Friday, December 21, 2007

Band of Horses stampedes into Atlanta

As the 99th concert of 99x’s Unplugged in the Park Concert Series echoed in the Atlanta skyline, the signature echo sound of Band of Horses played through the patio of Park Tavern. The band that Rolling Stone referred to as the ‘hot band of 2007’ had a clearly strong fanbase in a sea of tapered jeans, hoodie sweatshirts, and the guy who carried around a bejeweled plunger. If Band of Horses was looking for a way to keep the crowd interested from the start, they achieved success by beginning with the recently played radio hit Is There a Ghost for the first song. A haunting three minutes of repeating the same three lines was enough to generate interest and curiosity in new listeners, all while exciting and energizing loyal fans. Founded in Seattle, the six man band considers its hometown Columbia, SC. Their southern roots were apparent in songs like The General Specific when lead singer Ben donned a University of Georgia cap and traded in his guitar for a tambourine, as well as crowd favorite Part One in which references to Carolina and Savannah are made. Even tunes like Marry Song, with the hint of southern twang and lyrics such as “Lucky ones are we all ‘till it is over/Everyone near and far/When you smile the sun it peaks through the clouds/Never die for always be around and around and around.” could be imagined sung by the likes of Brad Paisley and Kenny Chesney with the addition of a banjo and cowboy hat. The sleeper hit The Funeral from Band of Horses’ first album Everything all the Time, was not played as an encore, but surprisingly, around the middle of the set. However, this could have been a strategic maneuver to re-ignite the concert-goers after a series of slower but melodic and entrancing songs. The smart set list promoted the new album Cease to Begin by sprinkling in favorites from the bands’ earlier work, which no doubt had intrigued Atlantans lining up to purchase one, if not both CD’s at the merchandise table. By the end of the evening, it is assured that there were two types of people left at Park Tavern: several hundred new fans of Band of Horses, and those saying ‘I told you so.’

But that's just THIS girl talking...

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