Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Yonder Mountain String Band, 10/22/10, Best Buy Theater, NYC

Yonder Mountain String Band, 10/22/10, the Nokia Best Buy Theater*, NYC

Mark and I met up for some pregame grub and spirits at the Irish Rogue where we also watched the first couple innings of an increasingly stress-filled** and seemingly doomed ALCS between the Yankees and Rangers. It wasn't looking good for the NYY, but morbid curiosity kept me glued to the many HD screens and I wasn't willing to give up what was quickly looking like the last minutes of the final feeble hours of the Yank's 2010 Post Season for show opener, Mike Doughty of Soul Coughing. Nothing personal, of course.

However, very soon it was time to haul ass down the block for Yonder Mountain String Band. I'd been looking forward to this show for months***, positively aching to see them again! And it would be for an unexpectedly intimate show, taboot taboot. When Yonder took the stage, they introduced themselves as My Morning Jacket- MMJ were simultaneously in the midst of a 5 night sold out run at Terminal 5 in Midtown West. Between that and Phish in Providence, RI that same night, YMSB's attendance at this gig was gut-wrenchingly low. The venue ran a wall-to-wall curtain, cutting the room approximately in half. This helped, but it was still kinda depressing, especially considering their last show at the Nokia was the largest NYC crowd they'd ever drawn. But fuck the haters, eh? There was no place I would rather have been more, than right there-- getting my Yonder Fix on.

First thing I noticed was Jeff's glasses and hair- or lack thereof! What gives, Austin? Tired of being so pretty?

The second thing I noticed was that they were in a different setup- for at least a few years it's been (L to R): Dave, Adam, Jeff, Ben. (Yes?) Now it's (L to R): Dave, Ben, Jeff, Adam. I am ill-informed on historical YMSB standing order, but at least they waited til I learned their names and/or started paying more attention to switch it up. Thanks for that.

First set was fun. Energy didn't really start warming up the room til a couple of songs in, but then the band seized it by the junk and played their asses off for a loyal NYC fanbase. It was much-appreciated and the love was bounced right back at 'em. Highlights: a beautiful Cuckoos Nest (gushing hearts & an immediate dose of Jeff being Jeff), Blue Collar Blues (!!), a super bouncy POCKETS-- fun and dark, love this song and was really hoping to hear it- Adam carries it perfectly. Dominated Love Slave (Dave rules!), Brown Mountain Lights, Damned If The Right One (Ben freakin' rocks more and more every time I see them), E. Nashville Easter (I heart feedback), Casualty.

During setbreak I snuck off to a bat-cave and watched the Yankees finally lose the ALCS. A-Rod strikes out looking, in Arlington. I suppose so. Well, at least there was a wonderful Yonder Mountain String Band show to get back to! This definitely eased the sads. Go Giants****!

Second set highlights: On The Run > Steep Grade, Sharp Curves > On The Run typical Yonder goodness that got the crowd right back into it. Mental Breakdown was loud, awesome, and super-satisfying. Rain Still Falls is always beautiful. The Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me was great fun. Dawn's Early Light > an INTENSE, MOODY, & GORGEOUS Snow On The Pines > Robots > Pines (PHEW!) > 2 Hits to cap off the set. They encored with an inspired Redbird. Ben rules. Super sweet.

Ben has the word "Breathe" tattooed on his arm to remind himself to breathe, cuz sometimes when he's playing, he forgets.

Only problem was: it wasn't enough. I wanted more Yonder. Needed more Yonder... Like, another show AT ONCE!!! Panic! Yonder doesn't come through New York nearly often enough!! Shit, I may have to drive to Burlington and take care of this immediately (odds are I won't).

It's unfortunate that I alone, am not 1000+ more people. Like I said, we get very little Yonder exposure here in the NYC area and I hope this Perfect Storm of Live Music Hippie Distractions which resulted in a shockingly small turnout doesn't have a negative impact on the amount of future Yonder NYC shows. Cuz we actually need more of 'em, damnit!

Yonder Mountain String Band, 10/22/10, NYC: 8.8 HUZZAHS! Wish that place was packed! Jeff, bring back the glasses!

Special thanks to Mark for helping me with the new camera! Baby steps!

Cuckoos, No Expectations, Blue Collar Blues, Pockets, Rag Doll, Dominated Love Slave, Things You’re Selling, Brown Mountain lights, Jail Song, Damned If the Right One, East Nashville Easter, Whipping Post > Casualty

On the Run > Steep Grade > On The Run , Honestly, Mental Breakdown, Rain Still Falls, Free to Run, Looking Back Over My Shoulder, The Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives To Me , Dawn’s Early Light > Snow on the Pines > Robots > Pines > Two Hits & the Joint Turned Brown


DL THE SHOW!! Thanks, Justin & Brett: http://www.archive.org/details/ymsb2010-10-22.km184.flac16


* At least "the Nokia" didn't have a fucking PRICE TAG as a logo. Ugh. Tacky!
** Stress-filled for me at least, Mark is full of bitter hatred and resentment for the Yankees.
*** Maybe even a whole year-- I was stuck at work til 1am on the night of the Penn's Peak show (June) while Chris & Heidi texted me pictures and updates. Talk about depressing. Here's to Penn's Peak 2011!
**** I can't root against Tim Lincecum, it's like rooting against the kid from Dazed & Confused.

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