Band of Horses: Infinite Charms @ the Wiltern
However, when Band of Horses took the stage at the Wiltern tonight, it was as though one were sitting with a few close friends watching them play a private show. The band’s casual tone and beautiful music made the concert a very pleasant experience for concert-goers.
Frontman Ben Bridwell, as well as the rest of the band members, seemed excited just to be onstage, consistently looking at one another and grinning while playing.
After their first song, “Ode to LRC,” Bridwell giddily remarked, “This is already so fun! Let’s keep it moving!”
Later, at the end of crowd favorite, “Is There a Ghost,” Bridwell and guitarist Tyler Ramsey turned to face one another and begun strumming each other’s guitars, noticeably giggling while doing so.
After, Bridwell declared to Ramsey, “I think you’re awesome, dude.”
Impressively, the band sounded better than on their studio albums. Each member delivered a noteworthy performance, solidly showcasing his talents.
Bridwell’s boyish-yet-haunting voice was strong and very clear, even when he chain-smoked cigarettes all the way through “Laredo,” a single off of the band’s newest album, Infinite Arms.
Before playing “Infinite Arms,” the title track off of that album, Bridwell uttered to keyboardist Ryan Monroe, “Let’s do it with the big intro or whatever. Can we, let’s just do whatever on this one.” Monroe, chuckling, responded, “Okay, cool. I might get it right this time.”
Though Monroe may have gotten it right, that did not stop the band from smiling throughout the intro to the melancholy song.
The band’s charming, southern, small-town feel was underscored by their set dressings.
Their equipment was draped with nature scenes, with an owl featured on Creighton Barrett’s bass drum and trees on some of the amplifiers. Furthermore, their backdrop was ever-changing, with pictures of oceans, forests, rustic-looking furniture, starry skies, various animals, etc.
The last song before the encore was “The Funeral,” Band of Horses’ most popular song, and according to Bridwell, their best. The song’s fame grew as it was used in movies, television shows, and commercials.
Halfway through, the audience cheered so loudly that Bridwell stopped playing and said, “You guys like that, huh? It’s such a cool song! Check out this next part,“ before finishing the number.
The band ended the show by walking off the stage with their arms around each other, subtly high-fiving as they disappeared into the wings.
Band of Horses’ obvious love for each other, for performing, and for their music made a large venue in Los Angeles feel as cozy as a campfire in a South Carolina forest.
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