WILMINGTON — Band of Horses made their debut in Wilmington last Wednesday night — seemingly even surprising the band.
“Why did we wait so long to come here?” frontman Ben Bridwell asked as Band of Horses (BOH) roared through a set of 15 or more songs.
It’s been 12 years since BOH has played close to southeastern North Carolina. They toured through House of Blues in Myrtle Beach in 2009. This local audience was waiting with bated breath and open arms, and Bridwell, Ryan Monroe, Creighton Barrett, Matt Gentling, and Ian MacDougall delivered, just as often clapping for the crowd in synchronicity as fans cheered on.
The vibe was playful, energetic, releasing.
After three days of intense rain and flooding, the skies cleared up in perfect timing at 7 p.m. when the Charleston, South Carolina-based group took over Greenfield Lake Amphitheater. BOH played through many tracks across five releases. Bridwell noted a sixth album was in the works, hopefully to be released in the coming year. He even teased audiences with their latest track, “Myrtle Beach.”
Tunes from 2007’s “Cease to Begin” were in heavy rotation, from the dreamy “No One’s Gonna Love You” to the high-energy rock of “The Great Salt Lake.” Bridwell delivered a sweaty, hard-hitting tambourine performance in “The General Specific,” which riled up the crowd, and had them in a gentle sway with the crooning nostalgia during the opening of “Is There a Ghost.”
Bridwell brought down the house with a surprise ’90s country throwback in Brooks & Dunn’s “Neon Moon.” It was a whole vibe, complete with slide guitar, moody organ and sweet melancholy carrying through Bridwell’s every word: “there’s always room here for the lonely.”
The frontman interacted plenty throughout the night, engaging gratitude with fans and his band, sharing stories how they met, with laughter aplenty; it was clear they were happy to be back onstage. The frontman love bombed the audience to such a genuine degree that if he moved the same on every fan, Wilmington may just feel cheated on.
Here are a few scenes from the show, captured by Tom Dorgan of MoonFrog Media. Click to access the gallery or scroll down.
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