By Chuck Cox
There are certain bands you just fall in love with. And you typically have a pretty vivid memory of the first time you hear one of those bands’ music. It just sticks with you.
For me, Band of Horses absolutely falls into that category.
I was looking around at the old Tower Records on Lemmon and Oak Lawn in Dallas in 2006. And as I perused the CDs, I started to hear some really amazing music coming out of the store’s speakers. It was Band of Horses’ debut album, Everything All the Time. I don’t think the first song I heard playing, “I Go to the Barn Because I Like The,” had even finished before I made my way to the front of the story and asked emphatically, “Who is this?”
I walked out of Tower with Everything All the Time in my bag. And the CD was promptly playing in my car shortly thereafter. I loved every second of it, from the soaring guitars of ”The Funeral,” to the rocking “The Great Salt Lake,” to the gorgeous “I Go to the Barn Because I Like The.” Band of Horses just had a cool sound with great lyrics that equally drew me in hook, line and sinker. And lead singer Ben Bridwell’s voice has a unique quality to it that makes you know exactly who you’re listening to from the first note out of his mouth.
However, it wasn’t until almost two years later I finally got to see the band live. And it was well worth the wait. I thought a lot about that day in Tower Records as I made my way to the Palladium to see them play five years ago. After Band of Horses guitarist Tyler Ramsey and Cass McCombs and the Middle Class opened the show, I was finally about to hear that incredible Band of Horses music live.
By then, the Seattle band had released its second album, Cease to Begin, which I bought the day it came out in late 2007. To me, the second album is absolutely perfect. And it will always be one of my all-time favorites. Yeah, Band of Horses actually out-did itself on its sophomore effort.
Bridwell and the boys tore through tracks from both albums, sounding every bit as incredible live as they do coming through my headphones. They played 18 songs, highlighted by “Is There a Ghost,” “The Great Salt Lake,” “The Funeral,” “Marry Song,” and “The General Specific.”
I’ve seen Band of Horses two more times since then, but that first show will always be special. It was not only the first time I had seen them, but I was also hugging the barricade on the front row. Band of Horses is still going strong, after releasing its fourth album, Mirage Rock, last year. They’ve definitely got a fan for life in me. If you get a chance, do not miss these guys the next time they roll around.