Horses go from a trot to full-on canter

16:00, Jan 16 2013
Band of Horses
MIGHTILY IMPRESSIVE: Band of Horses’ Wellington show proves they are a must-see live act.

REVIEW: Band of Horses

Opera House, Wellington, January 15

When did good manners leave the building?

Once again we are subjected to latecomers, some up to an hour late, using their mobile phones as a torch to guide them to their seat and take photos from 14 rows back.

Enough!  Do you turn up late at the movies?  Do they let you in after the concert has started at a classical venue? No.

Those who turned up late missed an impressive opening act in Australian Mike Noga, a warm and confident artist who knew how to work the crowd.


Still, once Band of Horses got on to the stage the energy level soared and the mosh pit filled up pretty quickly.

Best described as an alt/Americana band, they soon proved to be a group that were difficult to pigeonhole.

After a couple of slower country rock numbers they suddenly became a grunge band,  with singer Ben Bridwell in the obligatory checked shirt, channelling Neil Young's post punk era vocals.

With the volume cranked up, the stage speakers rocking and arms waving in recognition of  songs from their four albums to date, we were in for a good time.

Pity then, that the extreme right of the audience couldn't see drummer Creighton Barrett or lead guitarist Tyler Ramsey and the left would not have been able to see keyboard player Ryan Monroe, until he came out front to play some grungy lead guitar.  

Note to the venue: May I suggest putting the speakers in the unused boxes that I haven't seen filled since I sat in one for Dudley Moore in 1978.

Much has been made of the group's recent album Mirage Rock, and producer Glyn Johns (Rolling Stones/Ryan Adams) opting for a more commercial sound, which is all well and good, but this reviewer sees them firmly as a live act rather than a recording band.

In other words, the energy that comes off stage is mightily impressive but hasn't yet translated to disc.  

Would I go see them again?

Yes, indeed.

The Dominion Post