Live Review:Band of Horses @ Terminal 5

Band of Horses played to a packed house last night (Sunday, 11/4) at Terminal 5 in New York. It was my second time to this new Bowery Presents venue, which seems to be doing well as the new spot for the top-tier indie bands to play (The National opened the building about 3 weeks ago). Capacity is 3000, with a big open floor space and 2 levels around the sides and back overlooking the floor and stage. The sound is great and conveniently enough there are bars and bathrooms on every floor.

Band of Horses plowed through a 90-minute set of songs from both Everything All The Time and the recently released Cease To Begin. They played everything you’d expect from both albums (assuming you’re familiar with both albums) except for the notable absence of “Detlaf Schrempf“ and “Weed Party”, which might have saved some face for the band to play after flubbing and abandoning a cover during the encore. Instead the audience was left a song shy of the 4 song “encore” Ben Bridwell had just said they would play.
This is just minor sour grapes though, as what the band did play was fantastic. Tyler Ramsey, who opened the show with a short set of solo songs, ably played guitar with the band, and the dude (not his real name) playing keys and singing harmony was great as well. Opening the set with the slow building intensity of “Monsters” was an early high point. It always seems to be a good decision for a band to start a show with a song that builds to a dramatic finale - really gets the crowd ready for a rocking set. Or maybe that’s just me. The mid-set pairing of “Marry Song” and “The General Specific” was particularly inspired, with the former losing none of the beautiful harmonies of the record, and the latter bringing the crowd to life after a few mellow songs in a row. “The Funeral” was every bit the epic monster it is on record, and both “Our Swords” and "Cigarettes, Wedding Bands” in the encore were godsends. Band of Horses had the crowd in the palm of their hands for 90 minutes. A great show.

MP3 :: Is There A Ghost
Video :: Is There A Ghost
(from Cease To Begin)

MP3 :: The Funeral
MP3 :: The Great Salt Lake
(from Everything All The Time)
P.S. - I don’t think I’ve ever felt the urge to knock an unknown band on this blog, but I just have to say this time that show openers The Drones were miserable. I won’t say that it was the worst music I’d ever heard in my life, but it isn’t a good sign when you’re standing there watching a band and the thought that it might be the worst band you’ve ever heard is even faintly in your head. Sorry Drones. But seriously.

Thanks to Johnny Fabulous for the pics!


Audiowriter said...

Great review....100% accurate. I was there too (but I think they played Weed Party?). Have to say, I agree about the Drones.

Anonymous said...

The Drones won the A.M.P (Australian Music Prize) in 2005 for their album "Wait long by the River.....". This is Australia's equivalent of the Mercury Prize. Their widely regarded as one of Australia's best live bands. Band of Horses singer Ben Bridwell actually requseted them to come over and tour with them. I thought they were fucking amazing. You sir, missed the point by a mile.

James said...

Maybe you're right anonymous. Maybe I missed the point. Maybe all the people around me who were groaning with every song missed the point as well.

I wasn't aware of the other stuff though...thanks. That prize is a big deal and they should be proud. Good for them.

Thanks for the comment.

eyes & ears said...


I took a little 2-day tour to see Band of Horses on Saturday & Sunday night in Providence & NY, they're tremendous to see live. I was wondering if you knew anything about the last song they played during the encore... I know it's a cover, something to the effect of "does that make me a good man". Anyways, they rocked, and Terminal 5 was proved to be a wide open venue where their sound could really carry. If you find a live version of that cover, let me know.

- Andrew

James said...

eyes & ears,

i don't know what the last song was - never heard it before. i saw them play a free outdoor show over the summer and they ended with a great cover that day too, but i never got it either. i see a pattern forming.

thanks for dropping by,