Yonder Mountain String Band at First Avenue


Bluegrass was on hand at First Avenue Friday Night as Colorado’s Yonder Mountain String Band with support from Minnesota’s own Pert Near Sandstone took over the famous venue. What keeps surprising me about Bluegrass shows is the wide range of fans they attract. man buns, baseball caps, a couple of cowboyish hats, long hair, buzz cuts it was all there – and that was just the guys. Of course, a number of Halloween costumes was on hand as well including one rather inebriated queen.

Pert Near Sandstone took the stage first. Being a Minneapolis band, this was a home show for them and it showed by the massive crowd that had come to see them. The band will release their new album “Discovery Of Honey” next week and their set had quite a few songs from it. Percussion for their music came in form of a clopper – first time seeing one for me. Their set was lively and enjoyable. One cool thing I noticed was a ASL interpreter perched on the barrier translating for hearing impaired fans, something I only have seen in larger venues before.

Yonder Mountain String Band have been around for close to 20 years and have built a dedicated fan base. The crowd certainly was ready for them. When YMSB took the stage there were several shouts for one of them off take his shirt off and tons of cheers. Their style Bluegrass is not afraid to wander outside it’s traditional roots and the band has been known to cover songs as diverse as Röyksopp and Ozzy Osborne. Their set began with a long version of “Insult and an Elbow” that included jams from each of the instruments. Light through the show were great – something one not always associates with a Bluegrass band. The set lasted for over 2 hours closing out after 1 AM letting a bunch of happy and smiling fans out into the night.
Set List: Insult and an elbow w/jam / I’m Not Saying / Another Day / Don’t Worry HappyB-Day / Traffic Jam / Love Before You Can’t / Eat In Go Deaf / Pockets / Bad Reputation / Summer In The City / Drawing A Melody / You’re No Good / Nothing But A Breeze / All This Time / Sidewalk Stars / Rambler’s Anthem