Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekend Music Roundup (Live Edition Part 2)

Last week I wrote about my lack of concert going and the need to support bands whenever they happen through my corner of nowhere. So last weekend when I saw Aimee Mann, I decided it would be a good idea to go back to the venue this weekend to catch Langhorne Slim on the last date of his tour. I've always enjoyed his albums and at $13 and only fifteen minutes away, seemed like I couldn't go wrong. Plus he's from near the area where I grew up and I always like to represent the hometown boys. (Next week, I promise a return to album reviews)

After a high energy set by the opening band, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, a band I hadn't heard before, the half-filled venue filed out to large bar area. The Missus and I swooped in and got our places right in front of the stage. Literally, I had my beer on the stage. Normally I'm not a that concerned with being close, but since the spot was open, I figured why not. It made for some great photos too.

Slim and his band came out firing, playing a blistering version of "Rebel Side of Heaven" that immediately got the crowd going. From his albums, I had expected a more low-key performance and was completely blown away by his dynamic stage presence. Through every song, he and the band were giving it their all, hopping around on stage and simply wailing.

They played songs from each album and included some remarkable new songs due out on the next album in the spring. I was thrilled that he played my favorite song, "Colette," about three songs in, saving me the trouble of yelling it out during each pause. I took a video of the song, it's at the bottom of the post. Overall, it was one of the best shows I've seen in a long time. He had such a rock star presence on the stage, the likes of which I haven't seen since Jack White. If you ever get the chance to see him play, I would highly recommend it even if you are only a casual fan of his music.

Below are some quick reviews of his albums that I own.

Langhorne Slim - Langhorne Slim: The first of his albums I heard, this is actually his third album, released in 2008. Though probably the most uneven, this album contains my favorite songs by him and therefore is the one I return to the most.

Langhorne Slim - Be Set Free: Released in 2009, this remains the last album released to date. A little quieter than others, it's more sincere folk than the rollicking bluegrass folk of the others. Yet it remains intelligent, thoughtful and worthy in a world filled with singer songwriter albums.

Langhorne Slim - Daytrotter Session 1 & 2: Slim has done two sessions at, one in 2008 and 2010. Both are exceptional and are among the best on the site. Each are four songs long and wonderful.

Langhorne Slim - When the Sun's Gone Down: Released in 2005, this album was later re-released in 2008 with bonus tracks. I have the later release and it's pretty phenomenal. Due to a track being used in a car commercial, this is probably his best known album to date. It really defines his sound and is probably the best place to start if you are unfamiliar with him.

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