On Friday morning, one of the most heinous crimes to ever occur in this country took place in the quiet town of Newtown, CT. The tragic news set off reactions around the country, and I’m sure around the world. Band of HorsesBand of Horses were scheduled to play in Philly on Friday night, and while I didn’t think for a second the show would be canceled, they carved out a Facebook message to explain why they would still play as planned.
“It will be tough for sure, but all we can do is try to help in the healing of this confusing world. This is so incredibly sad. Our hearts go out to all affected by today’s events and violence anywhere in the world. Lets please take care of each other always.”
The band kicked off, fittingly, with “Monsters” from their debut album, Everything All the Time. A song about getting away, “for the moment,” from “awful people” seemed like an appropriate way to remind the crowd to try to enjoy the show. Their opening run of songs was helpful, too, as they worked through nine songs of great, older material before touching their new, not-as-great album, Mirage Rock.
“The Great Salt Lake, “Is There A Ghost,” “Laredo,” “Cigarettes, Wedding Bands,” and “Compliments” were included in a fantastic opening half that didn’t give the crowd a break. The second half of the set wasn’t quite as rambunctious, at least not until the ending run of “Knock Knock,” “Ode to LRC,” and “The Funeral.” Nevertheless, it was an incredibly well-constructed setlist, consisting of only 4 songs from Mirage Rock, the worst of their 4 albums, but 7 from Cease to Begin, the best of their 4 albums.
The crowd was a mixed bag of huge fans rocking out and casual fans barely moving a muscle until the opening notes of “The Funeral.” There was a fairly low energy throughout the night, perhaps due to the sobering news of the day—or maybe I was just in the wrong spot—but it certainly can’t be blamed on the band, who sounded great and seemed to have an extra hop to their step than usual. They let their music do the talking and the healing on this night, and for at least this fan, it was as good as a distraction as you could find on such a horrible day.
Band of Horses @ Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA – Friday, December 14, 2012
01 Monsters > (video) (another video)
02 Neighbor (reprise)
03 Compliments (video)
04 Cigarettes, Wedding Bands (video)
05 Laredo (video)
06 The Great Salt Lake (video)
07 Islands On the Coast (video)
08 Northwest Apartment (video)
09 Is There A Ghost (video)
10 Slow Cruel Hands of Time
11 Older (video)
12 Electric Music (video)
14 Window Blues (video)
15 Everything’s Gonna be Undone
16 Weed Party
17 Knock Knock
18 Ode to LRC (video)
19 The Funeral (video) (another video)
20 No One’s Gonna Love You (Ben & Tlyer only)
21 A Song for You (Gram Parsons cover)
22 The General Specific (video)