Concert Reviews
The hottest gigs straight from the venue to your couch

Band of Horses stampede over The Greek in L.A. (9/25)

on September 27, 2010, 10:00am

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 2006’s Everything All The Time. The song sounded fuller and tighter than on record. Bridwell’s brooding vocals along with Creighton Barrett’s 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 singer’s 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 weren’t afraid to show it, even despite difficulties. As Bridwell’s 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 he’d help Bridwell out by providing strong backing vocals.

cosband of horses Band of Horses stampede over The Greek in L.A. (9/25)

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 Barrett’s 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.

Set List:
The Great Salt Lake
Weed Party
Is There A Ghost?
NW Apt.
The General Specific
Part One
Cigarettes, Wedding Bands
Marry Song
Detlef Schrempf
Islands On The Coast
No One’s Gonna Love You
The Funeral
Ode to LRC

Gallery by Philip Cosores

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