Band of Horses gallops into Charleston to open tour

Band of Horses
The Music Farm
Charleston, South Carolina
January 21, 2008

Ben Bridwell is an unassuming man, save the beard that crawls from his chin. Even in front of a sold out Music Farm crowd on a cold Sunday night in Charleston, his presence was one of ease. But leading Band of Horses into “Monsters,” from the band’s debut Everything All The Time that presence was consumed by sparkling washes of sound and Bridwell’s haunting howl.

Joined by guitarists Rob Hampton and Tyler Ramsey, keyboardist Ryan Monroe, bassist Bill Reynolds and drummer Creighton Barrett, Bridwell led the enrapt audience through an hour-and-a-half of shimmering crescendos that marked both the Band of Horses debut and last year’s Cease to Begin, the album that has elevated them to indie-star status.  “Is there A Ghost” and “Going Back to LRC” were flush with feeling, adding perspective to haunting reworkings of “Funeral” and “The Great Salt Lake.”

Bridwell – who recently relocated the band from Seattle back to the Lowcountry, where he grew up – made small talk about being home and shared an anecdote about sneaking out from his parents’ home to see Pavement at the Music Farm, breaking the barrier between band and audience, and adding a sense of familiarity to the proceedings.

It was clear that the frenzied crowd was still hungry when the band walked off of the stage after channeling emotional rock and roll for just over an hour. But as quickly as they disappeared, Band of Horses returned to explore the emotional depths of “No One’s Gonna Love You,” and a night-cap cover of Credence Clearwater Revival’s “Effigy.”

This marked the first show of Band of Horses winter tour, and the elation and wonderment crystallized in each composition confirmed, despite the critical acclaim that has adorned the band’s name over the last year, this truly is just the beginning.