Wilma Theater - Missoula, MT (March 23, 2013)

written by Garth Wagner

Night two, a bittersweet night for me. I get to see Yonder again, bringing my tally to five shows in just over a week. But, my last show until fall. You all know how addicting it is once you get on the train, you just want more and more right?

Walking back into the Wilma I was really ready to take it all in. Last night’s crowd was awesome. The venue staff was incredible. The head security guy on the rail was a Yonder fan and didn’t take shit from people trying to cram their way in. Pastor Tim was in the house again. A great night lay ahead.

You know you’re in a fun time when they open with a "Ramblin' in the Rambler". And when there is a "Kentucky Mandolin" in the middle you know it might be more than a fun night. I can’t help it, I still like me a "Ramblin'". I know lots of you are over it, but I can’t help it. Hearing it for the first time back in the little bars of Nederland I’m pretty sure it will always bring back great memories. A nice rag-timey "Deep Pockets" followed the opener. A "Rain Still Falls" and a "Down the River Road" fell into place nicely. "Only a Northern Song" and another rag-timey "Rag Mama" kept the beat rocking. Another back in the day tune, "Left Me in a Hole" made the smile on my face continue to shine. The Deadly Gentlemen’s Mike Barnett joined the guys on fiddle for the last three songs of the set. Something else I have said before, I love a fiddle on stage with Yonder! A tasty sandwich of "Little Maggie" with a "Mother’s Only Son" in the middle closed out a great first set.

One set to go. Better focus on taking it all in. Not hard to do.

I’m not sure when this happened so I will mention it now. At some point towards the end of this second set Pastor Tim turned himself into a human disco ball. Maybe the coolest thing I have seen at a Yonder show. It was hilarious and awesome. The band and the crowd loved it. The super cool security guard even got in on it. Here was PT standing in the front photo area, holding a disco ball over his tall self and slowly spinning around. It was a site to see.

OK, back to the set list.

"Train Bound for Gloryland" started things off. Which went very smoothly into an "After Midight". An "After Midnight" for the second song of a set? OK, this was going to be a good set to end my tour on. "June Apple" came out of that and we got a little breather after a three song opener. "Pass This Way", "Sidewalk Stars" and "Lonesome Letter" all kept the boogie going. A super fun "Harder They Come" really got me and the crowd juiced up. "Complicated" gave me a chance to run to the bathroom. There has to be one song one doesn’t like, right? It was good timing because I was back for a favorite Dave tune of mine, "Easy as Pie". "Jack A Roe" has found it’s way into the set list more and more and Adam does a great job with it. I like it. I was thirsty for more. And more I got… I was a little worried when they started playing "Keep on Going". Usually this means the end is near. Not necessarily tonight though. The beginning of the end does not always mean the end is near. Another long time favorite of mine came out of "Keep on Going", "New Horizons" with Dave’s driving banjo licks bringing us to yet another favorite of mine, "Angel". Man this tune always gets me going. I was more then ecstatic at this point. Especially when they went back into "New Horizons" and then back into "Keep on Going". I was sweaty, tired, and happy. And a little hungry for some greasy food. But, the encores still lay ahead. Dave rocked us with more of his awesomeness with a "You’re no Good". A smokin' "Part 1" into a "Southern Flavor" closed out four great nights across Montana. Lucky for me I was in Missoula, and just down the street is a great place for grease 24/7. I went and had cheeseburger and fries and one last beer. The cook was mean and grumpy, the beer was cold, and the burger was perfect. Just like the whole night was.

Can’t wait for next time. Whenever that may be.

Written by Garth Wagner

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