I had the pleasure of seeing Band of Horses last night at the Black Cat in
The show started off with Simon Dawes opening. I assumed this was a singer/songwriter but it is in fact a band that neither features Simon nor Dawes. Discuss amongst yourselves. They were surprisingly good and managed to gain the attention of the few people who showed up early/on-time for the concert. They were clearly very young and their sound seems like its developing still, but at times I dug their vibe. I also chuckled seeing them high-five each other after selling a couple of CD’s at the merch booth in the back. They didn’t even have the token girl selling merch for them, just them.
The second opener was Chad VanGaalen. I wish he was the first opener because it was difficult to see and hear him by this point. His vibe was questionable as he looked kind of ridiculous wearing a white headband. But after listening to some of his music he is all about being ridiculous. One song I could hear clear was about a bottle being inserted into … a gril's rumpus. Interesting. I’m reserving judgment to a time when I can give him a fair listen, but he certainly wasn’t bad. I just didn’t pay that much attention. One thing to note was that two members of Simon Dawes came out for a song.
Finally, Band of Horses took the stage and the sold out crowd greeting them with a big round of applause. For the most part the crowd actually seemed to know the band, other than the typical DC indie crowd which just shows up because it’s a band they’re “supposed” to like and to compete in the “I have the coolest and most ironic t-shirt” Olympics. If you’ve been there you now what I’m talking about. Back to the music – the band played almost all of the songs off their debut album (with
Overall, I had a great time. The new material they introduced (3 or 4 new songs if I remember) all showed lots of promise and their covers (“You Don’t Have to Call Me By My Name” by David Allen Coe and “Showdown” by ELO which closed the show), were enjoyable. For the most part they didn’t stray too far from their studio sound but weren’t boring on stage. While Bridwell did pretty much stay put, he was engaging and funny and certainly not full of pretense. If you like the band (and you should), I recommend seeing them in concert.