Band of Horses - June 20 - The Grey Eagle, Asheville, NC
The Grey Eagle is a hot place. Fans are blowing, rafters are exposed, and Pabst is the drink of choice. I set the scene just to let you know how perfect BoH fit in this context. When lead singer Ben Bridwell came on stage to take his seat behind a lap steel, he flashed a huge crooked toothed grin behind a scragly bearded face and heavily tatooed neck. He looked like so much of the crowd, a sea of southern redneck/punk/hippy hipsters. Before they started into the set he thanked his mom and aunt who were in attendence. At this moment it all came clear. He wasn't actually from the Northwest - he's a southerner, specifically a South Carolinian. This show was to be a sort of homecoming. That's exactly how they played.
The band tore through nearly every song on the latest disc, adding a few new tracks and even a cover of Hall & Oates' You Make My Dreams (preceeded with "this is for you mom"). I couldn't believe how much energy and presence they had on stage. It was raw and beautiful. Ben's voice is as pure and clear live as it is on the album (at least two dudes surrounding me were talking about how much they envied his vocal chords). It was the perfect rock show - just fun and rednecky of the southern variety (sort of a more approachable My Morning Jacket). The industrial fans did nothing to cool the sweaty crowd or performers. It was sweaty bliss. Pabst splashing all around.
Band of Horses at MySpace
More pictures at Flickr
Check out 3 Red Squares for some decent video footage of their recent Atlanta performance