Friday, February 21, 2014

TGIF: An All-Time Favourite Live in Toronto

Last Friday, I talked about the change in me the first time I heard Lauryn Hill. So, in light of the Band of Horses concert in Toronto tonight - I'll reminisce about another first with one of the most influential bands in my life.

I remember being 16 years-old and listening to Everything All The Time; it became the first taste of the kind of alt-country sound I would come to love and know so well over the years. The hearty twang in Ben Bridwell's limitless voice, the seamless momentum of both piano and guitars on each track - everything, every little thing - became, almost immediately, the textbook answer to what kind of rock music made me feel alive. I remember thinking that although I had grown up on alternative rock and was beginning to dabble in indie, I had never heard anything quite like this. I think I found my future wedding dance song within an hour. It was hard, it was soft, it was all so dynamic - without ever sacrificing the arresting melodies they managed to dream up with every new release. I realize I may have a lot of "favourite" everythings (who doesn't?) - but, to this day, Band of Horses remain right up their with a select few.

Last week, the band released their highly anticipated Acoustic at the Ryman album - a stunning live collection of songs they've penned over their decade spent together. And, let me just say, this is a side of them I now have an endless appetite for. Their harmonies have never sounded more flawless, placed on top of that simple instrumental backdrop. They're heard graciously thanking their fans. They laugh. It's all beautiful. The hauntingly stripped down versions of "Detlef Schrempf" and "The Funeral" are standout hushed moments, while the acoustic Southern sways of "No One's Gonna Love You" and the charming "Marry Song" resurrect them as new kinds of classics all over again. Essentially, it's hard to hear this live album and not be brought back to exactly how you felt when you first fell in love with this band.

See you tonight!

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