The Infamous Stringdusters
18 April 2015 - Boulder Theater - Boulder, CO
for The Lot Scene by Parker
The Infamous Stringdusters
Setlist: Set One - Trashcan>Long Lonesome Day>Hillbillies, Get It While You Can, Home, Rivers Run Cold, Like I Do, Love One Another, PBD (for Georgia), Big River, Life Without a Care, HC Funk
Set Two - Peace of Mind>In God’s Country, It’ll Be Alright>Colorado, Try>Well Well, All the Same, Señor, No Rezo, Morning Bugle, Echoes of Goodbye, 17 Cents, Red Fox, He’s Gone, Mountain Town>Peace of Mind
Encore - Let It Go (with Trout Steak Revival)
Sufficiently primed and ready for some face-meltingly good bluegrass music thanks to Trout Steak Revival, I was more than ready for the Dusters when they walked out onto the stage and Jeremy began to saw away on his fiddle kicking things off with “Trashcan” into a bounding “Long Lonesome Day” from Booksy and straight into “Hillbillies”. Three songs in and just like that and we were on the Stringdusters Express for the remainder of the evening. From very early on it was utterly apparent how much fun these men were having and intended to have on that Boulder Theater stage. Throughout the night, from face to face one could see a menagerie of blissed-out expressions, each the epitome of joyous intensity and musical connection. There is just something so special about the caliber of music produced by those who thoroughly and wholly enjoy the act of doing so. And the Dusters are very much that kind of ensemble. Travis Book was up next to dole out some sage life advice in “Get It” with the band sounding especially tight shoring up his soul-driven vocals. “This next song is for all the river folk out there…” — a perfect Colorado introduction for “Rivers Run Cold”, a personal favorite of mine. Speaking of Colorado, the band had so much love for our state both musically and verbally, taking to the mic at several points in the night to give special thanks to Boulder and to Colorado to express their love for state and her people. It really made for a grateful evening on both sides of the stage, an experience that I am sure enriched both band and audience equally. Who wants to hear a favorite song by a favorite guitarist? You? Well, OK then, which means it was Falco up on lead for “Like I Do” — taken at a rather faster tempo than I have seen in the past. This quicker pace set the stage for a mammoth fiddle solo by Jeremy which made us all go a little nuts, suffice it to say there weren’t too many feet not dancing or stomping or bouncing to that quivering bow. There was a particularly beautiful and sweet moment during the first set when the Dusters announced they had a special song for some special people in the crowd. Turns out Georgia and Todd are superfans of the group and the band rewrote the lyrics of the song to play for them especially in honor of their anniversary. Pretty cool, Infamous ones. Pretty cool. Making the requisite setlist room for the Man in Black, we got a very choice “Big River” helping round out this first set, replete with monster solo after monster solo after monster solo from every instrument. Andy Hall jumped up to vocals for a swift “Life Without a Care” which was dominated by Falco’s mind-numbing soloing (not to mention that of every member of the band to boot) followed by and freaky, funky set-closing “HC Funk”. A damn fine half of a damn good show. Looking forward to telling you about the rest!
After a pause, the music juggernaut was back a-rollin’ with the second set opener “Peace of Mind” that seemingly finished with a serious instrumental jam leading smack dab into Jeremy crooning U2’s “In God’s Country”. The boys jammed this song out and it gave me the opportunity to observe Travis following each soloist so intently, his expression one of pure focus and musical happiness. Man, does that bass player love his job! And why wouldn’t he, getting to sing songs like “It’ll Be Alright”, which he did for us next, as well as thrumming madly away to the following “Colorado” which, of course, elicited the appropriate maddened fervent response of the assemble Boulder crowd. The hanging cloth backdrop resembling stone columns in the light they seemed the perfect setting for the sad and lonely “Try” which came next. Then, it was Andy Hall’s rockin’ “Well Well” that brought us all back up to dancing levels again and we showed our thanks by pounding the floors with our still rowdy feet. The jam in this song was phenomenal — I really cannot go back and listen to my notes enough. So much amazing musicianship, so much quicksilver talent all in one group! We ended up getting a really great cover of Tim O’Brien’s “Señor” with a jumping good energy, a really great dance tune. Plus, it’s always, always nice to hear some Tim O’Brien. Right? Right. And then it was some John Hartford, what luck! Andy on vocals and the boys in the band sure did up “Morning Bugle” in fine fashion. A truly blistering “Echoes of Goodbye” was followed by the less intense hoedown sound of “17 Cents” which got us all to stompin’ once again. Not ones to let the set wind down with a whimper, the Dusters ripped it all wide open for a sizzling “Red Fox” instrumental which built to a mad frenzy and then exploded into hundreds of smiling faces beyond the stage. One well-placed, final cover of the Dead’s “He’s Gone” got us all singing, even Paul Hoffman (Greensky Bluegrass) who was at the show and stopped to hang with us for a few songs. Good times with a good friend. “Mountain Town” punched things into high gear for a huge finish circling back around to complete “Peace of Mind” bringing the set full-circle and the remarkable show to a close. We were all still reeling as a new mic was brought on stage only to be followed by the Stringdusters and Trout Steak Revival, invited back to sing the encore (mostly) a cappella. Falco struck the chord and the first notes of “Let It Go” rang out followed by those oh-so-poignant words we could all stand to heed a little more often in life. Such a wall of vocal sound, harmonies tight and beautiful, such a way to end a show. What a night of incredibly good music and a great beginning to “Lot Mischief” collaborations. I can hardly believe it was the first of two - makes me look very much forward to Monday!!