Written by Garth Wagner
First of all, The Depot is an awesome venue. It holds 1,200 folks, and the boys sold it out. With a spacious bottom level, a really cool balcony, and a great sound system, it seemed as though there wasn't a bad spot in the house. For those of us in the front row, the stage monitors cranked loud music right at us. And if you do find yourself at The Depot, or any venue in Utah, they can't make your drinks a double. But, you can by a shot at the same time and turn your drink into a double on your own.
Having never heard of the Deadly Gentlemen, I was looking forward to checking them out. I must say they are pretty good. Really entertaining. I figured since Yonder was having them along, they must be good. They are.
Since I knew Yonder was gearing up for Aspen the following two nights, I figured this might be an average show. At the same time, I learned this lesson before; an average show still means that they will dish out as much as they can. And, they did. Like I've said before, average = kick ass.
The first set opened with a nice "Sidewalk Stars". Followed by a usual opener "What the Night Brings". I have found this one is a fun way to get the night going. A "Rain Still Falls" rounded out the opener tunes, and then Dave stepped up and serenaded us with one of my favorite Dave tunes, "8 cylinders". I just love that song.
The tempo got kicked up with a great "Rambler's Anthem". An oldie but a goodie, "Big Spike Hammer", fit in there just like it was supposed to. It's always such a treat to have a fiddle on stage. Jason Carter killed it all night long. He stepped up, lead and sang a great "Dark Hollow". A classic bluegrass tune that we don't hear this band play.
And hey, why not another mandolin on stage? Dominick Leslie, from The Deadly Gentlemen, was welcomed to the stage for a super fun "My Gal". The intro was great and went on for a while. They really got the crowd going with the heart of the song, and it looked as though Dominick was enjoying himself. As was I.
Another favorite of mine, "Cuckoo's Nest", rocked me like I needed to be rocked. Those doubles were doing their thing. At the end of "Cuckoo's" I heard Jeff starting down the "Ruby" path, and I hoped to myself I wasn't hearing things. I wasn't; a great set-ending "Ruby" kept us all looking forward to the second set.
The set started with an "All the Time" and a "Nothin' but Nothin'". Now that is a great way to get the crowd back from set break. The sweat was already flowing again. A great "Only a Northern Song" kept the greatness coming. An always welcome "Criminal" thumped out the bass. Ben really seemed like he was loving his job. Dave took this opportunity to show off how much his playing has improved, opening a "Dear Old Dixie" with some sick licks. Followed up with some equally sick fiddle by Jason. These songs also had some help from The Deadly Gentlemen; Greg Liszt stepped on stage to give us some more banjo. Can you ever have too many banjos? I don't think so. He too was doing a great job of enjoying the moment. Him and Dave traded licks and the crowd was happy.
I noticed the stand-up bass get put aside and knew Ben was ready to rock it. An exciting "Come Together" set the stage for the highlight, "After Midnight". At this point I again thought about what an average show really meant.
"Casualty" came out of "After Midnight", which had me thinking we were going to get, at some point, the end of "After Midnight". Adam ripped a rockin' "Idaho", which found it's way into "Keep on Goin". And a killer one at that. Maybe we were not going to get the end of "After Midnight", but who cares at this point, right?
It seemed as though this set was never going to end. Which would have been fine with me. But when I heard "Dawn's Early Light" coming, I really thought this was going to be the longest second set ever. I mean, "Dawn's", it's a long song. My friend was really amazed at this point. And, they still had to finish "Keep on Going"!! Which they did, and it was rad. Such a great way to end a second set.
An encore to my friend was out of the question. I assured her there would most definetly be one. Turned out to be two, not much of a surprise. An awesome "Damned if the Right One Didn't go Wrong" kept the crowd happy. Another Dave favorite "You're No Good" finished off the night. I thought to myself, holy sh*t, Aspen had better be ready because these boys are fired up.
After not liking bluegrass music, my friend and I listened to Yonder the whole five hour drive home. The boys killing it like they did gave the world at least one more Yonder fan from a great show in Salt Lake. Looking forward to many more.
Written by Garth Wagner
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