Last Night: Band of Horses, Midlake at Verizon Theatre
Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie
April 7, 2011
Better than: seeing a band of actual horses, which the group of people behind me seemed to think was the funniest joke possibly ever.
|Band of Horses|
And so it was last night at the Verizon Theatre, as Band of Horses trotted through the region as part of their tour to perform a show on a bill bolstered by a one-off support appearance by Denton's Own Midlake. In the cases of both bands, actually -- albeit to different ends, with one act seeing its lead vocalist shine as the other, try as he might, faltered.
Unfortunately for the hometown heroes in Midlake, it was their vocalist who wasn't at his best.
Halfway through the band's 40-minute set, it became fairly clear: Tim Smith, not only the band's lead vocalist but also its primary songwriter, just didn't have his regular, so very distinctly tender vocals under control on this night. After group vocals -- and especially those contributed by Smith's main harmony partner, guitarist Eric Pulido -- carried the bulk of the load as the band ran through its most popular song, Smith addressed the crowd.
"That one was called 'Roscoe,'" Smith said, cheerfully, but with a very evident rasp not usually noticeable suddenly very much so. "It's the one that made us famous, man. World famous!"
He was kidding. But, also, maybe not. Smith followed that quip up with another that told a great deal about the band's self-awareness: "This [next] one's called 'Acts of Man,'" he continued. "It didn't do as well. To me, it's better, though."
His own opinion aside, the song suffered due to his vocal wavering.
But the rest of Midlake's live seven-piece ensemble band was in fine form, as they performed a set that, per usual, completely disregarded the band's earliest material. And there was even a treat thrown in -- a new song, one that Pulido tells DC9 is tentatively called "Dawn Has Arrived," which came off sounding like the bridge between the band's most recent two releases, 2010's more somber The Courage of Others and 2006's sometimes-bouncy The Trials of Van Occupanther, from which a great deal of the band's set last night was culled.
And that, really, may have been the big theme of this night: In many ways, it felt like 2006 all over again. Because, despite the headlining act's having released two albums since their own 2006 breakthrough, their debut full-length, Everything All The Time, Band of Horses too offered up a set that heavily leaned on the album released in that year.