After the amazing night we had in Asheville the night before, I just didn't know how they would top themselves tonight. Especially since we no longer had the pleasure of Jason Carter's company and his unstoppable fiddle. But as we settled into our spots and got warmed up with Lake Street Dive, my concerns blew away with the wind that lashed at us as the smokers went in and out of The Orange Peel.
Yonder's show started with huge cheers form the audience as the boys stepped up, tuned up, and started up with "Casualty". They certainly weren't wasting any time tonight. Ben kept singing, with "Sidewalk Stars" next, and I happily sang along as I walked the pit, taking photos. And as the feedback grew louder, and Ben slapped the bass harder, I could only hope that this would be a "Sidewalk Stars"> "Ain't Been Myself in Years" segue. But alas, it was not.
Jeff welcomed us to night two, happy that we all made it back. Then "Ragdoll" started. Already. It was so early in the show, yet here we were, in the middle of one of the darkest grooves. Then Jeff kicked off a wild "Spanish Harlem Incident", and we all jumped and danced to this favorite. Afterwards, Adam looked to his left, and with a sad look on his face said, "It appears Jason Carter has since turned into a drum set." We were all sad, but for only a moment - until Jeff introduced Dave. "Hey folks, it's David Johnston on the banjo to entertain you again this evening!" "Never know what I'll say or do on this microphone!" Dave exclaimed before starting one of my favorites, "Don't Worry, Happy Birthday".
Since everyone else had taken their turn, it was time for a little Ben banter. He talked about enjoying his second day in Asheville, even though it was bitter cold, before introducing the next song, "Here's a song about travelin'... and guess what! It's a bluegrass song!" He sounded almost as excited as we were, and consequently forgot to turn his bass back up. Jeff and Adam started the song, but quickly let it die. Ben stomped his pedal, laughed, and said, "This here's a song about travelin'! It's a bluegrass number." "Gimme some of that meat!" Dave hollered before they really came through with "Rambler's Anthem".
"Just as long as you finish strong, damnit!" Ben laughed as they finished "Rambler's Anthem" and picked into "Crow Black Chicken". Dave seemed to be in a particularly good mood as he took a moment before the next song, "I'd like to personally thank Kevin over there for letting me have some of his berry drink tonight. It's given me the power and the protein that I need to drive it home here in Asheville." "You're a very romantic son of a bitch, David." Ben said before singing "I get up every morning at the crack of dawn..." A nice "Blue Collar Blues" carried us further into the set with its bouncy groove. And the groove just kept going as Adam sang "And Your Bird Can Sing" next, making me one very happy lady. Adam then led the way through a heavy "Polly Put the Kettle On" before Jeff took over with "New Horizons"> "Up on the Hill Where They do the Boogie"> "New Horizons" for a strong end to the first set.
The second set started with "Freeborn Man", making me wonder how long it had been since I heard that song last - it felt like forever. And what would a "Freeborn Man" be without a little "Wheel Hoss" in the middle? Well tonight we found out that it was still kick-ass, because they threw us a curveball and played "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough" instead. What a fun surprise! It was a great sandwich to start the second set, and the segue back into "Freeborn Man" was so hot, so full of anticipation, that when it finally hit, it was like an explosion in The Orange Peel.
Ben sang the Danny Barnes favorite, "Funtime" before getting down to some important business. "Well, we've reached a critical time here... Adam's got this new instrumental number, it remains unnamed, and we've reached the statute of limitations - is it a statue? There's a statue of limitations on this thing, so we've got 24 hours to name that song. Or else you're gonna have to do it." "Yeah, I'm stumped." Adam said with a shrug. "Nothing comes to mind. Let's just call it 'Stumped'." Ben pondered for a second, "I kinda like that. Thank you very much for your energy here, I think we might've just named that freaking song!" Then Dave said something funny, and we were off! Jumping and dancing to Adam's fun new instrumental, "Stumped". I have seen them play this one a few times now, but each time I am mesmerized by the speed of Adam's fingers. They don't call him Fingers Malone for nothin'!
"Dawn's Early Light" crept in on us and stole us away, and as we rode along, we lost ourselves in the music more and more with each step, until it shook us back to life with the rest of "Peace of Mind". Yes. They were finishing the "Peace of Mind" from last night. No, I'm not joking. Yes. This is the best band ever. Kinfolk held onto the rail as they jumped and writhed in joy, eyes closed with smiles plastered on each face as we all sang "You and I" together. Faster and faster, the crowd churned with jumping bodies until we reached the highest point and the end of "Peace of Mind".
It was great to be back in Asheville with so many of our Kinfolk friends. We had an amazing two nights, and now it was time to prepare for a night at The Tabernacle!
Written by Dorothy St.Claire
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