Nothing feels more like a late summer evening than a night at the legendary Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. With the City of Angels experiencing a heat wave for the first time all year, the Greek became the perfect oasis for the 5,000 in attendance who wished to spend a night in the hills of Griffith Park and rock out to some great music – more specifically, Band of Horses.
This year has been fortunate for Band of Horses. Although its received a mixed bag of acclaim, Infinite Arms stands as the group’s best selling album to date. This success has opened plenty of doors for Ben Bridwell’s folksy outfit, as they’ve appeared on several high-profile, opening slots this year, including the likes of Pearl Jam. Given this momentum, it was only a matter of time before the South Carolina-based quintet began headlining amphitheaters.
As the moon and stars basked over the venue, Bridwell led the group onstage and opened with The Great Salt Lake, off of 2006s Everything All The Time. The song sounded fuller and tighter than on record. Bridwells brooding vocals along with Creighton Barretts steady drumming were highlights that set the tone for the evening.
After the song, Bridwell apologized to the crowd because he was under the weather and may have contacted SARS or something, and if his vocals seemed rough, that was the reason. But he had no reason to apologize; he was on-point and sounded great. Songs like Weed Party and Detlef Schrempf sound just as good as when they were released, while new songs like Laredo reveal how their confidence and maturity in songwriting has translated into a stronger live performance, resulting in extended jams and bolder on-stage personas.
Though he kept referring to how cool it was to play the Greek, Bridwell and his bandmates hardly seemed phased by the venue. The singers interactions and joking with his bandmates made this feel like a club gig rather than the huge amphitheatre show that it was. They were having fun and they werent afraid to show it, even despite difficulties. As Bridwells vocals faded over the course of the night, guitarist Bill Reynolds and keyboardist Ryan Monroe upped their game to keep precision. In fact, Monroe was essential in keeping the show from falling apart since hed help Bridwell out by providing strong backing vocals.
Photo by Philip Cosores
This is going to be our fake last song and also our most famous one too, Bridwell joked before launching into a stirring rendition of The Funeral. The extended jam at the end of the song, featuring Barretts tenacious gut-busting drum solo, was the perfect way to end the show, but it didn’t. Topping off the hour and 20 minutes, “Monsters” created another extended jam that felt all-too-natural, though it brought the group closer to its curfew, which was really the only disappointment of the night. Still, an end had to come, and looking back, it was the perfect soundtrack to an inarguably beautiful Southern California evening.
All photography by Philip Cosores.
The Great Salt Lake
Is There A Ghost?
The General Specific
Cigarettes, Wedding Bands
Islands On The Coast
No One’s Gonna Love You
Ode to LRC
Gallery by Philip Cosores