Sheridan Opera House - Telluride, CO (June 22, 2012)

written by Lori Gleason

The long awaited Yonder Opera House show was finally here! It was completely sold out in the lottery; heck it only holds 140 people! People were scrambling for tickets before and during the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. My friend Stephenie and I had a perma-grins on our faces all day in anticipation for this show, and in true Kinfolk fashion, everyone managed to get a ticket! This was my husband Tim's first show of the year since the big New Year's Run in Denver, and as show time got closer, you could feel the energy in the room. This was the beginning of their summer tour. 

Jeff came out and thanked everyone for getting there early. We had to leave the festival early to line up for our rail spots! They opened up with "Yes She Do", and Jeff scatting through most of the song, and ending with Ben's thumping bass! The boys were very interactive with the crowd - chatting up quite a bit, which I really enjoy. Ben was talking about all the Lamborghinis in Mountain Village. Then Ben busted out his famous Scottish accent and said he was going to sing a ballad "I've Got a Small Willie!"  We laughed, and then he jammed out "Sometimes I've Won". The entire crowd was singing along with him. Then it was the crowd's turn; everyone was yipping and hollering, and Adam wished Ben a Happy Birthday! Ben said all he wanted was three things "Titties and Beer..." This was the perfect lead into "Corona"! Then Dave took over and sang "Don't You Lean on Me". Jeff wanted more crowd feedback, and told us how this show and festival was their "Baker's Dozen", 13 years in Telluride. Then he joked how the nude photos of the promoters were still working as blackmail! Ha ha. 

Back to the music.  Ben sang "Complicated", then brought out the bow for "New Horizons"> "Rag Doll"> "New Horizons". Jeff and Ben had a real high energy jam session, bantering back and forth and speeding up the timing. They slowed it back down with "Criminal", then they started "Train Bound for Gloryland", going into "All the Time", with Adam jamming on his guitar and singing his heart out. The crowd was bouncing to the music. Next came "Mason's Children", and we all got into a groove remembering the Grateful Dead tune. They ended the set with "Out of the Blue", which got the crowd revved up and wanting more! Whew! What a set! 

At the start of the new set, we were all ready for more... and boy did we get it! Jeff introduced Anders Beck from Greensky Bluegrass. Adam and Jeff discussed the pronunciation of his name, "Anders or Onders"> potato-potahto> tomato-tomahto! Ha ha. They belted out "Rambler"> "Snow on the Pines"> "Rambler". This the best "Snow" I have ever seen! It had 18 minute solo jams, starting with Anders, then Dave with an awesome banjo solo. Jeff had his own jam, along with his foot on the pedal with the wow-wows going! Jeff, of course, had his own rambling going on too. "It's going to be a hot, hot time don't you know... I think I'll go anywhere with you..." Then in true Yonder fashion they went right back into "Rambler". Well that was a pretty awesome jam! Adam said that they wanted to keep Anders and asked him to stay! Good news for us, he adds a great dimension to the show. 

Dave then went right into "Ripcord Blues", ending with Ben slapping that bass! Love it! The next song began with the dueling banjo and dobro. The classic Adam song "Left Me in a Hole" came next. We all got excited and sang along again. Adam kicked off the Sean Camp song "Damned if the Right One" next, and Dave was on it! Jeff commented on how much they love playing this f***ing festival!  And what an awesome place it is! That's so true, there's no place like Telluride! "Maid of the Canyon" was next, an instrumental where they all had their jams. Dave, a man of few words, commented on how he doesn't know how Ben Hines does it, giving them great sound from a closet. He asked us to give him a kiss when we see him. How sweet!   "Looking Back Over My Shoulder" started us back up. This song always reminds me of my dear friend Dorothy. What a great song, and Anders rocked it! Ben said "That's what they call ripping the diapers off of that bitch! I'm new at this father thing!" I loved the analogy! They wished Ben another Happy Birthday, but he was over it and told them to leave him alone until next year. Adam said they can wish him a Happy Un-birthday, like the Mad Hatter. Ha! "No Expectations" got the crowd hopping next. Jeff gave lots of props to Leftover Salmon, saying what a great influence the band has made on Yonder, and that they wouldn't be there without them. That's when Andy Thorn came on stage to join the party! He crushed Town Park, so I was excited to see what happened here. The whole crowd chanted "Andy! Andy! Andy!", and the Frank Zappa song "I am the Slime" came next. I have to say, it's not one of my favorite songs they play, but this version was rockin'. Jeff sang it in his enhanced angry voice, and Andy's pulsating banjo added a new dimension, along with the dobro. Jeff ended the song with "That's right folks, don't touch that dial." The last song of the set was Todd Snider's "Sideshow Blues". We were all thinking to ourselves, "Oh no! Last song!" Jeff re-stated the verse "with all of you freaks and these musicians!" Gotta love it! 

People were all stomping their feet and hollering for them to come back. Time for the Encore! Before you knew it, Vince Herman and Bridgette Law were on the stage! Wow! They said that they were going to play the next ones old school... unplugged! I was in such awe, I didn't even take any photos, I just watched the music. What a great venue to play unplugged, the acoustics are amazing in this historical building. Everyone was shushing people so Vince could take us to church and sing the gospel song "Angel Band".  At one point Vince got up on the speaker to sing! Of course he customized the song to apply to a Friday night in Telluride; you gotta love Vince! Then he asked the crowd, "What song do you want to hear?" There were many requests, including "Girls Just Want To Have Fun". Huh? OK, but then Ben started thumping the bass to "Sharecropper's Son", and everyone bounced and sang to the music! The whooping and hollering was non-stop! Someone yelled out "get it Ben!" Bridgette was tearing it up too! I just stood there in awe and listened. Unfortunately, it was soon over, and Jeff said how much he appreciated us. We appreciate all of you, Yonder, for such an awesome evening!!! One of the best shows I've been to, hands down!

Written by Lori Gleason, Photos by Lori Gleason and Stephenie Gardner

Yonder Mountain String Band
6/22/12 Sheridan Opera House, Telluride, CO

Click below to preview tracks from this show


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share your thoughts on this post!