The Fillmore - San Francisco, CA (April 22 & 23) D.S.

We arrived at the Hotel Tomo in San Francisco a bit tired, but ready for the final two shows of the spring tour.  We couldn't believe how quickly these shows arrived, and we all felt the importance of staying in the moment and enjoying every minute of the rest of our time together.  We had a lovely dinner together in Japantown before heading down to the Fillmore.

The wait outside was quite longer than anticipated... apparently there was a problem with the plumbing.  But we finally got in around 8:30, found our spots, bought our kick-ass Fillmore Ragdoll posters, and were more than ready when the boys hit the stage around 9:30.

It started with that oh-so-familiar opening riff of "Ten", and the party was on.  From my vantage point in the photo pit, I got to watch a whole heck of a lot of Kinfolk dancing their butts off, with huge smiles on their faces.  Right from the start, this was a terrific show.  I had to run over to my friends when they started "Polka on the Banjo", we were just so excited that they were pulling it out - and so early in the show!  Next was "California Cottonfields" - another old gem.  I think I've only seen them play this maybe twice before.

Next, was Dave's new instrumental that we first heard in Austin, now named "Strophe for an Unsung Albatross (Reese's Pieces)" (or Reese's Peanut Butter Cup - I've heard them call it by either name), followed by "You're No Good". Get along, Dave!  Next they did one of their new favorites, "Just Like Old Times", followed by "Town", "Raleigh and Spencer", and "Honestly".  Adam hadn't done any singing the night before, and we were all happy he was back with us for this show. Another new one - "One More" - was next.  I really dig this song, and I'm excited to see how it evolves and gets sandwiched in the future.  The set ended wonderfully with "On the Run"> "High Cross Junction"> "On the Run".  I especially enjoyed this "HCJ", Jeff just gets after it.

The second set opened with "Ramblin' in the Rambler"> "Oklahoma"> "Ramblin'", followed by another new one - "Far From You".  Then "Sidewalk Stars" and, you guessed it, ANOTHER new one - "Pretty Daughter" (a pretty awesome Bad Livers cover).  I'm loving all these new songs for the Spring Tour.  And what would be a good way to balance out all of these new songs?  By polishing off an old chestnut like "High on a Hilltop", that's how.  "Finally Saw the Light" was next, and Ben being sick, he was a bit hoarse through this song.  But it actually felt more emotional that way.  No complaints here.  Oh!  ... And who do you think brought out the "Ramblin'" "Jagermeister" shots?  The one and only Slowbear (Party! Party!).

"Ripcord Blues" got everyone dancing (as usual), and "Eli Renfro" was just as spooky as ever.  Then "Holding".  I don't know, maybe they should've chosen a different song and let Ben rest his voice.  It got better as the song went on, but it had to be hard to sing while so sick.  Next they went right into "Shake Me Up", another new one that was previously called "B-Boogie".  Whatever you want to call it, I call it a hip-shaker.  Then, before we knew it, we were being swept away with the soft beginning of "Morning Dew".  This song has always been great, but when they play it like this, and build it up into a monster of a song, it's just amazing.  Into "Boatman". Fun second set.  "Crow Black Chicken" was the first song of the encore, and let me tell you... I've heard this song quite a few times, and I've never heard such awesome banjo-ness during this one before.  Dave killed it.  With a tasty groove. Then how did they end the show?  With "Southern Flavor".  Really? Yes.  Thank you, Yonder.

What a great group of people - from all over the country

Night two.  
I love seeing Yonder, and I love these little runs of shows that we get to do, but the last night of tour is always bittersweet.  But we were ready.

The boys came out, Ben grabbed his bow, and "No Expectations" opened the show. I immediately thought about Ian and how much he loves this song as an opener - and he got it twice on this tour, way to go!  Second was "Little Lover" - another new Dave tune.  This was the first time I got this song, but I'm pretty sure we heard it during the soundcheck in Austin.  I just love all of these new songs, and Dave especially seems to be writing some really great songs lately.  After "Little Lover", he introduced us to Ben, "Get yourself a shot of vitamin BK!", who voiced his appreciation for all of the love and well-wishes he received after last night's show. Then he started "Sometimes I've Won".  And after that was "Another Day". Both Ben and Adam were obviously feeling better than they had the past few days, and they were all having a great time playing their final show of the tour.

Next, they played another new one.  A Jeff tune titled "Lay it on the Line".  I love the way this song starts off one way, then just turns around and changes into something else once the vocals start.  "Casualty", "It Takes a Lot to Laugh", and "Nothin But Nothin" came before yet another new song.  An Adam song called "All the Time".  I think this one will really catch on.  Then Jeff announced his Deadhead roots, and they played "Althea".  Let me tell you, after missing a bunch of great shows the past few months, Tim got just about everything he could have wanted out of this run, including "Althea".  He was talking about this cover for days, and I'm so glad he finally got it the last night.  The first set ended with "Damned if the Right One", "New Horizons"> "Come Together"> "New Horizons".  It was a fun and long first set.  

If you had asked any Yonder superfan in the Fillmore that night what song they KNEW would be played, they would have said "Keep on Going".  It's the ultimate end-of-tour-show-the-fans-some-love song, and they opened the second set with "Keep on Going"> "Girlfriend"> "Keep on Going".  Nice.  This second set was full of Yonder "heavy hitters" - "Deep Pockets", "Rain Still Falls", "Complicated" (dedicated to Stella), "Kentucky Mandolin", and "Too Late Now".  Before starting the next song, Ben told us that the poster made for the Fillmore shows, based on the following song, is his favorite Yonder poster of all time.  "Ragdoll".  Love this song, love this poster (thanks for the sneek peek, Jeff!).  The show continued going hard with "Sharecropper's Son", "Southbound", "Part 1", and "Winds on Fire" before going into the final sandwich of the evening - of the tour - "Traffic Jam"> "East Nashville Easter"> "Traffic Jam".  Man, people sure do love that "Traffic Jam"!  I just love seeing so many people dance their butts off with huge smiles on their faces.

The encore break applause was loud and deserved.  Yonder always puts on a great show, and I just can't believe that no matter how many times I see this band, I just have more and more fun.  The boys came back out, grateful for all of the love, and finished their tour with "Steep Grades, Sharp Curves" and "Hit Parade of Love".  

I feel like a broken record, but thanks to Yonder Mountain, their crew, and all of the Kinfolk for being some of the most amazing people I've ever known.  You all bring such joy into our lives.  I think we've got a pretty good thing going here.  See you all this summer!

Written by Dorothy St.Claire

Yonder Mountain String Band
4/22/11 Theatre, San Francisco, CA

Click below to preview tracks from this show


Yonder Mountain String Band
4/23/11 Theatre, San Francisco, CA

Click below to preview tracks from this show


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