Thursday, February 21, 2008

Horses in the Temple- Dirty on Purpose/Band of Horses 02.14.08

Sometimes hidden signs are the most evident.

C train. Fort Greene landmark. Never been. Two of my current fave bands. Dirty on Purpose. Band of Horses. Never seen.

The place is amazing. I've come to realize I love these tired old spaces as much as the bands that play in them. I don't have many friends, much less ones belonging to a secret society, so it's fair to say I have never seen the inside of a Masonic Temple . Kinda neat and creepy in a crazy cult with wacky hats sort of way. Don't know the handshake, just here for the tunes.

DoP were a little shaky first few songs. But they got into a groove and tore through most of the songs on their new EP 'Like Bees'. Good stuff. But my money is still on their first release ' Sleep Late For A Better Tomorrow'. They need a chick in the band again. Will help with the vocals. The shoegazer stuff. So damn catchy. I glanced down at the crowd from the balcony and in unison as if mesmerized, you could see little packs doing the sway. Very People's Temple. The main reason I got the tickets in the first place was to see DoP. I had missed their gig at McCarren Pool last summer and have really wanted to catch them live. I wasn't disappointed except to say I would have enjoyed a longer set. Planning on seeing them again in April in the city. Headlining? Pass the Kool -Aid.

End of the set. Place starts to fill some more. Since BoH was almost an afterthought, I am not 100% on staying through the entire set. Blasphemy says you. In of all places, a temple. But I'm a working stiff. Ads don't concept themselves you know. So on comes Ben Bridwell and the rest of the band and my first impression is that they have no personal grooming utensils on the tour bus whatsoever. He is sporting the biggest, bad-ass Grizzly Adams this side of West Virginia. I mean this thing was straight outta Deliverance. Same deal with Tyler Ramsey. Reminded me of George Harrison circa 'All Things Must Pass'. Crazy face fur. Perhaps an homage to the borough's resident Hasidim?

They dive right in, opening with the sonic question 'Is There A Ghost' from Cease To Begin, one of the egregious omissions of my top 7 of '07. But that's for another time. Check the vid, captured by my concert buddy Leslie, from up in the cheap seats.

I tell you these boys can rock. Swear Ben's voice sounds just like:
A. Roger Hodgson
B. Geddy Lee
C, Neil Young
D. Perry Farrell
E. All of the above

They played most of the latest LP as well as the selections from their first release 'Everything All the Time'. Love the southern twang attached to otherwise straight ahead verse, chorus, verse rock. Catchy without asking for too much commitment.

Mid-way through the set, like an electrified, tremeloed E minor chord, it hits me. In the gut. A sign. Some mystic symbol. Can I get a witness? This was an incredible show. These bands are just hitting their stride. Both at that crucial sophomore period of their careers. The make or break album. Separating the wheat from the chaff and all that. Given another half hour they'd have exhausted their entire catalogs. In fact, BoH blew the room away with an amazing encore of Chicago's 'Feelin' Stronger Everyday'. I have never heard that song covered live. Hell, I haven't heard that song on the radio in 25 years. Great tune.

All in all, the show was sublime. I didn't learn anything more about Masons, But I know Mason Reece and man, I'm feelin' like some deviled ham right about now.

I'm just sayin'.

MP3: Feelin' Stronger Every Day

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