Not sure how I found out about this show but I was kinda excited. It had been many many years since I saw Yonder Mountain String Band. In fact it has been 17 years since I last saw them at the State Theatre. When I saw the co-headline with The Infamous Stringdusters I was definitely going. I invited Jenny along since this is some good jamgrass and I thought she would get a kick out of the show.
The show was at Crystal Ballroom and Jenny and I decided to meet at the venue. Show time was 8pm so we figured on arriving by 7:30pm would be good. That should have given us enough time to get through security and find a spot. Well us and hundreds of others apparently decided that was also a good idea.
Security getting in to Crystal Ballroom has always been ridiculous. Its single file so when a lot of people crush the door they are not able to handle the influx. By the time Jenny and I found the end of the line it was already stretching 2/3 the way around the block. I am sure people made it in but if this line continued many would miss Yonder Mountain opening the night. Eventually someone comes walking up from behind and says they are opening a back entry into the venue. This was the entrance to Lola’s Room that they opened for us. It was a made dash to the new entrance but a controlled one.
Within a few minutes we got into the venue and walked up the back stairs to the top floor. It was just before 8pm and the place was already smashed with people. It was hot and muggy. Not sure how many people where still outside but within a few minutes of us arriving Yonder Mountain took the stage with no fan fair. Almost didn’t know what was going on till they busted out Sideshow Blues as the first song. What also threw me off was the band members. It had been so many years I didn’t recognize anyone. Seeing five members on stage was weird to me and it didn’t click.
It was a good show that night but honestly it was a little to packed for my tastes. We couldn’t make our way into the crowd so got stuck near the back where all the foot traffic was. The music however was pretty good. A few fast songs, some covers. It was really cool hearing Brown-Eyed Women. With it being Portland they also played Two Hits and the Joint Turned Brown which I thought was very appropriate. Before we knew it the set was over and the stage cleared. The went just like they came, quickly and silently.
After the set we milled around for a while and re-positioned ourselves. We got a spot further back in the middle of the floor but it honestly wasn’t much better. We had a little space but long before the Stringduster set things really started to fill in again. My whole purpose for coming was to see Yonder Mountain. With the place filling up, no room to dance, Jenny not able to see, it was hot, and just because we wanted to, we headed out.
Getting in was crazy and I should have expected that. After not seeing them for 17 years things have certainly changed but it was still a good show. I have kept up loosely with the band through Jam_On but seeing them live was a totally different experience. A good and ruckus crowd that night which helped add to the show. But it also make for a packed venue with little room to dance or even breath at times. While we ended the night early it was still great seeing Yonder Mountain again after years and years.
Yonder Mountain String Band
Friday, January 17th 2019
Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR
Set starts at 8:16pm
- Sideshow Blues
- Two Hits and the Joint Turned Brown
- Hey Day
- I’m Lost
- Black Truck
- Left Me in a Hole
- Chasing My Tail
- All the Time
- Cherokee Shuffle
- Brown Eyed Women
- All Aboard
Set over at 9:33pm
Co-headline with The Infamous Stringdusters. Yonder played first this night. No encore.