Thursday, July 16, 2009

yonder mountain string band, 7/10/09, tarrytown, ny

yonder mountain string band, 7/10/09,
tarrytown music hall, tarrytown, ny

Mmkay, so I was probably the only one excited when Yonder Mountain String Band announced a stop in Tarrytown on their Summer tour. A mere 15 miles North of NYC, easily accessible by train or car- it's atrocious more Yonder fans didn't make the effort, especially after seeing their jam-packed Nokia and Irving shows over the past few years. Tarrytown Music Hall's website even lets you choose what seat you want- totes sweet- if I had my druthers, which I did- I'd be up front, offset in the Jeff zone. And so it was.

The Tarrytown Music Hall has shows for what do you call them the "law abiding" mostly older citizens of Westchester. They also have hipper bands that the kids listen to every once in a while too. Anyways, Yonder at the Tarrytown Music Hall was an odd combo and I wasn't sure what to expect. Odds were pretty good that there would be a good number of older people coming to see Yonder Mountain String Band after reading and the word "bluegrass" in their newsletter. How would they feel about the Yonder crowd pushing up against the stage and dancing all night? Or perhaps even a stray glow stick to the soft, elderly noggin? Certainly no one would smoke in a non smoking room.

I ate a stray rice krispie treat and headed in. As the usher took me to the front row, the place was kinda empty and there were definitely a variety of audience members sitting there waiting for the show (that hadn't started on time- gasp!**). And when the lights went down and the Yonder fans started rushing to the front of the stage (confounding the elders)- I took a couple of steps forward and claimed my spot right between Jeff and Ben mere seconds before people filled in behind me.

The guys came out and plugged Lago di Como Restaurant down the block from the theater. They stuffed themselves repeatedly* there and want everyone to go. They said it was the best meal they'd had all tour. Nothing but rave reviews-- damn, I gotta try this place! Also, they mentioned they were full of food and were not sure how that would effect the show.

They busted into Mother's Only Son and Jeff promptly broke his string. Like, first strum promptly. So, they stopped, he got his backup mandolin, and they started the show again. Great energy that was undoubtedly pasta fueled: a well-fed band is a happy band- it's Rule # 1. I can't stress this enough, people.

In between songs Ben addressed the subscription-ticket-holder portion of the audience. "For how many of you is this your first time seeing Yonder Mountain String Band? Wow. Well, as I'm sure you've noticed, we're not your typical bluegrass band and our fans don't really care what their ticket says, they want to get close to the stage and dance. I'm not going to discourage it, that wouldn't be right." Then he said the previous night something similar happened and a man in an ascot complained to that theater**. Crowd rule, man. It's an unwritten agreement. If you can't see and want to sit, go find another seat.

ANNNNYWAYS. Great 1st set, I don't recognize all the song names but Southbound was fun and when they broke into "Granny Woncha Smoke Some" to accompany the random clouds of inconspicuous smoke floating around the theater- I think the message was pretty clear. Did I mention to the right of me was a 12 year old with a Big Gulp and his father? He was having a blast. And when Jeff addressed "the youth of the nation" during "Smoke Some", he looked right at the kid and said, "not until you're 21 and it better be at a Yonder show", to which apparently the kid's dad gave Jeff the death stare. They moved back for the 2nd set.

East Nashville Easter ended the set. I fucking love that song. Something rabble rousing about it. Gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing. One of the things I love most about Yonder Mountain String Band is their ability to take an audience on a twisting and turning journey into the depths of evil. FUCK YEAH, Yonder.

For setbreak I made a deal with 2 random people and we swapped out bathroom breaks and saved each other's spots up front (even though technically, that was where my ticket was anyway). It really didn't seem like there were many people there, some hardy subscription holders were even staying for the whole show- maybe Yonder made some new fans? Cool. Come to the dark side. We have bluegrass.

2nd set started well and rocked. Raleigh & Spencer got the energy back quickly. Nice bit of Leftover Salmon John Hartford (thanks to 4dice for the correction***) with Up On the Hill Where They Do the Boogie. Traffic Jam w/ Girlfriend is Better sandwich- right on. The crowd was loving it, the energy was up, the Yonder fans had moved in for the kill.

By the time the encore came around, it had become quite an intimate gathering. So the band decided to go acapella as a treat. They walked right up to the end of the stage- where I was still planted- and proceeded to bust out 3 more songs til curfew hit. They just barely made it! It was cute. Whoever was left in the theater was lovin' it.

It really was the perfect show for the moment. I had been jonesin' for a Yonder show and this one was conveniently located, laid back, refreshing. Yonder was the sorbet course- a palate cleanser, if you will, in a string of various shows of different magnitudes. I needed it! I'm very happy they were able to gorge themselves with italian food and rock Tarrytown at it's foundations. Nothing but smiles (and possibly traumatized old people and parents) left in their wake. 9 HUZZAHS! Not sure they'll be back there, but I can't wait for their next NYC area show-- hell, I'd even go to Jersey to see 'em.


07/10/09 Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown, NY

Set I: Mother's Only Son, Mental Breakdown, Night Out, Angel With The Golden Hair, I'll Love Nobody But You, Must've Had Your Reasons, Fastball> Southbound, Amanda Rose, Someday's Reunion, Romance Blues, Granny Woncha Smoke Some, Reuben & Cherise> East Nashville Easter

Set II: Raleigh & Spencer> Illinois Rain> Raleigh & Spencer, Wildewood drive, New Deal Train, Nothin' But Nothin', Fingerprint> Up On The Hill Where They Do The Boogie, Traffic Jam> Pockets> Girlfriend Is Better> Traffic Jam

Encore: Molly & Tenbrooks, All Your Dreams, Hit Parade Of Love

Didn't see any tapers and haven't come across any DL links yet (4dice tells me 1 taper was there, but got harassed and was forced to dismantle)- but here's the Penn's Peak and Syracuse shows they tore up- these shows are must have's.


* As in they went for lunch, then they went back for seconds, and then they ate dinner there.
** 4dice sent me a random blog's review of the Tarrytown show and the blogger dude totally sprained his doily and was complaining that he couldn't see cuz people were dancing, the show didn't start on time, blah blah blah. He also said the only good thing about the show was a Dead cover--- omg, I can't even say it without laughing.
*** Only knew this as a Leftover Salmon tune, I learn at least two new things new every day!


Music Hall News said...

Thanks for coming out to The Music Hall glad you enjoyed the show. One comment: although we mainly serve an older (and younger actually) crowd then Yonder's regular fans we do not have subscriptions or season tickets. All the "older" people in there have purchased their tickets specifically to hear Yonder.

lynn said...

That is very cool to know- from Ben's story about the previous night I was under the impression it was subscription based. Who are you and why are you even reading this? Please book moe..