It was an intimate setting at the Ebell Theater where Band of Horses casually galloped through their tuneful and lyrically driven repertoire in the midst of their living room stage setup. A suggestion by legendary producer Glynn Johns (Rolling Stones, the Who) led them to embark on their toned down acoustic journey with the 2012 release of Mirage Rock (produced by Johns), which was subsequently followed by Acoustic at the Ryman, a catalog of their two-night stint at the historic Nashville venue.
When a band decides to take a sans-drummer approach after coming onto the scene with percussion-peppered songs like “The Funeral” and “Is There A Ghost,” one may worry where the new direction may take the band. Band of Horses welcomed the challenge with open arms by substituting the drums in “The Funeral” with tasteful piano accompaniment from Ryan Monroe.
Ben Birdwell, lead singer and multi-instrumentalist, joked in the beginning of the show, “It’s just like being home, tuning all the time.” A little later, when Monroe stepped out from behind the piano to play banjo, Birdwell joked while everyone waited for Monroe to tune up, “The problem is tuning while they are clapping.”
Band of Horses threw jokes back and forth casually during their fan-packed performance in L.A., their first show of the year. With so much tuning in between songs Birdwell didn’t miss the chance to joke, “Does it sound like it’s our first show?” Birdwell also brought out his South Carolina accent as he was calling out guitarist Tyler Ramsey on stage Tuesday night saying, “Hey, that’s my boy, Tyler, right there," which Ramsay responded appropriately with a guitar solo. The band have only further solidified their position within the world of music with this subtle yet pleasing transition from the world of indie-rock to one of the new heavyweights of folk.
Text by Bryan Kelly; Photos by Paula Tripodi
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