Band of Horses, this is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you.
You blew it. Stunk up the joint. Laid an egg.
I call them a personal favorite. When I saw Band of Horses perform in Memphis, I was proud to have introduced them to two friends for the first time – they were impressed and so was I. Naturally, I was excited to see them again, this time in Chicago at the Riviera, and again with a few first-timers. By the end, I was trying to make sense of what turned out to be a lackluster, uninspired performance. A complete 180 from what I have seen before.
The show started out nicely, with some accapella from one of the box seats to the right of the stage (see the video below). It was a nice touch and offered clean views of front man (and only original band member) Ben Bridwell – views that would quickly disappear once the sold-out crowd turned their attention to the stage and the back of their heads to anyone under six feet tall. But the views weren’t the problem here.
From the very beginning, I noticed a serious problem. Bridwell’s voice – and 98% of the reason to listen to Band of Horses – was struggling to be heard. There was a technical problem. Other times, he stopped playing his guitar mid-song, because of another issue with the sound. And, at times, it sounded like the entire band tuned their instruments in the dark, wearing earplugs. Then, there was Bridwell smoking on stage, in between lyrics. Not in between songs but individual lyrics. Tell me, how can you perform at a high level when inhaling and exhaling smoke using the best instrument on stage? It’s like intentionally switching off a guitar amp between chords. And that was my biggest problem with this show – it seemed that BOH was ready to get it over with as soon as it started. The set was hurried and the song list was jumbled. Most of the show came from their latest release, Infinite Arms, which, I must admit, is my least favorite to date. That record sounds lazy, too.
To their credit, BOH has been touring constantly over the past year or so. And normally, they put on an amazing live show. But it looks and sounds like it’s catching up to them. They look tired, bored and ready for some R&R. They need it.
But, the tour rolls on. Below the video, you will find more tour dates for 2010.
|Oct 21 2010||7:00P||Kool Haus||Toronto, ON, CANADA|
|Oct 22 2010||7:00P||Fillmore||Detroit, MI|
|Oct 28 2010||7:00P||Thomas Wolfe Auditorium||Asheville, NC|
|Oct 29 2010||7:00P||North Charleston Performing Arts Center||Charleston, SC|
|Oct 30 2010||7:00P||The Fox Theater||Atlanta, Georgia|
|Jan 27 2011||7:00P||Academy||Glasgow, UNITED KINGDOM|
|Jan 28 2011||7:00P||Academy 1||Birmingham, UNITED KINGDOM|
|Jan 30 2011||7:00P||Academy||Bristol, UNITED KINGDOM|
|Jan 31 2011||7:00P||Academy 1||Leeds, UNITED KINGDOM|
|Feb 1 2011||7:00P||Academy 1||Manchester, UNITED KINGDOM|
|Feb 3 2011||7:00P||Brixton Academy||London, UNITED KINGDOM|
|Feb 7 2011||8:00P||Aula Magna||Lisbon, LISBOA, PORTUGAL|
|Feb 8 2011||8:00P||Heineken||Madrid, SPAIN|
|Feb 11 2011||8:00P||Estragon||Bologna, Italy, ITALY|
|Feb 12 2011||7:00P||Rota Fabrick||Zurich, SWITZERLAND|
|Feb 13 2011||7:00P||Backstage Werk||Munich, GERMANY|
|Feb 15 2011||7:00P||Live Music Hall||Koln, GERMANY|
|Feb 16 2011||7:00P||Uebel & Gefahrlich||Hamburg, GERMANY|
|Feb 17 2011||7:00P||Kesselhaus||Berlin,|
|Feb 19 2011||7:00P||Tap 1||Copenhagen, DENMARK|
|Feb 20 2011||7:30P||Spectrum Club||Oslo, NORWAY|
|Feb 21 2011||7:00P||Annexet||Stockholm, SWEDEN|
|Feb 23 2011||7:00P||Paradiso||Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS|
|Feb 24 2011||7:00P||AB||Belgium, BELGIUM|
|Feb 26 2011||7:00P||La Cigalle||Paris, FRANCE|