Concert Review: Band of Horses at House of Blues

  • Giddyup!

Band of Horses thundered into Cleveland last night for a solid, sold-out show at House of Blues. Touring their latest album, Infinite Arms, but still riding high on the sales of their first two (Everything All the Time and Cease to Begin), their popularity seems to be at an all-time high.

Like Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago — which was recorded in the woods of Wisconsin — Band of Horses frontman Ben Bridwell wrote several of Infinite Arms' songs while secluded in Minnesota. As the band played onstage last night, a projector flashed images that set the scene with outdoor shots of rolling waves, ghost-town shacks, and Midwest wildlife.

Band of Horses' set contained a mix of old and new songs. They even played a couple new ones.

A few songs into their set, the cool, self-assured Bridwell pulled out a cigarette and lit it. The audience erupted in cheers, as Bridwell calmly introduced the next song, puffing between lyrics and keeping the cigarette burning in a nearby ashtray. After a fan called out, Bridwell replied, "Just hang on a sec, man. Let me have a few more puffs, and then you can have it." Some bands throw picks or sweat rags; Bridwell leaned down and handed his smoldering cigarette to a fan in the front row.

After enchanting the audience with an incredible version of “Is There a Ghost,” Bridwell introduced Steve Brown, “Cleveland’s own, and the best yo-yoist in the whole world.” And the concert entered another realm.

In a brown cardigan and trendy black glasses, Brown stood center stage and twirled, flipped, threw, and cradled his yo-yo to the band's music. The audience loved it, and kept calling Brown back to the stage throughout the set and into the encore. —Crystal Pirri; photo by Mark Pirri

Did you go to the show? Let us know what you thought of it in the comments.

Follow us on Twitter: @clescenemusic