moe. & YMSB :: 02.26.05 :: PromoWest Pavilion :: Columbus, OH

Jeff Austin, YMSB :: 2.26 :: Columbus, OH
It makes sense that a double-bill as diverse as the combination of Yonder Mountain String Band and moe. would bring twice the fan-base, but even Columbus' PromoWest Pavilion must have been pleasantly surprised when the show sold out as early as Wednesday for the Saturday night show.

Luckily, February 26th was kind to those without tickets, gracing them with unseasonable warmth and sunshine into the early evening hours. But like all good things, this too came to an end and by the time the doors opened at 6:30, the hundreds of fans without tickets were getting chilly.

The energy inside the building reflected the anticipation outside - people were happy to be in the warm venue and were looking forward to a long night of multiple sets of varying sounds. Though crowded and cramped at times, after a while the mob settled back into the corners of the venue and gave those fixated on the stage some dancing room.

Dave Johnston, YMSB :: 2.26
As Yonder took the stage, they proclaimed that this was the last stop on the current tour, ensuring a great time. They leapt first into "No Expectations," a fast and furious version of a Rolling Stones tune not necessarily intended to be a ten-minute long jam session. Although this versatile song can translate to almost any style it seems somehow that it was destined to be discovered and reborn by YMSB.

A high-pitched, banjo-pickin' "Maid of the Canyon" followed, featuring lots of great close-ups on the big screens on either side of the stage. Watching Jeff Austin (mandolin) and Dave Johnston (banjo) roll through this tune was reminiscent of the Yonder show in Columbus about this time last year, when they packed the Newport Music Hall and guaranteed themselves a sturdy fan-base in Buckeye Country.

Ben Kaufman kicked off "Rambler's Anthem" and got the crowd involved with some chanting and yelling as the night set in. It was a good old fashioned hoe-down at PromoWest from then on – dancing circles everywhere as the energy continued to build. One of funnier moment of the evening was when the Jagermeister of the famous "Just One More Jagermeister Shot" line of "If There's Still Ramblin' in the Rambler" was replaced by a round of tequila shots. While the surfer riff "Tequila" played in the background, the band explained that their stomachs had only been able to take so much Jager before tequila was brought in to substitute. Shots went all around, and they rolled right back into a smoking version of "Kentucky Mandolin."

Cheers, YMSB :: 2.26 :: Columbus, OH
Another clear highlight was a brilliant cover of Bob Dylan's "It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry," a song often covered by Jerry Garcia. This bluegrass-inflected song was a terrific lead-in to YMSB's own traditional bluegrass-style songs; "40 Miles From Denver" and "Winds O' Wyoming."

The unexpected "Dear Prudence" knocked the crowd onto their heels, leaving them quiet and inspired at the end of the YMSB set. It was a great ending to a strong and promising beginning to the evening.

Al Schnier, moe. :: 2.26 :: Columbus, OH
moe. walked in with big shoes to fill as the crowd continued to yelp and yee-haw after Yonder Mountain's performance. Though the sound was very different, the change in lighting and atmosphere helped a darker and more mysterious vibe set in with moe.'s first chords. "Okayalright" from the album Wormwood started the first set off with a true rock and roll sound. Moving into "George," the band took steps further and further into the realm of heavy jam. Chuck Garvey's fairly new and very cool "Wind It Up" dropped some electronic funk on the stage and went right into "Gone."

Garvey & Austin :: 2.26 :: Columbus, OH
The popular "Blue Jeans and Pizza" set the crowd up for a terrific set-ending "Mexico" with special guest, Yonder's Jeff Austin. A truly remarkable moment of moe.'s set, "Mexico" had the crowd staggering with enthusiasm and dancing until they brought the house lights back up.

The light-hearted exit into the set-break was countered with a dark re-entrance for Set II. Metallica played on the house system during the last few minutes of set-break, leaving the hippies head-banging on their way back to their seats. When the lights dropped, the Metallica continued as moe. headed into a raging "Enter Sandman." Complete with red lights and fog machines, moe. delivered a killer version of the well-known Metallica tune and brought the house down metal-style.

Rob Derhak, moe. :: 2.26 :: Columbus, OH
moe.'s second set was consistent with its larger-than-life beginning. Weaving nearly all of Set II in and out of "Enter Sandman," there was a dark and funky nature persistent in everything they did. Culminating with "Recreational Chemistry," an old favorite loved for its subtle drug references, and a tingling "Spine Of A Dog" encore, moe. lit Columbus up.



No Expectations, Maid Of The Canyon, Rambler's Anthem, Steep Grade Sharp Curve, If There's Still Ramblin' In The Rambler (Let Him Go) > Kentucky Mandolin > Mothers Only Son > Ramblin', Pride Of Alabama, It Takes A Lot To Laugh It Takes A Train To Cry, 40 Miles From Denver, Winds Of Wyoming > Ten > Riverside > Ten > Dear Prudence


Set 1: Okayalright, George, Wind it up > Gone, Blue Jeans and Pizza, Mexico*

Set 2: Enter Sandman > The Road, Faker > Dr. Graffenberg > Faker, Happy Hour Hero > Recreational Chemistry

Encore: Spine Of A Dog

* w/ Jeff Austin (YMSB)

Words by: Samantha Hanford
Images by: Robert Massie
JamBase | Columbus
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[Published on: 3/11/05]

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