Bluegrass in Boone: Schaefer Center hosts Del McCoury and Yonder Mountain String bands

Asher Davidson, A&C Editor

 A large crowd of 687 people escaped the cold, fall Boone air in the Schaefer Center for Performing Arts Sunday night for Del McCoury Band and Yonder Mountain String Band. 

“We jumped at the chance to present to a legendary performer along with some of the best in current bluegrass,” said Allison West, the director of marketing and public relations for the Schaefer Center. 

Yonder Mountain String Band stopped in Boone as a part of their national tour. Yonder Mountain String Band’s agents suggested that the Del McCoury band be added to the concert bill. This is the only time that the Del McCoury band co-billed with Yonder Mountain String Band, West said. 

The center capped the concert at 800 tickets and sold 687 in-person tickets and was live-streamed to 57 households. App State students bought 110 of those tickets. West said the number of student tickets sold was one of the best outcomes the Schaefer Center has seen in a while.  

J.P. Neri, a freshman history major, said the $25 ticket was reasonable and was recommended to go by a friend.

“I really thought I would like the Del McCoury Band more, but I ended up liking the Yonder Mountain String Band better,” Neri said. 

Del McCoury drew in a crowd before Del McCoury Band even walked on the stage, the auditorium was filled with applause and yelling. 

The excitement continued throughout the show when the band played crowd favorite “1952 Vincent Black Lightning.” McCoury kept this liveliness at an apex by interacting with the audience. 

When a man in the front row asked him how his Martin Guitar was treating him, McCoury jokingly responded, “This Martin is older than I am but looks younger than me.”

As Del McCoury Band finished their set, they were met with a standing ovation.

Yonder Mountain String Band followed. Their sound is less traditional bluegrass, and they added elements of a modern concert such as lighting elements and electric instruments. 

The closing song, a claimed drinking song with a psychedelic and dissonant midsection, took about 20 minutes for them to complete. 

Audience members stood up and began to dance in the aisles.

“I loved that song they played before going off the first time. They had an amazing 15 minute Grateful Dead jam session, and that was awesome,” Neri said. 

Shortly after the band went off stage, they came back for an encore. The band  ended the night with two songs featuring double banjos, including a fan favorite titled “Dancing in The Moonlight.”