The Vogue - Indianapolis, IN (November 8)

Our first trip to the Vogue was a complete success.  Colin and I drove to Indianapolis a day early to avoid some nasty weather coming through the midwest, and found ourselves in the mid-60's and t-shirts.  Who would've thought?  We met Michael and Stormy at the hotel and headed down to the venue, where we met up with Boone.

Our wait outside was much more fun than usual, because the Rumpke Mountain Boys set up and played some fun bluegrass as we all waited in line.  I've heard about these guys for a long time, and now that I've seen them, I'll have to make sure to see them again.  They were really good.

Once we got inside the Vogue and got set up in our spots, I took a look around and immediately liked the venue.  It was small, but had a balcony with tables, and a lot of great viewing areas.  The anticipation for the first show of a run can be pretty strong, and ours was almost overflowing from us.  We were going back and forth, guessing at what song they would play to open the show.  We never would have guessed correctly - it was "Keep On Going"> "Sidewalk Stars"> "Keep On Going".  I don't think I've ever seen them open with "Keep On Going", and it was pretty sweet.  I wandered around the venue during the beginning of the set, and watched "Kentucky Mandolin" from the side of the stage before I made my way back to my rail spot for "Fingerprint", which Dave introduced by saying, "Please Indianapolis, let us be your motor speedway.  Let us be your #1 formula car.  Let us be your Late Night With David Letterman.  We will be your electoral votes."

"Country Boy Rock and Roll" came next, followed by "Pride of Alabama", which are two songs that I love to hear and don't hear all that often.  Then it was time for another crowd pleaser with "40 Miles From Denver", then a funky number with "Pockets".  Boone had predicted that Ben would bust out the electric bass for "Pockets" in the first set, he was right with the song guess, but Ben stuck with the stand-up bass this time around.  Jeff then told us that they were going to play a Beatles song they don't play very often and had been trying to remember how to play.  My mind first went to "I'm Only Sleeping", but I was wrong.  It was "And Your Bird Can Sing", which is one of my absolute favorite songs Yonder covers.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  This song just makes my heart sing.  They then finished the set with a freaking unbelievably fantastic "Ruby".  What made it so fantastic?  The banjo for one.  Dave was on top of it.  Then add a verse of "Reuben's Train" sung by Jeff, and you've got a perfect stand-alone "Ruby".  

For the first half of the first set, the energy wasn't what it usually is... maybe the band and the audience just had to find their groove.  Whatever it was, it didn't last because by time we got to set break, the energy was about to blow the roof off of the Vogue.

They opened the second set with an always welcome "Casualty", followed by "Ragdoll", "Ripcord Blues", and "Pretty Daughter".  Holy cannoli.  That's how you do it.  Then they started a slow pick of "On the Run" before they fully picked it up and tore it up.  No matter how many times I hear "On the Run", I never get enough. But that's basically my opinion of all of the songs of the second set, so far.  As they jammed "On the Run", the distortion got heavy and the song progressed into "East Nashville Easter" before going back into "On the Run".  Adam sang "Idaho" next, which was a fun upbeat song to clear our pallets after such a heavy sandwich.  But wait!  We had another massive jam sandwich waiting just around the corner.  "Angel" started it off, and "Snow on the Pines" got everyone going. Sometimes I get really excited to see Yonder play one specific song, usually one that I know they are bound to play in a run of shows, and this time it was "Snow on the Pines".  Somehow I love this song more and more each time we get it.  This is also where Jeff's pedal came in.  I don't know where this new funkiness came from, but we all had some good times with that pedal during this run of shows.  

In the middle of "Snow on the Pines" was an especially upbeat "Up on the Hill Where They Do the Boogie", where they all seemed to be having a whole lot of fun. Then Adam and Jeff brought us back into "Snow on the Pines", playing back and forth to each other, with the music coming to a peak before the band blasted back into the song to finish the second set.  Wow.  As they came out for their encore, I was so thankful that we had four more nights of Yonder.  One is never enough. Who am I kidding?  With this band, five is never enough.  They finished the show with "Holdin" (with a little Ben rap at the beginning) and "Sideshow Blues".  Not a bad way to start the final week of tour.  

Written by Dorothy St.Claire

Yonder Mountain String Band
11/8/11 Vogue Theater, Indianapolis, IN

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