Band of Horses
House of Blues
December 15, 2016
Not 25 minutes into Band of Horses’ set Thursday night, lead vocalist Ben Bridwell posed a question to his fans:
“Are you tired?” he asked the sold-out crowd, which responded with a resounding "no!"
“We’ll see,” he said with a smirk as he wiped his wooly hair out of his eyes and his band to play “Cigarettes, Wedding Bands.”
And that was the extent of Band of Horses’ interaction with the crowd. From then on, the group avoided any idle chitchat in favor of an extended set of more than 20 songs that lasted for roughly 90 minutes.
It seemed like a fair trade.
Band of Horses live is a different animal than on record. Thursday night’s House of Blues performance packed a lot more punch than expected, and a number of concertgoers — even those who had seen the group before — made mention of the ferocity with which the band was playing.
They reworked some of their songs, speeding up tempos and adding instrumentation here and there as fans cheered their approval. Everyone in attendance seemed to recognize the songs eventually and join in, singing along or drunkenly shouting into a friend’s ear. Unfortunately, the crowd seemed evenly split.
On tour in support of Why Are You OK?, which was released nearly six months ago, Band of Horses sounded reinvigorated. They have been described as a band on the comeback since the release of their fifth studio album, and Thursday night’s show served to reinforce that notion.
Plenty of new songs were highlighted, including their most recent hit single “Casual Party,” but the quintet also made a point to delve into its deeper cuts for fan favorites like “The Funeral” and “No One’s Gonna’ Love You,” both of which were performed as advertised on record.
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Sometimes, you don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.
Just before midnight, as Band of Horses finished performing “The General Specific” — an old-timey piano stomper — Bridwell gave the crowd a final parting gift. Without a word, he reached into a tub onstage and threw a handful of candy canes into the crowd as fans made one final attempt to seize the evening’s entertainment, this time literally right out of the air.
Overheard In the Crowd: "I don’t think he wants to be my friend. Do you?"
Random Notebook Dump: We spotted a security guard sporting a Los Skarnales hat.