Band of Horses @ Carnegie Hall, NYC (Special Acoustic Performance)

Live Reviews | Jun 12th, 2009

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Date: June 11th 2009
Opening Band: Arbouretum
Band Link:

Band of Horses performed at Carnegie Hall last night in New York City. It was a special “Acoustic” show that was just fantastic! If you didn’t get a chance to see the show last night, you missed out on something special.

I’ve never been to Carnegie Hall so I had no idea how good my seats were going to be until I got there. I ended up getting excellent seats, 4th row dead center! Can’t really beat that, it’s about time I buy tickets and get some good seats in the process. The opening act Arbouretum came on the stage at 8:15pm. They were folk-driven band that sat down for their acoustic set. I’m not sure if they speed things up or sound louder on CD, but for the Carnegie performance; they were slow for the most part. I had no problem with that but glad I was sitting down. It made me appreciate their set better. I can see why they opened up for Band of Horses though. They have that twangy, country folk rock sound that Band of Horses has. I honestly couldn’t tell you what songs they played since I never heard of the band before. I want to check out Arbouretum’s music because I liked their sound, but just didn’t think they were that exciting to see. Maybe if I knew their music I would be more into their live performance?

Band of Horses came out at 9:15pm exactly and I was immediately taken aback with the band’s sound. I never saw Band of Horses before but been a fan for almost 2 years now. Ben Bridwell’s singing style just really impressed me and it sounded amazing live! What made the night even better for me was hearing it in Carnegie Hall of all places. His voice just carried throughout the hall; it almost gave me goosebumps. Ben looked like he was having a blast on stage, and looked like he was in awe of the sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall.

Their set was considered “acoustic,” but in reality the songs were just stripped down. The songs weren’t the rock songs you heard on their albums. Band of Horses either slowed things down, or added a twangy spin on their tunes. Whatever they did, they need to do more of it and perhaps record an album the way they performed last night. In my opinion, some of the most notable songs in the set were “The Great Salt Lake,” “Wicked Gil,” “The Funeral,” “No One’s Gonna Love You” and “Weed Party.” The band performed a few new songs, as well as a cover of Gram Parsons (“A Song For You”). I really dug the new songs and can’t wait to hear them on CD. Ben mentioned they have a new album coming out, only they don’t know when it’s coming out. Tyler Ramsey ended up singing a nice song (not sure what the name of it was), and Ryan Monroe sang one from his piano as well. As much as I love Ben’s vocals, it’s awesome that other people in the band can sing too.

Judging from the applause throughout the concert, “The Funeral” and “The Great Salt Lake” got the biggest applause. I really enjoyed those songs as well, but the highlight for me was hearing “No One’s Gonna Love You.” During the encore, Ben and Tyler came out and sang “Ode To LRC.” That song is one of my favorite songs off their latest album Cease To Begin. The rest of the members of the band came back out to play two more, “Detlef Schrempf” and “The General Specific.” The entire place was standing for “The General Specific,” and it was an excellent song to end with. Only thing I was disappointed with was the band not playing “Is There A Ghost.” I was looking forward to hearing that song.

I didn’t know what to expect from this “acoustic” concert, but I thought Band of Horses sounded amazing. I really liked how they re-did their songs. I can’t wait to see them again, especially in a normal rock show! Now it’s time to put on “Everything All the Time” and “Cease to Begin” on my iPod and re-live this amazing concert.


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