House of Blues - Dallas, TX (April 1)

How could we NOT go to Texas?  My birthday weekend + some of our favorite people = an awesome time.  We drove to Dallas from Des Moines, and it was not a bad drive at all.  Definitely opened my mind to driving to Texas for future shows. Another huge draw was that one of my best friends from home now lives in Austin, and has a birthday two days before me... and Colin's birthday was the week before... it was just a big birthday extravaganza!  

We got to the House of Blues nice and early for dinner before the show.  They have delicious chicken-fried chicken.  Yum yum yum.

We got our rail spots before wandering a little to visit with Scotty and some other friends.  We did have some trouble with some dude who tried to take Josh's spot next to Anitra, but he finally backed off.  Everyone has a right to be on the rail, you just don't get it by bullying people.  Whatever.  He didn't bring us down, and we had an amazing night.

The guys came out after what seemed like the longest wait ever... and opened with "No Expectations".  For a while, I was tired of hearing this song, but it's become extremely enjoyable once again.  Next was "Sometimes I've Won", followed by "Winds of Wyoming".  It's funny.  After seeing Yonder so many times, some songs just take a while to become favorites.  "Winds of Wyoming" has definitely become a favorite.  I just love Dave's drawl... even though he's from Illinois.  

I think one of my favorite parts of having a photo pass is getting to watch people dance.  It must be fun to be on stage, watching everyone's reactions to your music. I just love seeing my friends have such a good time.

One song we hoped to hear this weekend was "Ripcord Blues", and we got it first night, first set!  This song just gets under your skin and you can't help but get down to the boogie-woogie bass line.  "Rambler's Anthem" brought the band a show - the butt crack of a very large security guard who leaned over the rail to get someone smoking a doobie.  I guess there's a downside to getting to watch the crowd, afterall.

"Cuckoo's Nest", "Elzic's Farewell", and "East Nashville Easter" closed out the first set. And let me tell you, this "East Nashville Easter" was so freaking loud and distorted... Jeff was definitely enjoying his new amp during this song.  And we were left deaf for the entire set break.

The second set started strong with a killer "Traffic Jam"> "Little Rabbit"> "Traffic Jam".  I love "Little Rabbit".  Makes me kind of hungry.  We got a gospel number, "This Train is Bound for Glory", which is always a good thing.  You can't go wrong with a little gospel in your life.  We shook our hips to a little "Damned if the Right One", and we refrained from smoking during "Granny Woncha Smoke Some".  Remember - crack kills (butt crack, that is).

The crowd went wild during "Oklahoma" (as usual), singing extra loud to "they don't care bout Dallas, Texas!"  I wonder how many people at the show were actually from Dallas.

Towards the end of the second set, we heard the familiar "Welllllllll!!!"  And they played "Ramblin' in the Rambler".  Yes, they've played this song a million times, but this time it was ok, because it was followed by a very special birthday shout-out from Jeff... and an apology for playing "Ramblin'".  Thank you, Jeff.  You guys sure know how to make a girl feel loved.

I was waiting for some kind of April Fools joke all night, and it turns out that the joke was played on the band.  Their "Just one more Jagermeister shot" was actually Jagermeister.  "Sometimes you win, folks!" Ben said.  Followed by Dave, "Sometimes I've lost."  They finished up the set with "Raleigh and Spencer"> "Ramblin'".

For the encore, they came out with "Good Hearted Woman" and "Shady Grove". What a great choice of songs to close out the show.  I have now had the pleasure of spending three of my birthdays with Yonder and our Kinfolk, and this was definitely the best.  I sure don't mind getting older if we can celebrate like this every year!

Written by Dorothy St.Claire

Yonder Mountain String Band
4/1/11 Theater, Dallas, TX

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