Click the photo for a slideshow of the concert. All photos by Renee McMahon.
Band of Horses
July 2, 2007
Better Than: Watching
Band of Horses
July 2, 2007
Better Than: Watching the Mariners lose
"This song’s dedicated to whatever job Mike Hargrove quit today," said Band of Horses frontman and unabashed Mariners fan Ben Bridwell. "And to everyone in the audience who throws weed on stage during this song." Everyone at the Showbox knew exactly what song he was talking about. Then, they tore into the Mellencamp-influenced party anthem "Weed Party." With his baseball cap pulled low over his eyes and his now-mammoth beard bushing out underneath, Bridwell looked every part the Southern stoner-jock he is, just more so than the last time I saw him.
Gone are the nervous knee-bouncing and boyish banter that first endeared me to him and the band, back when they were simply Horses who flubbed chords and knocked over microphone stands. While last night’s show was nothing short of excellent, for me, it marked a huge turning point for my relationship with the band and their music. As I said to Aja this morning: "It feels weird to know that they are no longer our band anymore. They’re everyone else’s band."
This is by no means a bad thing. That’s what we always wanted for Band of Horses and that’s what happened. But when you are so familiar with a rough little demo track called "Funeral," then you hear girls screaming along those same lyrics two years later while holding up their cell phones to capture the moment, a certain internal shift occurs. Anyway, selfish, territorial whining aside, it couldn’t happen to a better fucking band.
With a set of familiar tunes speckled with a few new ones, Band of Horses proved they are going to continue wowing audiences with their emotional, hard-driving Americana. With their three new members on piano, second guitar and bass, the Horses core of vocalist Ben Bridwell, Rob Hampton (on guitar now, for the most part), and drummer Creighton Barrett, sound like time on the road, and time spent together, has made them a tightly honed unit. Songs like "Great Salt Lake" and "For Wicked Gil" flow naturally now with zero missteps. And the same can be said of the new songs, which take those old Horses elements from Everything All the Time and up the "big-rock" factor.
I always joked that those dudes should be playing stadiums, but from the sounds of these new songs, they might not be far off.
Personal Bias: Are you kidding? Anything I write about Band of Horses is biased.
Random Detail: The new Band of Horses t-shirt designs at the merch table looked pretty incredible. The Southern-rock/cowboy flare of the tees reminded me of the early Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter tees.