REVIEW: Yonder Mountain String Band – September 1st, 2006 – Red Rocks, Morrison, CO

Scene: WET, WET, WET! While not a drenching rain, we were enveloped in the a thick cloud as soon as the first band, Oteil and the Peacemakers came on the stage. The venue was sold out and many many people were prepared to stick it out in the wet conditions. People had rain slickers and pants. Even rain hats. September at Red Rocks is a questionable venture for sure. On Tuesday night for Bonnie Raitt the weather was amazing and tonight it was miserable. By the time we left after Yonder and got in the car it was 47 degrees and still raining. Not worth sticking it out. The crowd was a mix of bikers, older hippies and young kids there for Yonder’s set.

Opener: Oteil and the Peacemakers. Oteil Burbridge is the bass player for the Allman’s and his set was an interesting mixture of Jazz, Blues and Southern Rock at time calling to mind the music Jimmy Hendrix without the punch of Hendrix’s blazing guitar solos. People were still filtering in throughout the set but the real Allman Bros fans in the audience were digging it.

Yonder Mountain String Band: I have been listening to the these guys for more than 6 years now and they just keep getting better. I think the first time I saw them live was at Nedfest in 2000 and they played an afternoon set to a sparse crowd. They have paid their dues and climbed the ladder to the point where they are headling venues such as the Fillmore in Denver, The Ryman in Nashville and other major theaters across the country. Their high energy brand of bluegrass was exactly what the cold and wet crowd needed tonight. They came out a couple of minutes after 7 to a standing ovation and broke into East Nashville Easter a track of their brand new self titled album. At first the sound was a bit rough due to Ben’s bass really peaking out during the first two songs, but they dialed it in and soon had the venue sounding great despite the wet weather.

Throughout the set they towled off themselves and their instruments with bassist Ben Kaufman even remarking once “I’m not sure why we are doing this. The towels are as wet as the instruments which are as wet as we are.” While they focused on the new album, their set drew on their entire career as a band. Halfmoon Rising and Left Me In a Hole were pulled from their first album Elevation, and Peace of Mind was pulled from Town By Town.

As their hour and half was running out Jeff Austin dedicated the final segue to all the fans that stuck it out in the rain. With that the soaked Nederland residents busted in a 15 minute finale that included fan favorites Up On The Hill Where They Do the Boogie, and Two Hits and the Joint Turned Brown. They really made the best of the situation and had the capacity up on their feet for their entire set. All in all despite the weather, The Allman Bros couldn’t have asked for a better opener.

Allman Brothers: We didn’t stay for this set . . . too damn wet and cold.

Setlist is below courtesy of Flying Frog Records website.
1. Don’t Want You No More >
2. It’s Not My Cross To Bear
3. Southbound
4. Revival
5. Who’s Been Talking
6. Trouble No More
7. Midnight Rider (Devon Allman, Guitar)
8. Anyday (James van der Bogert, Drums)
9. The Same Thing
10. Hot ‘Lanta
11. I Walk On Guilded Splinters
12. Statesboro Blues
13. Dreams
14. The Weight (Danny Louis, Keyboards; Andy Hess, Bass)
15. In Memory of Elizabeth Reed
Encore
16. One Way Out

Energy: B
Sound: B-
Muscianship: A-
Stage Presence: A-
Set/Light Show: B-

Overall: B

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Who Is Timothy Dwenger

Music has always been a part of my life. It probably all started listening to old Grateful Dead, Peter Paul & Mary, and Simon & Garfunkel records that my parents had, but it wasn't long before they were taking me to concerts like Starship, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Huey Lewis & The News. I got the bug to write about music after reviewing an Eric Clapton concert for a creative writing project in high school but didn't really take it up seriously until 2002. Since then I have published countless articles in The Marquee Magazine and done some work for Jambase.com, SPIN Magazine, and various other outlets. I started Listen Up Denver! as a way to share the music information that is constantly spilling out of my head with people who care. Please enjoy!