Band of Horses
I’ve been a devout-to-curious Band of Horses fan in my history. Last night’s concert at the Paramount Theatre was a disappointment. Jokes about barfing after too much tequila and various double entendre cast a weird, edgy pall early in the show. Ben Bridwell made his point early during Part One, when he repeated the last line of lyrics in a jammier-than-usual rendition (back to Carolina……), three times. During the fourth song in the set, he walked around like Mr. Exasperated Cool Guy, puffing on a cigarette. No, we’re not going to do anything about it. And I don’t know how you couldn’t wince at the cheesy projection on the wall behind them during several songs, rapid fire stills of BOH playing various venues around the world and a bunch of buddy pictures of the guys clowning around and rabbit punching each other, because gosh dang it, we’re livin’ the mutherfuckin’ dream and Band of Horses was a southern rock band all along, dammit! Or something like that. And the Mono Lake montage for Great Salt Lake. The Great Salt Lake in Great Salt Lake is actually Murray Lake back home according to Ben, but Mono Lake is pretty salty too. And what the heck is it with bands using projectors? I hope this is just a Paramount Theatre phenomenon. It was far less irritating but still distracting at last week’s Fleet Foxes show.
The second half of the show was better. Ben Bridwell seemed less edgy and more loosey-goosey. He even put on a Detlef Schrempf jersey someone from the crowd had tossed onstage. The band played several songs off a new album they’re working on, one of which in my extremely humble opinion will be a major fan favorite (and it reminded me of why I fell in love with BOH the first time around). It was one of two highlights of the evening for me. Sad to say, the other new stuff just wasn’t very good to my ear. Try…… boring, bland rock. Highlight number two, by the way…… the audience called BOH back out for the inevitable encore and Bridwell and Tyler Ramsey did a gorgeous duet.
I felt sorry for Diana during most of the show. We were on the main floor in front of the stage, Paramount had taken out the seats for the night. She was surrounded by the land of redwood giants. Nobody can help how tall they are, true. But as if that weren’t bad enough, she couldn’t see a thing besides because of all the rude numbskulls with their cell phones held high in the air, taking video and pictures. Infuriating, yes. But a commentary on today’s etiquette-that-goes. Note to self: Seats in the lower mezzanine for now on. No more general admission on the main floor.