segued into Angel, which was different, but worked. At this point I decided to run around a bit before things started getting too crazy. I went down to the floor, and was reassured about our balcony decision. It was so packed and there was no way to see the stage AT ALL. Then I went to the lobby and visited with Scotty a little bit. It sucks that sometimes the merch table is nowhere near the music. After a couple minutes, I ran back up to the balcony and got my boogie on with my Kinfolk.

This set really didn't ever slow down. All too soon it was setbreak. Then suddenly it was second set! Honestly, this night was going by way too fast. They opened the second set with Northern Song, and then they surprised us with Paul and Silas. That was a nice treat. This set had a good deal of surprises, such as a nice Don't Stop Till You Get Enough inside of a Freeborn Man sandwich. Whenever I hear them start Freeborn Man, I hope for a Wheel Hoss> Don't Stop (a great example is MN Zoo '10), but this was still really great. Unfortunately, most of us never get enough, but we have to stop when the show is over...

Two more of my favorites from this set were Whitehouse Blues (I was kinda hoping for this one with all the chaos happening at the Capital), and Whipping Post. On our drives to Madison, to Urbana, and home, we listened to a lot of Sirius radio, and heard a lot of different bands' covers of Whipping Post. Yonder blows them all away. I love this cover.

The few days that we were together, Annie kept saying that she felt a Reuben and Cherise for this show. What do you know? They come out for the encore, and at first Jeff's mandolin chops sounded like he was starting Crow Black Chicken... but then we heard the familiar notes of Reuben and Cherise. How lovely. The show was closed out with Blue Collar Blues. I love their job, too.

Written by Dorothy St.Claire

Yonder Mountain String Band
2/19/11 Orpheum Theater, Madison, WI

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