written by Eric Martin
After a good 2 nights in Tennessee and a long ass drive to Louisiana, I was ready to celebrate my birthday in New Orleans with lots of friends and lots of beer and more beer and alcohol and Yonder! And more alcohol. New Orleans is a fun city.
The show started off with distorted bass and “Fastball”. These guys were really getting down to business starting the show with a one minute song, which turned immediately into “Steep Grade Sharp Curves”. Jason Carter is such a great addition to these guys. He and Andy Hall need to join this band. Yep.
This particular House of Blues was one of the most crowded sold-out venues I’ve been to in a long time. It was pretty hard to move around and photograph, and most of the people seemed to be pretty drunk already. New Orleans is a fun city. “Spanish Harlem” was next, followed by “Straight Line”. I laughed to myself as I wondered how many in this audience could walk a straight line. Not many.
“Fingerprint” was next, another song that Jason Carter really adds a new and different element to. But then there’s “Elzic’s Farewell”, which came next, and Jason Carter turned that song into everything it should be. My god this man is good at what he does. The excitement only built as Dave played the pants off “Sideshow Blues”, to the excitement of all the freaks in the audience. And there were plenty of 'em. New Orleans, you guessed it, is a fun city. “Sometimes I’ve Won” followed a funny story by Ben and Adam about voodoo. Or was it Yoohoo?
“Peace of Mind” starts up and at this point the venue has not gotten any less crowded and maneuvering around the sweaty drunk Cajuns is not easy. It is surprisingly fun, maybe not surprisingly fun, but fun nonetheless. I assume "POM" means we’re close to the end of the first half, and decide that is when I will put the camera away (thanks Langeliers) and go get really drunk like the rest of these people. It being my birthday and all. In the meantime, "POM" would include a great back and forth with Adam and Jeff with Jason on top for an awesome first half, with “Cuckoo’s Nest” sandwiched in between. I love the sound and energy the JC brings to this band. The epic “Peace of Mind” sandwich would finish up set one. I wonder if I’ll get another epic "Peace of Mind" sandwich this tour...
Relieved to have my camera away from the crowded drunken masses (thanks again, Brian), and happy to be one of the crowded, drunken mass myself now, I made my way as close as possible and prepared as much as I could for set two, which would open up with a rockin “My Gal”. I love when they do "My Gal" with guests and we get a super-extra-long intro. “Just Like Old Times” was next and it was nice to hear this one, it’s been a while since I’ve seen it. The crowd definitely loved it when Jeff sang “New Orleans”. Next was an unnamed instrumental, not sure if it’s named yet. Maybe it isn’t now, but it is by the time you read this. Weird, huh? Either way, I don’t know the name of it, but they can keep playing it and I wouldn’t mind. And they could keep playing “Lonesome Ornry and Mean” too, which Jason Carter sang next. They would have to keep Jason Carter to play that one though. I wouldn’t mind that either. The crowd really liked this song, cause it said “New Orleans” too!
Dave sang “This Lonesome Heart” next, and although it doesn’t say New Orleans in the lyrics, I think the crowd still liked it. They especially liked the “Years with Rose” that came next, which was another great time for Jason Carter to be on stage. Years segued into “Bolton Stretch”, another crowd pleaser, which was followed by the new Adam song “Lonesome Letter”. A fancy little diddy I quite enjoyed. Then Adam played real fast and started off “Country Boy Rock and Roll”. Another song that only proves Jason Carter should stick around. “Come Together” was next, and although I’ve heard this one a lot I was excited to hear it with JC on the fiddle. And it was awesome. The crowd was super excited to hear this one, too. I was surprised because the song never mentions New Orleans. But everyone sang this one. And no one knows the lyrics to this one. And everyone was drunk. New Orleans is a fun city.
Up Jason Carter next was “Out of the Blue” Jason Carter. This song Jason Carter was made really great Jason Carter by the addition of Jason Carter. Only one more song to go, and it’s a crowd pleaser for sure. They jammed the pampers off of “Traffic Jam” for several minutes; they got funky, they got weird, they got fast, they got slow, and they finally brought it home for an uproarious finish.
The encore would include “Crow Black Chicken”, which I haven’t heard in a while, and was excited to hear, and “Goin Where They Do Not Know My Name”. Always good to hear a Danny Barnes number. And just like that we find ourselves at another end.
What an amazing opening weekend. I got to hang out in this fun city for several more days, thanks to Wild Bill for providing a couch and keeping me drunk. And thanks to my dad for teaching me blackjack when I was a kid, thanks to Jordan for the ride home, thanks to the city of New Orleans for never sleeping, and thanks to everyone for making my first Yonder birthday show the best Yonder birthday show I’ve ever had!
Written by Eric Martin
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