Aug 6, 2008

Band Of Horses @ Metro Theatre

Some people would say that I have a thing for American music. Some people would be right. Some people would say that I love the traditional sounds and honest craft of American songwriting. Some people would be right. Some people would say that Band Of Horses epitomise everything that I like about American music. Those people would definitely be right. I can testify to this, for Tuesday night at the Metro was a chance to see Band Of Horses in full flight. Ragged glory, oh sweet rapture. This South Carolina band with the angel voiced lead singer turned Sydney into a celebration of glorious song. Melodies and soaring guitars filled the room, with smiling faces everywhere to be seen.

I had seen this band perform in Sydney back in 2006 to a much smaller audience and I loved them then. This time around Band Of Horses have grown to six and their sound has grown as well as their popularity. A sold out venue was excited to hear "Is There A Ghost" kick off the night and to follow this song with the rousing "The Great Salt Lake" was a sure fire way to have every one excited. The night ebbed and flowed with both of their albums covered equally. There were a couple of flat spots, with some of the slower numbers not being as successful. New keyboardist Ryan Munroe, the man is a character, sang a new song called "Older" which wasn't great, I believe. And songs like "Marry Song" don't translate as well live. But we did receive a new song, not sure of the title, which was great and a cover of J J Cales's "Thirteen Days" was superb. One of the absolute highlights was "Cigarettes, Wedding Bands", a great song which soared quite effortlessly. And the closing numbers were just superb. "Ode to LRC"'s glorious melody was impossible to resist, whilst "Wicked Gil" and "The Funeral" were a perfect way to close the main set. "The Funeral" (announced as their 'fake last song') is quite simply a great song of the highest order. Stunning.

The band returned for a great encore. "Our Swords" was performed as a duo with great skill, then Ben Bridwell sang an old soul number "Am I Good Man" with enormous fire and passion. This is not surprising as the man is just flat out a great singer. So often compared to Jim James, he has the same ability to hold a high pitched note, whilst still singing with incredible power and range. I could listen to him sing anywhere, anytime. He is also a great guitarist, leading the band in the right direction at all times. The band was great too, letting him take the limelight and providing able backup at all times. They seemed to be having a wonderful time too, it was their last show of the tour after all. The great time was perfectly exemplified on the closing "The General Specicfic", a song guaranteed to leave you smiling. That, I believe is the essence of this band. They are a band that writes earthy, enjoyable songs that contain great melodies and wonderful vitality. They embody the spirit of the great song. Joy, passion and the skill to deliver it all in an enjoyable package. Good times indeed.

Set List
Is There A Ghost
The Great Salt Lake
Islands On The Coast
Weed Party
(new song)?
Thirteen Days (J J Cale cover)
Marry Song
Cigarettes, Wedding Bands
The First Song
No One Goes Out Anymore (sung by Tyler Ramsey)
Detlef Schrempf
Older (sung by Ryan Monroe)
No Ones Gonna Love You
Ode to LRC
Wicked Gil
The Funeral

Our Swords
Am I A Good Man (Them Two Cover)
The General Specific


  • At August 06, 2008 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    It's a bummer I missed the Melbourne shows now judging from your review. Damn work commitments!

  • At August 20, 2008 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Drum Media reports (new song?) as Trudy....keep up the great work :-)


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