Boulder Theater - Boulder, CO (December 28)

Day two came and we were a little tired and sore, but we were ready.  We got in line nice and early again, and continued the previous day's Kinfolk social hour.  

This night was the second night of the New Years Run, and the second night in the evolution of Yonder.  We were in a living room watching the band the night before, and now we were watching them play on a front porch, complete with rocking chairs, windowpanes, and a screen door.  "Well welcome back, everybody.  That was one hell of a setbreak."  Jeff said with a smile as the band filled the stage. Rushad Eggleston was playing with Yonder for the entire show, and they started with a fast and wild "Troubled Mind">"20 Eyes">"Troubled Mind".  What?!  That was an unexpected way to start the show.  It actually felt like maybe we really had just come back from a set break, because the energy was immediately shooting through the roof of the Boulder Theater.  Rushad didn't push himself into the spotlight at all, but it was impossible not to notice the addition to the low end of Yonder's sound, and as they played "Pretty Daughter", it became clear that this would be another night where we would be blown away by the guest musician.  I had never seen anyone play the cello like that, and he was so fun to watch.  Then, as if "Pretty Daughter" wasn't enough to get us worked up, they played "Polly Put the Kettle On".  We were hoping to get that song on this run, and we were very pleased to hear it with Rushad on cello.  

Dave introduced Ben by saying, "Ben Kaufmann's got a little piece of candy he wants to get outta his pocket for ya."  I'm starting to think Dave's got a bit of a sweet tooth.  Ben replied, "Here's a little nasty little swingy number that I'm gonna dedicate to my wife who's all but nine months pregnant in California."  How exciting.  He asked Rushad, "Do you wanna come over and babysit?" before a bunch of jokes about babies latching, and finally playing "Naughty Sweetie".  I love that we've gotten this song a few times lately.  It's a short song, and people love screaming "Hi Ben!", so it's good that they're dusting this one off a bit.  A haunting "Ragdoll" was next, and it was definitely the best version of this song that I've ever heard.  The cello added an undertone of despair that was drawn out and jammed out at the end of the song.  It was amazing, but they weren't done blowing us away because they took it right into "Elzic's Farewell".  I couldn't believe it.  Seriously, they were just knocking out all of these songs that we were hoping to hear, one right after another.  Ben sang "Sidewalk Stars", then Jeff sang "Lay It On the Line". "And that song is a lullaby we wrote, describing the psychopathology of murder."  Thanks, Dave.  

They certainly weren't cutting any corners when they rounded out the first set with a short but juicy "Angelside".  Dave was the one to watch as "Angel" turned fast and dirty, playing the banjo like there was no tomorrow.  As the song transitioned into "Riverside", our attention turned to Jeff as the mandolin wailed into a tornado of sounds, and he let loose on the girl who did him wrong.  It was a good "Riverside", with a lot of Lady Gaga thrown in, but it took no time at all for Ben to bring it back into "Angel" with that bouncy bass line.  Gotta love it.

The band came back to the stage for their second set with one more guest on stage.  Nick Forster was set up on slide guitar.  Oh yeah, this was gonna be good. Adam played those first chords of "Years With Rose", Rushad added his cello, Jeff and Dave came in, then my jaw literally dropped as Nick came in and added his sound to the mix.  Annie and I looked at each other in complete awe over what we were hearing, and it just kept getting better.  As the song grew, Nick and Rushad played back and forth at each other until the song couldn't get any bigger and Jeff took over and led it into "Girlfriend Is Better".  Once again, even though the guests were amazing, Dave tore this song up.  The song went somewhere really weird before going back into "Years With Rose".  Overall, it was a really good, funky sandwich.  The funk was just getting started, apparently, because before we could absorb what we had heard, Ben started that famous bass line of "2 Hits and the Joint Turned Brown".  "Ladies and gentlemen, if you don't live here, welcome to Colorado."  And Jeff went on a rant about the many beauties of Colorado.  It is a pretty great place, and the Boulder Theater sure got smokey as everyone showed their love of Colorado.  Nick Forster left the stage after "2 Hits", and according to Adam, it was his first time on the Boulder Theater stage.  

"Sing to me a song, Adam."  "I shall, Dave."  Adam sang "Left Me In a Hole" as the whole audience seemed to sing with him.  "Man, this is a good time!"  Ben said happily before Rushad finally stepped up and played one of his own songs, "Mountain Jumper".  That was a good song.  It was also cool to finally hear his voice.  With his fun outfit and dance moves, I didn't know what to expect when he opened his mouth.  Now, this was one of those shows where Michael Walker brought his white board, so he had been writing on it all night.  At this point in the show, Jeff introduced Michael as having been to 337 shows (I think it's actually 130...?), and then took his white board and wrote messages to the audience for the rest of the night -  including a message for us to light our lighters during the next song, "Dreams".

Everyone let out a loud cheer as Jeff turned the white board around to show something we were all thinking: "More Adam!"  So Adam and Dave picked one of my favorites, "Night Out", and I got to enjoy it much more than the last time when there was a drunk girl yelling the lyrics in my ear.  Adam sounds so much better. "It Takes a Lot To Laugh, It Takes a Train To Cry" was next.  I enjoy this one more and more each time I hear it.  It has a good twang.  When the song was over, Adam brought up the fact that many of Ben's songs have too many chords, and that it was time for Rushad to play one of them just as Andy Hall had played one the night before.  Ben sang the opening lines of "Finally Saw the Light", and on my right I could feel the surge of energy through Michael Walker as he let out a huge yell for his favorite song.  This was followed by "New Horizons"> "East Nashville Easter"> "New Horizons" to close the second set.  

The encore brought the band, Rushad, and yet another guest to the stage.  This time it was the one and only Futureman playing the trash can, and noticing the trend that was happening with the guests, we assumed that Futureman would be joining us for the show tomorrow.  They finished out the show with "Crow Black Chicken" to get the ladies dancing, and by the end of the song, we were pretty danced-out for the night.  Night 2 = SUCCESS!

Written by Dorothy St.Claire

Yonder Mountain String Band
12/28/11 Boulder Theater, Boulder, CO

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