Band of Horses @ the Southgate House (1/27/08)

I went down to Newport last Sunday to see Band of Horses at the Southgate House.  It was a sold out show, which is nice because it makes me sound like I’m cooler than I actually am.  The downside is that I had to stand around all night shoulder-to-shoulder with a bunch of indie hipsters spewing forth cigarette smoke and insipid comments like, “Oh, you think Band of Horses kicks ass?  You should check out Ben’s old band, Clarissa’s Wierd.”  Grrr.

Even the crowd and the smoke and the backaches and the other usual hazards couldn’t spoil this show for me.  It was simply the best rock concert I’ve seen in years.  I was surprised that I enjoyed it so much considering that I didn’t really care for the band the first time around.  I listened to Everything All the Time two or three times when it came out, but it didn’t do much for me.  I liked the singles, but nothing else jumped out at me.  I forgot all about the band until I saw them perform “Is There a Ghost” on Letterman last fall (see video below).  That song stuck with me.  Soon after, I dug out my copy of Everything All the Time and gave it another chance.  I eventually picked up Cease to Begin.

I don’t want to take anything away from those two albums (because I’ve since decided there’s not a bad song on them), but Band of Horses is far better in a live setting.  I was amazed at the energy they brought to these songs.  I’m not just talking about the rockers like “Weed Party” and “Wicked Gil”, either.  I’m also talking about the slow ones like “Monsters” and “No One’s Gonna Love You”.  “Monsters”, which started off the night, was so damn beautiful.  I was in awe.  I couldn’t stop smiling.  I thought they wouldn’t be able to top it, but they did…again and again.

Band of Horses played 16 songs in all.  Six were from Everything All the Time, while seven came from the new record.  They also played J.J. Cale’s “Thirteen Days” and a Creedence cover called “Effigy”.  Rounding out the night was a song written and sung by the keyboardist, Ryan Monroe.  A lot of people used it as a chance to make a beer run, but it was a surprisingly enjoyable song.  I wished they’d played “Detlef Schrempf” and “Part One”, but it’s not a big deal.  I’m not complaining.  It was a great night.

Here’s the typed-out setlist:

Main set: Monsters/The First Song/Is There a Ghost/The Great Salt Lake/Weed Party/Cigarettes, Wedding Bands/Thirteen Days (J.J. Cale)/Older (Ryan Monroe)/No One’s Gonna Love You/Islands on the Coast/Wicked Gil/Ode to LRC/The Funeral

Encore: Effigy (Creedence)/Marry Song/The General Specific

Band of Horses setlistMarquee

[NOTE: My brother also attended this concert.  He raved about it afterward, so I’m not the only one who thought it was a special show.]

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9 Responses to Band of Horses @ the Southgate House (1/27/08)

  1. jane says:

    it's so weird to hear anymore about people smoking at concerts…and i haven't really gotten into the whole band of horses thing. maybe i need to give it another listen. they play them a lot on sirius…

  2. M-----l says:

    If I remember correctly, we're both from Ohio, a state with a no smoking law for concert venues, restaurants, etc. I'm not a smoker and prefer that people don't blow smoke in my face all night. Unfortunately for me, I rarely get to see a show in Ohio. Most of the good shows are across the river in Kentucky, a state where people like their cigarettes.

  3. I am SO jealous! I really would like to see them live. They seem like they would be one of those bands that would rock it out live! We stopped going to concerts a while ago because of the cigarette smoke, I have a slight allergy. But now you can't smoke indoors here in washington anymore. I should get to more concerts. We are going to Magnetic Fields soon. They are so much fun.

  4. M-----l says:

    I used to be able to go to a show and put up with all sorts of annoyances…drunken buffoons, cigarette smoke, camera flashes, blatant drug use, having to stand for hours on end (or having to sit for hours on end, depending on the venue), but the older I get the more those little annoyances bother me and detract from my enjoyment of the music. I'm sure I'll have to quit concerts altogether in a couple years. Oh well.
    As far as Magnetic Fields go, that sounds like a good show. I've never seen them, but I think Stephin Merritt is one of the best songwriters around. Enjoy your concert.

  5. I agree with the annoyances, these are all things that drive me bonkers too. I waited so long to go to 21 and over shows, then once I got there I realized the all ages ones are better. The drunk people are TOO MUCH! I hate the ones that start shouting nasty things at the band, disrupting the whole concert. If they really think these guys suck, then LEAVE! Sigh….I have seen the magnetic fields before, several years ago just before 69 love songs came out. They are SO much fun to see! I agree with you about Stephen Merritt too. He reminds me of Bob Polard, they write SO many songs!

  6. M-----l says:

    My problem with Pollard is that he doesn't bother editing what he releases. He seems to write a song, record it, and release it without regard to quality. He's written a lot of great songs, but for every essential song there are a dozen throwaways. It's really hard to be a fan because you never know what you're going to get with him.
    Merritt is also prolific, but I think a higher percentage of his songs meet my quality standards. Of course, neither of these guys care what I think, so I'll just keep my thoughts to myself.

  7. Haha, a friend of mine was / is totally obsessed with Guided by voices. He used to joke about the quantity and quality of the songs as well. He is a very energetic guy live too! For an old dude he really knows how to move around! I was impressed.

  8. Pingback: Drive-By Truckers @ the Southgate House (3/16/08) | Outgoing Signals

  9. Pingback: There’s a venue-shaped hole in my heart. | Outgoing Signals

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