Sometimes, a tragedy will inspire greatness. In this case, the tragedy was the death of Split Lip Rayfield’s singer / guitar player Kirk Rundstrom after a long and inspirational bout with cancer, and the affected people were the Yonder Mountain String Band and their sold-out Pageant crowd. The result of everyone’s respect and admiration for the deceased (who was supposed to open for Yonder Mountain) was a raucous celebration of music and togetherness.
Mandolin player Jeff Austin’s passionate playing and sincere and heartfelt thank you to the St. Louis crowd for making it the best night of the tour was a testament to how personal and intimate this show was, despite the fact that it was jam-packed full of screaming, excited fans.
The buzz of the crowd did not die down once throughout the entire night and reached its apex the moment Yonder Mountain went into the funny, tongue-in-cheek tune, “Granny Won’t You Smoke Some Marijuana.”
This night was one of the best concert moments that St. Louis has seen in 2007, and it will live on in history as the day Kirk Rundstrom came back to life. Every person in the building could feel a presence at this show that had never been felt before. Even Yonder Mountain was performing to a wall of sound and bodies like they had never experienced. The night was summed up by Austin, saying “We’ll miss you Kirk, thanks for being here with us tonight. See you soon.”