Band of Horses - Portland

By brian

Band Of Horses
Doug Fir Lounge
Portland OR
July 3, 2006

By Brian Sikora

I am not sure when exactly I became "unhip". I used to think of myself as fairly "with it". In fact, the people that know me consider me a walking music encyclopedia. Along with that title comes the knowledge of the up and coming bands before anyone else does. So when did that ship sail, because apparently it has. This was apparent by not having a clue that Band of Horses was the band of the moment. I knew who they were. I had enjoyed their album, but I usually enjoy those types of bands. Give me a band that sounds like My Morning Jacket, Grandaddy, the Shins, etc and I am all over it. So why did I miss their tremendous ascension?The first tip off that they are the current band of the moment is the overstuffed venue. This show had to have been oversold. There was no room to move, and no room for air. At the time of the show, we were having a very spectacular lightning storm outside. I couldn’t help but think that we were going to get struck, the place was going to explode into flames, and there is 30 layers of hipsters between me and the one fire exit. The second tip off was the crowd itself. This wasn’t simply a group of loyal fans, but a collection of Portland’s many hipsters, scensters, and those that like to be seen. These type usually only show up if the band has a serious buzz. I wondered if this indeed is going to be worth it. Band of Horses arrived onstage to much fanfare. This is the final date on what appeared to be a very grueling and eventful tour, which featured many mishaps, including being busted for drug possession. Ben Bridwell started the show with a narration of the entire tour, and a gracious thank you to all the fans. I believe that the band was very appreciative of all the support, and at the same time, glad to get some off time after this show was finished. During the set, the band played a combination of songs from the latest and fantastic album “Everything All The Time” as well as a few new tracks and a fun version of Hall & Oates “You Make My Dreams” The band were in a very playful mood the entire evening, and the fans responded in kind. The bands mix of mellow harmonies combined with loud intense moments kept the level of excitement high in the Doug Fir. The newer songs that were less familiar had some people stirring a bit, waiting for something that they could sing along with. Moments such as “The First Song”, “Wicked Gil” and the sublime “Great Salt Lake” very easily give a glimpse of why this band is the new hip thing. They can make soft, emotional music sound so important and intense. The show climaxed with a ringing version of “The Funeral” which is the song that many of the people wanted to hear, and it didn’t disappoint. The fact of the matter was.. I was a bit surprised that they were as good as they were! I need to keep up a little better with whats going on in indie rock. I would hate to have something like this pass me by. Band of Horses have a way of making slow, dark music sound absolutely epic and life changing. This takes a real talent.