Saw Band of Horses last night at the Filmore on South Beach. What an awesome show. They’re touring like crazy right now, different joint almost every night, so check out their Myspace page and see if they’re coming to your town. The guys put out a wall of sound, a soulful, yearning, uplifting and introspective blast of rock and blues, the kind of music that gets you singing along, clapping your hands over your head and just grinning like a fool. Rub your magic 8 gently. I loved them in NYC in ’07, and loved them last night.
They’re promoting their latest album, Infinite Arms, but most of the songs they played were classics. It’s strange to listen to something so much for so long and then to hear it alive, pulsing and vibrant and true, textured and in your face, with a hundred people singing alongside. There’s this energy that comes over a crowd when you’re all swept up, this feeling of camraderie, this sense of elevation that’s just awesome and frightening as well. Brilliant when you’re all digging a song, and terrifying if it ever makes you mob.
Strange also to look at the stage, and see a sea of hands holding up cameras and iPhones to record the show. So many people intently scrutinizing their tiny LCD screens instead of actually looking at what’s happening live and large before them. All those little screens glowing blue, recording for posterity that which they barely experienced as a result.
The guys in Band of Horses are an eclectic bunch, each bursting with personality and their own vibe. The lead singer is a scrawny guy, bearded and tattooed and brimming with this joyful, sincere happiness and charisma that just wins over the crowd. The drummer is this powerful, large guy with a shock of black hair and a razor beard, big shouldered and incredibly precise when it came to his instrument. The lead guitarist was this soulful looking guy, long haired and lanky, face predisposed to melancholy. The bass guitar playet had a rakish red bandanna around his neck, and looked the most self aware of the bunch, while the keyboard player was this rotund, cheerful guy who kept looking over at the singer and chortling. Fantastic mix, fantastic music, fantastic show.