Boulder Theater - Boulder, CO (December 30, 2012)

written by Chelsea Welker

Sunday night was epic. I guess the statement “never miss a Sunday show” holds for NYE runs as well. Andrew and I were so pumped for Sunday after such an amazing second night on Saturday with Jason Carter on fiddle. Needless to say, Sunday night was different than Saturday - Sunday was a full blown epic dance-party rock show, and one of the best I’ve seen.

We started the night out by having dinner at Mountain Sun Pub & Brewery in Boulder. Their beers are always amazing, and the food was just what we needed to start the night off right and build up our Yonder dance reserves for the evening (which we definitely needed!). After dinner, we headed back to the University Inn to let our dogs out and get ready for the show. We headed to the Boulder Theater around 8pm and got the same great little spot for the third night in a row, in the very back corner on a rail on the right side. It was a great little spot with plenty of dancing room and a great view for those of us who are vertically challenged. We also had great company in our spot, and danced all night with some friends who came out from Loveland. It was springtime in the Boulder Theater, and the crowd was ready to be reborn.

Soon after we arrived, the lights finally went down and, man, were we stoked when the guys opened up with “Out of the Blue.” I’ve always thought this song is a great opener to get the dance party started and get the crowd pumped from the onset. Next was “River,” a song that always reminds me of Colorado and the river that runs by Planet Bluegrass in Lyons. Dave then did an awesome job (par usual) singing “Loved You Enough,” and the guys kept everyone energetic with some fine bluegrass pickin’ to go along with the song. Next was Adam’s song “Honestly,” a song that I have really grown to love. It starts so nice and calm, and then BAM! - it turns into a guitar-driven frenzy in the end. Yonder capped off this part of the first set with “Half Moon Rising” and a rockin’ version of the Beatles’ “Only a Northern Song,” with Dave performing an awesome banjo solo at the end. 

At this point in the first set, Yonder was joined by Hot Rize bassist and Etown host Nick Forster on electric guitar and Etown drummer Christian Teele. With special guests ready to rock, Jeff sang one of the most jammed out awesome versions of “Rag Doll” I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing. Next was Ben’s song “New Deal Train” with Forster on lapsteel and Adam on electric guitar. As if the first set wasn’t already shaping up to be insane, Adam then sang Smokey Robinson’s “I Second that Emotion” while on electric guitar. The energy during this song was so positive and the crowd was having the time of their lives and singing along. It was so much fun. Following the cover was the “new” Ben song “I Love What I Do For a Living” that had never been played with the whole band, though it had been played during many a Ben and Adam duet show. Ben and Adam both played this song electric, and it was so wonderful to hear it with the full band!!!! The guys and special guests then played a rocking East Nashville Easter to finish out the set, and Dave was again on fire during this song, soloing like crazy! 

A much needed bathroom/bar/breathing set break ensued, and then we were ready to rock once more. Little did I or the crowd know what we were getting ourselves into when the lights went down for set 2… 

Yonder didn’t waste any time when they opened up with an epic “Peace of Mind.” I’ve already heard some fans say it was the best "POM" they’ve ever heard, and I can’t say they’re wrong. Ted Atwell was doing crazy amazing things with the light show throughout the jam!!! Next up was Dave’s song “Don’t You Lean On Me” followed by the instrumental “Maid of the Canyon.” Jeff proceeded to sing a sweet version of “Belle Parker,” which was followed by a fun, jazzy “Rag Mama” sung by Ben, of course. “No Expectations” was next, and I never get tired of hearing Yonder jam this out with those little mandolin riffs that Jeff does in the beginning and end of the song. I wrote “YES!” in my setlist notes after this song. That pretty much sums it up. Ben finished up this first half of the 2nd set with “Jail Song,” a song that always has me listening intently during the verses. 

At this point in the night, Nick and Christian joined the band on stage for the second time, and the night just got crazier from here on out. “Fine Excuses” was first up with the special guests in set 2. I always get the feeling that Jeff loves to sing this song, and on Sunday it was especially energetic with drums and electric guitar. Next was the Beatles’ cover “Hey Bulldog,” and ever since I heard Yonder do this for the first time, I seriously cannot get enough of this song. I would be perfectly happy if they played it every single time I went to a show. “Criminal” continued to fuel the magnetic energy in the room, and it was followed by a cover of the Who’s “The Seeker” with Jeff on vocals. Of course, the crowd went nuts for “The Seeker,” and Adam truly loved his new role as badass electric guitar rock-star. Ben, too, was killing it on electric bass. As if there had not been enough awesome jamming and epic picking, Yonder and guests then went into the ultimate “Traffic Jam > Legalize It > Traffic Jam” sequence to finish off the second set. It was such a surprise to hear “Legalize It” in the middle of this jam, and of course, the Boulder crowd loved it! 

The encore brought the pace down at the beginning with a beautiful “Dreams.” This is perhaps my favorite new-ish Yonder song, and it almost gets me teary-eyed every time for some reason I can’t really explain. After “Dreams,” the band went into a rocking version of “Southbound,” and finished up the show with the Grateful Dead cover “Shakedown Street.” “Shakedown” was the perfect dance-party jam to finish off an amazing and energetic show, and the crowd went right on dancing when the show ended and the house music began. Thank goodness we still had one more night to look forward to!!!!! I was way too pumped after Sunday to stop the boogieing so soon. 

I wish I had adequate words to describe the wonderful energy that rose up from the Boulder Theater on Sunday, but I definitely do not. I truly experienced a new and wonderful side to Yonder on Sunday that I knew was there all along, but hadn’t really seen non-stop throughout an entire show. This show was, well, fun. It was the most amazing night ever, and it was just SO MUCH FUN. It was a dance party. It was a rockshow. It was a helluva lightshow. I think everyone present knew what a magical, energetic, and sincere show they had just experienced. Everything clicked, and everyone on stage was on fire, all night. The energy never faded, and the surprises never ceased. Thanks to Yonder, thanks to Nick and Christian, thanks to Ben and Ted and all the folks behind the scenes, thanks to the lovely Boulder Theater, and thanks to all the Kinfolk out there who help make all the magical energy possible. I truly love all of you. Thanks for making the entire NYE run a mind-blowing and unforgettable good time.

Written by Chelsea Welker; photos by Dorothy St.Claire

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