Concert Review: Band of Horses – Greek Theater, LA, 9-25-10

Concert Reviews, Features, Music — By on October 7, 2010 3:45 pm

It’s been a year since the last Band of Horses show I attended. Here’s what changed:

1. I was standing in the pit at the Greek Theatre in Hollywood as opposed to standing room only against the back wall of the balcony section in a jenky theatre.
2. I had a guest pass and a free drink ticket instead of having to wait 30 minutes for a $15 whiskey Coke in the concessions lobby, and
3. I wound up meeting a few of the guys from the band, and one even kindly handed me a Miller Lite from the refrigerator in their dressing room during an after-show hang. Not bad for an upgrade if I do say so myself.

Here’s what stayed the same:
A year ago — from a spot so far away I should have brought binoculars — the boys stole my “Best Show of the Year” with little-to-no dispute because somehow they managed to fly up into the rafters and tear my heart out one country-rock ballad at a time. Last Saturday’s show had the same affect — they simply melted my face from ten feet away.

Apparently the band’s front man Ben Bridwell was feeling a little under the weather. He issued a few apologetic disclaimers for a weakened vocal, but it seemed unnecessary. Occasionally he’d smile and look over at Ryan Monroe on keys as if to say “welp, that was awful”, but everything blended so darn well it just didn’t matter.

Harmonies were tighter than beds made in an army boot camp. Guitars and keys offered sparkling ethereal sounds that danced in perfect regard for one another, leaving room, as it were, for the holy ghost of awesomeness. And their little drummer boy — surprisingly impressive — sat snugly in the pocket all night.

Somewhere towards the middle of the set, Bridwell noticed a friend in the pit, jumped down into the crowd, threw a jovial arm around him and serenaded us all for more than half a song. It was tender.

The boys played a fair share of the songs from their new record Infinite Arms and a healthy handful of loved favorites from their last grand slam Cease To Begin. A point of interest was the veritable media frenzy occurring on a giant projector screen behind them. Most of the images were of hip-looking old farms and roaming landscapes of all seasons; only one cheesy band logo slipped in the mix during the last song.

The fellas seemed genuinely happy and appreciative to have filled the place and made an earnest effort to include folks from 5 to 500 feet away. It was a fine show that ended literally on a high note with “The Funeral” — one of Band of Horses’s first hit singles.

The guys are scheduled to play throughout the US and UK for the rest of October, followed by a nice chunk of holiday downtime whereafter they’ll pick up touring again through February. Sadly there are no remaining CA dates on their calendar, but if you’re feeling spry it might just be worth it to hop a flight to Glasgow, Scotland to watch these boys get down.

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