written by Eric Martin
Night one. Night one of four!
Tonight was straight Yonder, just the 4 horsemen themselves, and the excitement for this run was as thick as my extra winter weight, which was keeping me nice and toasty on this cold ass Colorado Friday night. The boys didn’t waste any time when they got on stage, diving straight into ‘‘What the Night Brings’’. The first song of many more to come this weekend. And once again the words ring true, as I think to myself, “woke up on the other side of Junk’s couch, not sure how I got here, but I got here anyway”. Jeff sang what the ‘nights’ bring tonight, alluding to what would become yet another great weekend for the Yonder books. “Straight Line” was up next, and I was happy to hear this one, even though I thought it was a strange time to play it, the crowd still kept the energy going, so much so that Ben would even comment on how “awesome the energy is”. Adam agreed just before starting up “Another Day”. I still wait with baited breath every time I get a hotel room, hoping that the man behind the counter says room 225. It happened once and I was way too excited about it.
After “Another Day” some picking and plucking comes together and “Come Together” comes together. Always glad to be Adam/Jeff side during this number.
“How you doin tonight Dave?”
“Yo. Wildcard. I might say a lot. I might say nothing at all. Like a one-eyed Jack. A serpent. Liiiiiitle. Lover.”
What a great introduction to “Little Lover”. And that is why Dave is the best. And though I was glad to be Adam side last song, I was a little jealous of the Dave side rage side crew during this one. Dave was on fire and lightin it up like Chinese New Year. Rick Disalvo and I know why though. Crossroads situation.
“How you doin tonight Adam?”
“Great. How ya’ll doin? Schweet.”
“Wildewood Drive” would immediately follow this excessive stage banter. The boys might not have had much to say this night but they were letting the music do the talking, and that’s alright by me. No words after this one, just some more picking and plucking until it becomes the familiar Adam opener, with Jeff soon joining in for “Years with Rose”. And once again, I feel Adam side was the right choice... For now. My partner in crime, Bubs, decides now is a good time to go to the bathroom (it isn’t) so I push my way a little more forward and join another giant swarm of kinfolk brethren. Surrounded by more friends than I can count, and digging this awesome “Rose”, I find myself in one of those beautiful moments of pure happiness that only seems to happen when these four guys are on stage, and I am truly grateful that they are the reason this family has come together. And all of a sudden “Rose” becomes “Bolton Stretch”, and I find myself in one of those blissful moments of energy, motivated by the rest of the crowd’s energy, as we all sway not-so-gracefully to the music. The energy has no choice but to grow as Adam sings “Big Spike Hammer”. Big Dave Johnston would steal the show on this one too. Still Adam side, however, Jeff dedicated the next number to all of those who were here that didn’t think they would get in, before starting “New Horizons”. Since we didn’t get a sandwich during "Rose" I was expecting one during "NH", but honestly would have been happy either way. I just like seeing Ben get the bow out and go all f*cking Jimmy Page rock star on his bass. That’s right. Ben rocks. And he didn’t hold back on this one. He and Jeff had a back and forth before suddenly starting “Steve Day Sharp Curves”, and a rocking one at that. Ben would bring out the bow again and “New Horizons” picked back up, sandwiching the sandwich. And Dave keeps killing it. He was doing something with his fingers and his banjo, it was awesome!!
The boys called the first set quits after that one, and deservedly so. I wandered around the beautiful Boulder Theater a bit, emptied my bladder, and filled my cup. I made my way back to the front and was ready for round 2. I wasn’t sure what they were starting with, as they each played random riffs and teased different numbers, until starting the familiar cliff-dive intro to “Kentucky Mandolin”. A great set opener. I decided to try out Dave side this set, and was happy with my decision during this one. And then Adam started his bitchin solo. Man these guys don’t make it easy for us. I got first world problems. The wonderful thing about this Kinfolk family is no matter who I’m standing in front of, I’m always standing next to a friend. “Sideshow Blues” would start abruptly out of "Kentucky", and Jeff asks the audience, “Who’s ready to raise some hell?"
Turns out most of the Boulder Theater was ready to raise some hell. I include myself in that group. If the energy had leveled off during set break, this song brought it back up and through the roof. Being Dave side this time, I was front and center for the next number, “Fingerprint”. After this one Ben would change his Bass fiddles to electrified. And play “Complicated”. Insert smartass “too-cool-for-'Complicated'” joke here. I don’t have as many as the rest of you guys. Before this song Jeff had mentioned some people in the audience were getting married this weekend. After this song Adam says he sang “in my own Depends” that time. Then he said “this is not foreshadowing” as they began “Left Me in a Hole”. I’m assuming he was talking to the bride and groom in the audience. After commending the audience for upholding prop 25 Jeff started “Classic Situation”, followed by a rockin ass “Ten”.
Afterwards Adam would point out Jeff’s “dangling berries”, alluding to the berries on his mic. The set was beautifully decorated in a fall scene to go with the “four seasons” theme of the weekend. "Whoever” decorated it sure did do a wonderful job, cause it looked great!! As seen here by Dorothy St. Claire’s amazing photomotogrpaphy:
Ben was glad to “sing a love song” and I was glad to hear “Must’ve Had Your Reasons”. Don’t get that one often. “You're No Good” was next, and I was really glad to be on the left side this time. Dave was awesome. I love that Dave tells himself to solo in this song. I love lots of things about lots of Dave songs. Dave.
“And Your Bird Can Sing” followed, and I was way more excited about this Beatles number than I was about “Come Together” earlier. Maybe one day I’ll see “Think for Yourself” and then I can die happy.
“Holy sh*t!!!” I thought to myself. They’re playing “Steam Powered Aereoplane”!! And they were playing "Steam Powered Aereoplane"! And I was so happy. “Mother’s Only Son” would follow, and that definitely didn’t make me sad. Especially since I had made my way back over to Jeff side at some point, and was standing next to Junkyard during this one. That means I got to hear his wonderful parody of “MOS”. It’s a good one. “MOS” would quickly turn into “Illinois Rain”, once again heightened by the fact that I was next to Junkyard, and this is Bubs’ son’s favorite song. This is when the band left the stage. What a great night one. A short break and they would encore first with “What’s Going on in the Head of That Woman”. “End of the Day” would follow, and I love hearing this song at home in Atlanta, but it’s cool to hear it on the other side of the spectrum. Time for one more, and it was a good one. “Redbird” was the first song I ever saw Yonder play. So it’s sentimental, get it?
What a bittersweet ending. Only 3 nights left…
Written by Eric Martin; Photos by Dorothy St.Claire
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