Local Live Review: Band Of Horses, Showbox 11/20

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review by Ben Guerechit
photos by Chona Kasinger

Finally! Like they always say, “Third times a charm.” In the last week I’ve been to three different shows (extremely different) all with high hopes, and it wasn’t until last nights Band of Horses show, that I was finally satisfied. Last Thursday it was David Allan Coe at El Corazon; too loud, and too much wig. On Sunday I was at Neumos for the Stones Throw 2KSports tour with even greater anticipation. Again… disappointment; too much self-promoting rhymes and too little turntable showcasing.

It wasn’t until just last night that my palate was fulfilled. Ben Bridwell and his Band of Horses took the Showbox stage for a second night in a row. The all ages event was filled to the brim with beard brandishing (me too) BOH followers, of which I’d say half were under 21. All were brimming with eagerness as they fidgeted their way through two opening performances, slipping and sliding their way in and out of other concert goers biding for the best spot to see for the eventual moment when the Horses would appear. In the meantime, I anxiously checked my phone every five minutes, dreading 11:45 when I’d have to leave early enough to make it to my first graveyard shift at my new job. Ugh.

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Kicking off the first set of tunes for the night was Tyler Ramsey, who also turned out to be playing guitar for Band of Horses later. He picked his way through a solid six pack (or more) of subtle and sweet guitar jangles. Half instrumental and half lyrical, just Ramsey and guitar was quite pleasant. However his music is probably more suited for a soothing sunrise atop a hillside, rather than a dark club filled with kids more focused on jabbering with each other.

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Australia’s own The Drones provided a rip-roaring second opening set. After the first couple of songs the crowd’s attention began to be diverted back to the stage and away from the text message screens. Once the attention was reverted back drummer, Michael Noga announced that it was lead singer, Gareth Liddiard’s birthday. A quick head nod and Liddiard was back into his Pete Townsend inspired guitar ranting. The screaming feedback only pronounced the anthemic dissonance of The Drones’ songs.

As The Drones excited the stage I quickly glanced at my phone again; 10:39. “Good… should make at least till the first Encore.” Twenty minutes later Band Of Horses was set up and Ben Bridwell took a seat in front of his slide guitar and prepped the packed house with “Monsters.” Although, he didn’t sit around for too long, a few songs later he was up and belting out “Islands on The Coast” from the new album Cease to Begin. BOH did get back to some “old stuff” as Bridwell put it with “Great Salt Lake” and “First Song.”


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One fun little highlight was when Bridwell invited “a friend” of his on stage to play tambourine because it was his birthday. Next thing we know, a six-year old wearing plaid shyly steped on stage and grabed a tambourine. In no time “Neko” was dancing around and banging his instrument like one of the guys. It was just too darn cute. Bridwell also had time for some of his own personal humor tossing out “I heard Mike Hargrove is coming back to the Mariners,” and something about Mayor Greg Nickels.

Soon enough the band broke into radio favorite “Is There a Ghost” and had the crowd reeling and swaying to the melody. However, it wasn’t until Bridwell said something about “time to party” and swapped his Gibson ax for a fake plastic medieval looking ax (uses to pound out his own tambourine rhythm) during “General Specific,” that my previous week’s disappointments were forgotten. They also sailed through “Cigarettes, Wedding Bands” and “No Ones Gonna Love You” before I remembered to check the time again, 11:43. “Shit! Work,” I thought, but one step to the door and I had to turn around for one last song. “Ode to LRC” was perfect.

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So I didn’t get to see any kind of encore or find out what the goofy looking lion and tiger heads stacked on the amps were for, and on top of it all I was still late for work. So… if you’re reading this and you were at the show… fill me in.

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