I had never seen either of these bands live before. Some friends of mine were telling me that Yonder Mountain was really great so I was looking forward to it. We had to battle the rain again when setting up which is always a big drag.
Here’s a shot of where we mix the show from the stage. Moving huge pieces of gear is never fun but it’s especially tough through puddles and mud.
By 11:30am both bands had arrived. It was almost time to start unloading their trailers and additional gear from under their tour buses. Luckily, it was now getting nicer out.
Though it had stopped raining and the sun had fought it’s way through, we had to tie off a lot of the banners on the stage from the wind. For the rest of the day we’d be dealing with gusts up to 20mph.
Here’s a shot of “amp land” where we have all of our power that powers the monitors, the main speakers and woofers, front of house, and all of the back line. It’s a lot of juice.
This is the mixer that we use from “amp land” to mix the stage monitors. It’s where I take many of the pictures of the Thursday concerts. It’s also a great spot to see a concert.
Here’s a neat shot from behind the kit. It’s a simple set up for Railroad Earth. Yonder Mountain doesn’t have a drummer.
GUITAR WORLD! This is always one of my favorite places after everything is set up. I typically get a couple hours in the afternoon to check out all the toys and shoot the breeze with some of the artists and techs.
Being that both bands were very string-centric, there were a lot of guitars on hand. I’d have to buy a guitar a year for the next 12 or more years and spend nearly $30,000 to come close to what was sitting right here.
The violin player also played guitar. His amp of choice was this classic Fender Reverb Deluxe.
Celestion Alnico Gold speaker. It’s about $300 and sort of like the classic Celestian Blue.
The banjo player also played acoustic guitar, mandolin, another acoustic, and whatever else through this Roland Jazz 120. These amps are really loud but also notorious for the clean tone. Most people say TOO clean. It all depends on what you want. I often see these with jazz players that are using beefy toned guitars. That wasn’t the case here.
I got a kick out of the banjo, mandolin, acoustic etc… player’s pedals. There are 5 tuner pedals here. That was a first for me. However, that ToneBone Piezo by Radial is an amazing box. I highly recommend any acoustic player to use these before ever running DI again. It’s worth every penny.
Another great classic, the Fender Super Reverb. I’ve got a Sennheiser E906 on the left speaker. Pretty standard dynamic for a guitar cabinet. I typically use these, E609 and SM57 for live applications. These as work well in the studio also but a Beyerdynamic M160 has to be tried every time.
Continental Amp… a gem made by Tone King. That gorgeous Telecaster was played through it. I also have another E906 on it.
Tone King amps are wildly expensive. This amp is rather rare and not in production. I’ve never heard one before so I was pretty excited to check this out. If you can find one, you’ll pay around $2,000 for it used.
Railroad Earth took the stage at about 5:30pm to a light crowd. People don’t usually show up for these gigs until a bit later. We always shoot for 7:30pm start time for the main act.
The violin player in Railroad Earth was a cool dude and an amazing player. Yonder Mountain would later invite him out to play in their set. He could really play the hell out of that violin.
By the time Yonder Mountain was to take the stage, there was a really large crowd ready and waiting. I was actually pretty excited to see what these boys could do as well.
Turns out, this little 4 piece out of Colorado are sensational. They are a chiseled, blue grass group that play a really tight, fast picking style with smooth transitions. Their vocals were perfect.
In classic, hee haw style, they’d take turns with solos as well as sharing a lot of the lead vocal parts, though the mandolin player at center stage handles most of the lead vocal work.
Yonder Mountain’s set was getting more intense as the night went on. Soon they invited the violin player up and the first song they played was a fast tempo, really melodic song with a lot of modulations and tempo changes. What a treat, even though I’m not a big blue grass fan.
I love the silhouette of the battleship in the background on this one. Yonder Mountain didn’t disappoint their fans and came back out for a 3 song encore.
This is one of my favorite camera shots of the whole summer. The cool, blue lights on an empty stage. The battleship, again. The night was coming to an end and it was almost time to break down the stage. When the band is done we usually go into a really cheesy tune to help chase the people out rather than linger around the canal area. Though I don’t typically get autographs or anything, I did manage to grab the set list for a friend of mine who really loves this band. As we were breaking down and packing up, Jeff Austin came back out to hang with the crew and help break it all down. Very rarely do bands help with the set up or tear down but on 2 occasions, this being one of them, they did. In fact, not only did they help this time, but they gave me a tour shirt and actually said, “thanks.”
That never happens.