YMSB Counts Down To Red Rocks

Yonder Mountain String Band wraps up its summer tour with a headlining gig at Denver’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre Saturday night. In anticipation of the Colorado-based band’s biggest gig of the season, Pollstar spoke with YMSB’s Adam Aijala about the upcoming show, what fans can expect and how many of his friends are hitting him up for free tickets.

For the tour’s Red Rocks finale, YMSB will be joined by Railroad Earth and The Infamous Stringdusters for an evening that is sure to be one of the most unique shows the three bands will experience this year.

Pollstar was able to corral Yonder Mountain members Jeff Austin (mandolin/vocals) and Ben Kaufmann (bass/vocals) for an interview earlier this year. This time we put the tough questions to guitarist/vocalist Aijala.

Photo: Tobin Voggesser
From left to right: Dave Johnston, Ben Kaufmann, Jeff Austin, and Adam Aijala.

Will the Red Rocks performance differ from other gigs on your current tour?

I don’t think our “performance” will differ that much from any other show on our current tour. We play different sets of music every night and we’ve never played the same show twice. However, when you get into one of the greatest venues in the world filled with people fueling and cycling some serious energy with us, you never know what can happen except that you’re guaranteed an amazing experience. Love that place!

Last spring Ben told Pollstar that he would like everyone to have a chance to see Yonder Mountain. Do you think the Red Rocks show will be that chance, or will the seats be filled with long-time fans?

I think it’ll be a combination of long-time fans, folks who see us once a year, and first-timers. It is pretty big venue so there’s room for everyone. I agree with Ben. Come out and see us.

Speaking of fans, what do you think your fans are expecting from the show?

I think our fans are expecting what they always expect … high energy and a fun time. That’s why I think we’re able to play a place like Red Rocks. People come to have a good time. I get to see a lot of bands at festivals around the country and I don’t think I ever see as many smiling faces as I do at our shows. Maybe it’s because I have a great vantage point for that though. Ha!

Photo: John Davisson
Bear Creek Music & Art Festival, Spirit Of The Suwannee Music Park, Live Oak, Fla.

Any plans to do something with the other bands on the bill, Railroad Earth and The Infamous Stringdusters?

I think it would be cool to do some collaborating with both the Dusters and Railroad, but any specifics remain to be seen. What a great bunch of folks we have with us this year. I think some picking is in the cards.

Since the Red Rocks show was first announced, are all your Colorado friends hitting you up for free tickets?

Geez! Tell me about it. Bunch of freeloaders not willing to support their bros. No, I’m kidding. Actually, I think this year I’ve asked more people if they want to come than the other way around. Most of my friends feel bad asking even though I always tell them not to hesitate. I love seeing all the familiar faces out in the crowd. We’ll see you there!

Photo: John Davisson
The Venue, Gainesville, Fla.

Although Yonder Mountain String Band’s summer tour concludes Saturday at Red Rocks, the band will continue performing in the fall. Upcoming dates include a few late September / early October gigs with Widespread Panic as well as hosting the Harvest Music Festival in Ozark, Ark. Check out the band’s website for more information.