The Fillmore - Silver Spring, MD (October 27, 2012)

 written by Dorothy St.Claire

Fall Tour 2012. Day Last.

Day last started with a "Howdy everybody!" from Jeff before diving right into the obligatory day last song, "Rambler’s Anthem". We expected to start the night with one last killer Brown Bird show, but David was really sick... so instead, we arrived to an unexpected Brown Bird cancellation. I was so very sad, but at least I had remembered to buy my merch from them the night before. I had been on most of this tour, and I was sad to see it come to an end. Professionally, it was an amazing tour and I got some of my all-time favorite shots in places I wouldn't normally go. And personally, it was some of the most fun I’ve ever had. 

"Strophe" came in next and brought a whole room of smiles with it as everyone enjoyed our first instrumental of the night. Then Adam sang one of my favorites, "Night Out". I think a lot of folks overlook this little gem. I love it. It makes me happy. Especially this version, because Dave’s banjo filled in all the gaps just perfectly.

It turns out that one of the founding members of The Bluegrassholes, Jeff and Dave’s first band together, was in the audience tonight. That’s always a good thing to hear, because it means we’re getting some old stuff. But I never would have guessed that it would be "This Lonesome Heart". I was so happy as I bounced to this great song, pausing only to snap a few photographs as Dave sang.

Then it was time for the unexpected placement of one of the very best Yonder sandwiches… "Ruby"> "Riverside"> "Ruby". It had been far too long since I last heard this sandwich, and it was just as dark and dirty as I needed it to be. I was all over the place during these songs, but everywhere I went I could hear the steely crash of hands slapping the metal rail. People were excited tonight, and I finally made it back to my spot with Kelli, Annie and Jim Katz, and Nina and Aaron in time for a little "River".

"Sing to me a song of sailing times." Dave requested of Adam right before that beloved guitar intro hit our ears, and we lost ourselves in "Jack A Roe". It was followed by even more greatness when "Going Where They Do Not Know My Name" came next. Thank you to Danny Barnes for writing such a great bluegrass song. Danny’s signature banjo lick is quite prevalent in this one, and it’s just perfect when Dave throws it into his own solo.

Then it was already time for another gem… and time for the rowdy folks in the crowd to come out of hiding. The lights got low, and "Dear Prudence" started just as this guy decided he wanted up front and he was going to grab us and move us out of his way. And when that didn’t work, he started throwing punches. At a Yonder show. During "Dear Prudence". It was a beautiful song, and it really sucked having to fight someone off instead of enjoy the music. Soon the lights came back up and he disappeared into the crowd – just in time for us to enjoy "Cuckoo’s Nest"> "Over the Waterfall". Oh, it was so very very good… but guess what? The aggression started again. It was a whole new dude, but he had the same old problem. Grabby hands and super pushy. Once this guy started throwing punches (seriously?!), I had about had enough. What is so bad that people get this way at a show? Luckily the lights were nice and bright this time around and although security wasn’t paying attention, Todd and Jeff sure were. As soon as "Over the Waterfall" ended and the band left the stage, Todd was right there with his flashlight, and we finally got this other guy out. Musically, it was a phenomenal first set, but I was super alert and uncomfortable as we went into the set break.

I did my usual wandering during set break, and came back to someone puking over the rail right by some of my friends. Tonight was turning into quite the experience, but I pushed all of the negativity far behind me as our guys came back to the stage for the last time on Fall Tour.

We started the second set with "Jail Song" and Adam’s voice brought me right back into the moment. "Crow Black Chicken" came next and brought Jessica down to the rail where we all let loose and boogied hard. It was one of the best parts of the night – our little "Crow Black Chicken" dance party. Then we were treated to a brand spanking new unnamed Adam instrumental. I love new stuff, and this one didn’t disappoint. It was fast. It had bounce. It showcased Adam’s amazing guitar skills, and most importantly, it got us all dancing. Then Ben picked up the electric bass to rock out some "Complicated".

"I’ll tell you what, these pre-super storm crowds are the best!" Dave exclaimed. Hurricane Sandy was headed our way, but we were gonna enjoy this last show before scattering out of the storm's path. "Gonna crack the crust of the earth open, let out a bunch of bugs… but first I’m gonna jam!" He laughed as he finished tuning and finally introduced the next song, "And now for a song in the passive voice." No one introduces a song like Dave, and my giggles kept me from even wondering what song it was going to be. It turned out to be "Night Is Left Behind", and I let out the breath that I didn’t even realize I was holding. This song creates beautiful feelings inside of me, and I was thrilled to hear it on this last night of tour.

"Damned if the Right One Didn’t Go Wrong" kept us dancing, while "No Expectations" let us fall into the Yonder zone as the solos went back and forth and on and on. Then, being close to Halloween they decided to treat us with a little "Skulls". I love hearing Dave and Adam sing "Hack the heads off little girls and put 'em on my wall!" Priceless. We got a sheriff saga double-whammy with "Sometimes I've Won" and "Boots", which then led us towards the big finale. Jeff started softly picking, and Kelli and I couldn't hide our excitement. "Midwest Gospel Radio" came in soft and sweet, with the random rattles of the rail breaking apart the smooth melodies. I got lost in "MGR" and when Jeff suddenly counted, "One, Two, Three!" my eyes opened wide and I braced myself for the punch of "Peace of Mind". Yes. That was exactly what I needed and exactly why I keep coming back. The power of moments like this. It was a huge "POM", which led into the new cover song Ted had told us about. I was excited for something new, and I soon realized that I had no idea what song it was. It turned out to be Devo's "Gut Feeling / (Slap Your Mammy)". I wasn't quite sure about the "Gut Feeling" part, but that "Slap Your Mammy" got really freaking awesome. The whole room was jumping and screaming and as "Peace of Mind" came back in I could feel the bubble of energy get just as big as it could be. Yonder put everything they had into this chunk of music, and as we all sang "You and I...", we were all in it together, side by side, right where we belong.

The encore came, Adam thanked their wonderful crew, and then we were surprised with "Ooh La La". It was such a wonderful feeling, but we needed to really rock before it was all said and done. The boys knew that, so they sent us off with a killer "Northern Song". It started off like any other "Northern Song", but once Jeff and Adam took their solos and handed it over to Dave, I could tell they were giving us more than ever before. They wanted us to remember this tour, and believe me, I won't ever forget it, and I won't ever forget this moment.

My Fall Tour was absolutely amazing. I didn't know how many shows I could pull off, but thanks to Colin, our wonderful Kinfolk friends, and the amazing Yonder machine, I was able to do so much more than I ever thought. From Jomeokee to Mabon; to Raleigh, Athens, and Chattanooga; to Columbia and Harvest Fest; to Milwaukee, Indianapolis, and Chicago; and finally to Burlington, Philadelphia, and Silver Spring... this was one of the best experiences of my life.

Written by Dorothy St.Claire

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