Well, since I can’t get to Coachella this year, the least I can do is make a quick trip to see one of my favorite bands live in concert for the third time. In case you did not know, I have become a HUGE Band of Horses fan in the past few years. I saw them for the first time at the Monolith Festival at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado back in September 2008, then saw them perform at Coachella in 2009.
If you enjoy good old-fashioned rock and roll, with healthy doses of indie rock, folk, country, and dare I say a subtle hint of shoegaze occasionally, then Band of Horses is a group you really need to check out. They were very good last year at Coachella; they were absolutely epic at Monolith in 2008, one of my all-time favorite concerts.
The band has a new album coming May 18 by the name of Infinite Arms. Two new songs were played when I saw them last year. Both songs sounded great, so not only am I hoping they end up on the new disc, but I hope to hear them tonight. A year of polish on each track should make them sound that much better.
I thought I would include in this post a review of the concert at Red Rocks. I originally wrote this piece for a company and a blog that shall rename nameless. Mysteriously, that blog post disappeared a little over a month ago. 🙂 Here it is for your reading pleasure!
The crowd was still in a great mood after the Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings set, so when Band of Horses made their way onstage amidst the backdrop of a beautiful evening with a harvest moon in the sky, they were greeted by the crowd in a warm manner. Deservedly so, we were in for one heck of a treat!
Band of Horses began their career in one of the meccas of the music world, Seattle, WA. Now based out of South Carolina, this band takes the prog-rock stylings of Neil Young, some of the elements of classic shoegazer, add in a taste of Southern Rock and weave it together into a classic mix of rock and roll. The singer reminds me a lot of Doug Martsch from Built to Spill and the guitar work at times is even reminiscent of Robin Guthrie of Cocteau Twins fame. If you like Built to Spill, you will love Band of Horses. If you don’t, in the humble opinion of the Dust Devil you have some serious issues.
I digress. A good friend of mine (yes, Robert Lerma once again) introduced me to this band a couple of years ago, so I had some familiarity with them. Why I wasn’t immediately blown away when I had previously heard them is beyond me, but by far this was the best “discovery” for me of the festival.
Three guitars is an unusual and generally a welcome characteristic of a band for this listener, and Band of Horses uses that formula to produce a GIGANTIC sound on record and more important, live! This was the one band of the weekend that has the capability of producing a sound big enough to truly utilize what Red Rocks Amphitheatre has to offer in terms of the acoustics. From the moment they launched into The First Song, one of the two tracks of their’s I did know, I was in awe. Yes, AWE. Ben Bridwell’s vocals were crystal clear, the musicianship was the best of the weekend (yes, even over the Dap Kings) and once again, that big sound!
Earlier in the year I wrote a post about the Elbow show back in May at the Bluebird Theatre in Denver. During that show there was a moment when they played Newborn that still resonates with me today. That song was a monumental experience for me in terms of the live concerts I have seen over the years.
Well, Band of Horses had the same effect on me when they played The Funeral from their first disc Everything All The Time. That sound was so huge and so beautiful, I was nearly in tears by the time the band launched into the final, climatic instrumentation at the end. That my friends, was the ultimate moment of the 2008 Monolith Music Festival … at least for me. At that moment, I realized I was in the midst of greatness. Call that comment overblown if you want, but there are moments that stick with you during your lifetime. For one brief moment, the world was in perfect balance, and The Funeral from Band of Horses encapsulated that moment.
Band of Horses, thank you for proving once again that great music does still exist in this world. The night was not over, and there was one more great performance still to come, but in retrospect I get more upset that Justice was allowed to close the festival over this great band. Truly, there is no “Justice” in this world …”
I am truly pumped for this show! Look for a review in the next day or so, and make plans to head over to the downtown Hard Rock Cafe this Saturday to see the only full-band concert from Limbeck of this spring!
Update 3/17/10 Concert Review of Band of Horses at the Ogden Theatre