If Band of Horses proved one thing when they rolled through the The Ritz in Ybor this past Sunday, it's that they're still, at their core, a great American rock n' roll band. For all the major label hooplah, the claims that they've gone too soft or mainstream, BOH still knows how to rock the fuck out of a club on a Sunday night. It's not all pretty, sometimes sounding like it could all max out and blow the speakers into felt-y shreds at a moment's notice. But goddamn these boys know how to put in a hard night's work. [Text by Andrew, photos by Mike.]
Opening with the unabashedly Eagles-influenced "Electric Song" off their latest, Mirage Rock, Band of Horses smacked us with a bomb of grating distortion so loud, the drums were near-inaudible until midway through the song. Three guitars (excluding bass) onstage can do this, and they (or some guy on the board) quickly learned and dialed it down a bit.
From there, BOH rode into a steady and largely unbroken stream of songs culled from the recent end of their four-album catalog. Tracks like "Laredo," "Older," "Infinite Arms" and their first-ever live attempt at Mirage Rock's "Shut-In Tourist" were all delivered with gated intensity and a sense of conscious imperfectness that was almost kind of endearing. Ben Bridwell along with his more stoic comrades were ever-present forces, jovial and loose as they played through about 90 minutes of BOH material, an Archers of Loaf cover ("Chumming the Waters"), and their raucous, tried-n-true cover of Them Two's "Am I A Good Man," which closed out their encore.
So, maybe Band of Horses has gone soft on record, but when they kick in right after the hushed intro of "The Funeral," and they hit you over and over with that jagged, beautiful wall of bar chords while the goosebumps poke up under your forearms, you can't help but savor the moment.
Tyler- I can't believe how talented of a writer you are. This article was beautifully…
Great interview! Give the interviewer a full time job! He's great!
The DJ was actually The Castle's very own DJ Tom Gold :)
Fabulous review Gabe! Too bad I missed it.