There’s something special about seeing live music outdoors. There’s something even more special about seeing bluegrass outdoors. One of my favorite bluegrass acts to see is Yonder and they brought their foot stomping sounds to the beautiful outer harbor in downtown Buffalo, NY as part of the free Thursday at the Harbor line up on August 1st!
The downfall of an outdoors show is you can’t count on the weather. Thursday was no exception. I woke up out of bed that day like a little boy on Christmas as I have been looking forward to seeing Yonder since their amazing sets at Summer Camp, only to see rain, rain, and more rain. Hey, it’s summer. That wasn’t going to stop me. But something amazing happened… as the concert got closer and closer, the rain started to disappear and the sun started to shine. I knew Buffalo was in for a treat!
Railroad Earth opened up the show, and they are a band I never really knew much about, but having seen them 2 times in a month’s span, I am a huge fan already. Hailing from Stillwater, NJ, this band really knows how to bring it. Tim Carbone’s violin playing brings out so much emotion on stage and into the crowd. There was more then one time where it actually gave me goosebumps, and that is a great feeling. Railroad Earth also consists of Todd Sheaffer ( guitar, harmonica, vocals ), John Skehan ( mandolin, vocals, bouzouki ), Andy Goessling ( acoustic guitar, banjo, dobro, mandolin, flute, pennywhistle, saxophone, vocals), Carey Harmon ( drums ), Andrew Altman ( bass, vocals ).
Yonder was on pretty quickly after, and boy did they get that party started quickly. The band opened up with Cuckoo’s Nest and it really did put a smile on my face, but I was far from the only one. There is something about a Yonder show that has me people watching more then usual at a show. Seriously, if you are seeing them soon, turn around where ever you are standing. Look at the smiles, because it will be hard to find someone NOT smiling which is amazing!
There’s something else to look for when you see Yonder live, and if you aren’t already smiling, then watch Jeff Austin ( mandolin, vocals ) perform. His body language and facial expressions are so fitting for their music. Watching someone play such a small instrument so fast with those expressions just makes him glow and stand out live. Jeff isn’t the only one however; playing alongside the amazing talented Ben Kaufmann ( bass, vocals ), Dave Johnston ( banjo, vocals ), and Adam Aijala ( guitar, vocals ), these guys know how to play with emotion.
Yonder stormed out with Peace of Mind right after and it got Buffalo stomping around! I went with a group of people in which a specific girl I was with have never seen a bluegrass show before. Watching her dance around was so much fun, it’s always awesome when you expose someone to music like this and it pierces their souls in such a beautiful way.
YMSB has been playing together since 1998 and an included brownie point to them playing since then is there has been no past members. They are the original line up still raging just as hard 15 years later. It’s clear when you watch them communicate on stage while they are playing that they are truly like brothers. What I really like about them live is they are the perfect blend of professional and party mixed together and blasted out in acoustic form.
Yonder’s full set list from Buffalo:
Set 1: Cuckoo’s Nest > Peace Of Mind > Shake Me Up > Peace Of Mind, Catch A Criminal, Jail Song, Belle Parker, Loved You Enough, 40 Miles from Denver, All The Time, East Nashville Easter, Troubled Mind > 20 Eyes > Troubled Mind, Polly Put The Kettle On, New Speedway Boogie**> Traffic Jam** > Little Rabbit** > Traffic Jam**
Encore: Crazy**, Angel**
**Tim Carbone on fiddle
One of my personal favorite songs from the night was their last encore song, Angel. There’s something about Adam’s guitar playing in that song that really goes right through you in the best of all ways. It was a great way to end the perfect Yonder set right next to Buffalo’s water front. Having Tim Carbone out there on fiddle during that was just an extra special treat.
If you have even the slightest doubt of seeing YMSB, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and decide to just go. You will not be disappointed! Remember what I said earlier, you will be smiling and dancing… A combo that every person needs more often in their lives. You can check out their current dates here: