Band of Horses

House of Blues, Myrtle Beach

Thurs. July 18

Every balcony seat, barstool, and square inch of floor space in the House of Blues was filled at last week’s Band of Horses show; even the walls were humming with the crowd’s anticipation.

After the curtain (which was actually a giant quilt) raised and the stage lit up, it was a slow beginning as the band stumbled through the first number, but they picked up the pace with “Is There a Ghost.” The crowd got into this one, and lead singer Ben Bridwell started rocking so hard his trucker hat flew to the ground. Bridwell and drummer Creighton Barrett continued to jam as the rest of the guys kept it on the mellow side.

For the next song, bassist Bill Reynolds took lead vocals, and Bridwell busted out a melodica. The band grinned and strummed through this bluegrassy number, and the crowd really dug the change in pace. The bearded dudes had a true sense of solidarity going at that point.

The dreamy sounds and soulful lyrics kept flowing as they mixed up the set, going between tracks off their two albums Everything All The Time and Cease to Begin.

Bridwell let off many “Wooo’s” throughout the night, pumping his fist high in the air before he launched into an upbeat rendition of the more tender track “Window Blues.” This one won approval from the Charlestonians in the crowd after he revealed they wrote the piece while sitting in a Kickin’ Chicken in Mt. Pleasant. By adding faster beats to the ballad-like songs, the band kept the audience on its feet until they closed out the set with “Funeral” and “No One’s Gonna Love You.”

Luckily, they still had a lot in store. Starting out with just the three main guys on the stage, they built up the energy and got ready to get funky. Before anyone could blink, the band busted into “Detlef Schrempf.” Bridwell jumped down into the audience, and the entire House of Blues joined in on the lyrics. Everyone’s arms were in the air, waving back and forth. There wasn’t a face in the place without a smile plastered on it.

Finally came the song everyone had been waiting for: “The General Specific.” Opening band Arboretum joined Horses with tambourines in hand. Reynolds shredded it on the keyboard, and Bridwell strained his veins to keep up with the lyrics. After a slow start, the guys really brought it to the House and delivered a show worth that two-hour drive.