Wilma Theater - Missoula, MT (March 22, 2013)

written by Garth Wagner

One of my best friends from back in the day is a truck driver. I always call him when I am on the road to see if he is close by. After over 10 years of trying, he told me he was going to be in Missoula Friday night. Seeing as he and I love the same kind of music and he had yet to see Yonder I was happy to offer him my extra ticket. I was pretty stoked. I was getting to see Yonder for the fourth time in a week, and one of my best friends was finally going to catch a show with me.

We used to see Jerry together so it was pretty cool that they opened up with "Dear Prudence". The crowd in the Wilma was looking like a good one. As they should be, Missoula and the venue are great places with great people. "Dear Prudence" found it's way into "Boatman". An old classic get the crowd going Yonder standby. And get the crowd going it did. Ben stepped up with a real nice "Things You're Selling", followed by a "Maid of the Canyon" and "A Father’s Arms". A groovin' "Fingerprint" came next, with a "Crying Holy" for Pastor Tim, which ripped into a great "Straight Line". A rockin' "Spanish Harlem Incident"  paved the way for a killer "Dawn’s Early Light" into a smokin' "Raleigh and Spencer". I was impressed. The crowd was impressed. And best of all my buddy was, too. The "Dawn’s" and "Raleigh" had Greg Liszt from the Deadly Gentlemen on banjo. Like I have said before, you can never have too many banjos! An average first set that left everyone wanting more average Yonder. If you have read my posts before you will know what I mean by average: Kick Ass! 

My Buddy is more into being back a bit so we gave up our rail spot and headed for the balcony at set break. We found the most comfortable seats I have ever sat in at a venue. The Wilma is a really cool venue with great sound. I was pretty sure this would be a nice place to enjoy the second set. And, it was. Ben got things going with an energetic "On the Run" into "High Cross Junction" and back into "On the Run". Nothing wrong with a little saga to get things going. The great tune "Pockets" and an "I’ll Never Love Anybody But You" arrived at a super funky Danny Barnes tune, "Crow Black Chicken". I know I like a little chicken pie. A special kick ass treat was givin to us during that "Crow Black Chicken", too. Sam Grisman from the Deadly Gentlemen came out and he and Ben passed the bass back and forth without missing a beat. The band and the crowd were loving it. An upbeat "Boots" and "Hey Bulldog" kept the smile on my face. Such fun tunes! "This Lonesome Heart"  into a "Good Hearted Woman" was a great duo of heart songs. Danny Barnes got represented again with a tune he and Jeff wrote together, "Rag Doll", with another mandolin played by Dominick Leslie. For some reason I really like that tune. Having two mandolins for it made it even better. Coming out of "Rag Doll" I heard the familiar strumming of another get the crowd going tune. The ever popular "If You’re ever In Oklahoma"  brought us to our knees. But they weren’t done yet, "Oklahoma" drifted into a beautiful "Elzic’s Farewell". And then they killed us some more, going back into "Oklahoma". An above average set, which translates to super kick ass!! 

And after all that they still did a three song encore. An always welcome "Sharecropper’s Son" kept my sweat flowing. A super nice "Katie Daily" let me catch my breath a bit, but then they ramped back up for a hot "East Nashville Easter". I love how the boys always seem to give me as much as I can take. My shirt was soaked and it was cold out but I was warm all the way back to my hotel... which the band was also staying at; always nice to get to ride the elevator with David Johnston!! Once again I was looking forward to the next night of Yonder.

Written by Garth Wagner, with photos also by Garth

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