Lincoln Theater - Raleigh, NC (October 3, 2012)

written by Eric Martin

The southeast usually doesn’t get any dates for fall tour, so last year I was really excited to get one date; right after Harvest Fest, too. And this year I was really, really excited to be doing 3 shows, this time pre Harvest Fest. The first stop on their fall tour was Raleigh, North Carolina; a six-hour drive from Atlanta. We packed the car and headed north, stopping only for gas and, of course, Biscuitville. 

Being as it was Fall Tour, I was insistent upon Pumpkin Ales. I found one that I was not too thrilled with, but it fit in just right with the colorful leaves and crisp air. Unfortunately (I guess) the pumpkin ale cut into me seeing Brown Bird this time. We arrived after their set and I immediately began running into old friends, most I hadn’t seen since Jomeokee or the Kinfolk Celebration. I tried my best to fit myself and my camera gear between Walker, Kelli Scott, and Dorothy, but sometimes they just get so damn fussy about their rail spots. 

Since Eric got there late and missed Brown Bird, I feel I must add my piece... I love Brown Bird. LOVE them. And I couldn't have been more excited for their return to Yonder's stage. Dave Lamb and MorganEve Swain played most of the songs I had come to love after seeing them on Yonder's Spring Tour, but they also had a handful of new songs. I loved hearing new material from these two. They have a unique sound, and I can only see them getting bigger as a band. They played a fantastic set, with the crowd steadily growing as it progressed. It was a fun way to ease into the start of tour, reunite with Kinfolk, and warm up our dancing shoes.

~Dorothy St.Claire

I was excited to get this tour started, even though it would be a short one for me, and when the house music faded and the lights dimmed, the rest of the Lincoln Theater’s excitement was made obvious. I looked to my left and there’s old Tom Clinge, too heady for his own good. So I says to him, “I wish these guys would just go back to Colorado” and I’ll be damned if they didn’t open the show right then and there with “Criminal” (I’ll give you a quick second to sing the first lyric of the song.) 

Up next was some bluegrass. Okay. “Red Rocking Chair”. Well alright. The North Carolina crowd, myself included, loved that one. Jeff introduced Adam next, who sang “A Father’s Arms”. An energetic “Elzic’s Farewell”> ”What the Night Brings” would follow, and set the pace for the rest of the night. Ben was next with “To See You Coming Round the Bend”, then Jeff mentioned working on the new album before he and Dave shared the mic for “Winds of Wyoming”. Up next was one of those songs that just takes you back to a certain place in time for no reason in particular, and for me personally “Ain’t Been Myself in Years” took me back to a young and careless age; for at least a minute or two. Kind of ironic though, cause I have been myself ever since those years, much of that thanks to these 4 on stage and the wonderful people surrounding me. 

Night one was starting out pretty good, and it would continue with “Rambler’s Anthem”. Thirty days on the road, one day on the road; what’s the difference? “Half Moon Rising” was next, another crowd pleaser, followed by another; “My Walking Shoes Don’t Fit Me Anymore”. Afterwards Adam would start strumming a favorite of mine, “Honestly”. But no "Honestly"> "Honestly" this time. I had a good streak going. Oddly enough, I had seen "Honestly" in its entirety about 5 or 6 times since the last time I saw it sandwiched with something else. Last time was one year ago, the first night of fall tour. Hmm. This time "Honestly" abruptly turned into “Fine Excuses”. I immediately glance over at Dorothy and she shrugs her shoulders, as if to say, “I know you like your 'Honestly'> 'Honestly' Eric, but Yonder is still awesome.” And you know what. You are right Dorothy. "Fine Excuses" went back into "Honestly" as well as "Honestly" could have. Honestly. Maybe not. But it didn’t matter. Because it was part 2 of "Honestly", which means stomp your feet, pump your fists, shoot your finger guns (Wild Bill) and dance your ass off. Which Raleigh did. And on that high note the first set would come to an end. 

“Who’s ready for more?”

Before we can even answer Jeff’s question “Bolton Stretch” has already taken off and the band, the crowd, everyone is singing and dancing. Raleigh feeds off every note and the boys oblige with plenty of 'em, faster and faster until that final banjo roll and the crowd can’t even respond before “Shake Me Up” begins, keeping the dancing going. Shake me up seemed to go on forever in the best way possible, then Jeff mentioned a quick something, to Dorothy’s delight, about baseball (SPORTS!) and “Mental Breakdown” continued the dance party, with DJ Jazzy Dave dropping nuclear banjo bombs at the end, until he cut off almost short with a funny/bothered look on his face. 

“My freakin pick got stuck in my strings”. 

I think I say this every show, Oh Dave. After the pick incident he continued to kill it on “Night Out”, and then plucked the intro along with Jeff to “Come Together”. Now I love this song as much as anyone, but I feel the same way about this one as I did about “Althea” a couple years ago. I just feel like I hear it too often. But that’s just me. And that’s not to say they didn’t do a great job, cause they did a great job on this one. Jeff’s playing was really clean and Adam’s soloing was as superb as always. The next song was a nice change of pace though. “Redbird” was the very first song I saw Yonder play live, and I can’t help but pick the feet up when they start this one, and tonight in Raleigh was no different. 

After a short pause the boys begin to pick….. Althea. Open mouth. Insert foot. Again, don’t get me wrong, I love these songs. I just think cover songs like these, unlike “Boatman”, or “Another Day” for instance, just kind of lose their significance when played too often. Some people though may feel the exact opposite. The crowd’s reaction after Althea definitely seems to suggest so. But that’s why we all come back for more. 

Dave was next with “Little Lover”, then Adam with “Jail Song”. This is one of those songs where I just close my eyes and listen as hard as I can to only the 4 guys in front of me. Some times are harder than others, but the Raleigh crowd was a great one tonight. The next song, though, definitely made me look forward to tomorrow night’s show in my home-state. “At the End of the Day” was followed by an awesome “Looking Back Over My Shoulder”, which was trumped by an even more amazing “New Horizons”> ”I am the Slime”> ”New Horizons” ending. Ironically again, the first time I heard “I am the Slime” was one year ago in Athens, Fall Tour opening night. All 4 were on fire for the last "New Horizon", they had killed it tonight and this moment summed it all up. 

After a quick break they encored with “Naughty Sweetie” (awesome!) and “Get Me Outta This City” (YES!) The crowd slowly dispersed, some stayed around to dance to Hines’ outro music, some tried to haggle last minute items from Scotty. We all said our goodbyes, or goodnights rather, for tomorrow night was Athens, and more Yonder.

Written by Eric Martin, Photos by Eric Martin and Dorothy St.Claire

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