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bandofhorses by andrewilms17Die Kantine, Cologne, Germany
3rd November 2022
Band Of Horses - “Things Are Great” Europe + UK Tour 2022 - Support: Gently Tender

Private problems, the departure of two long-time band members, a pandemic that pushed the tour (scheduled for the spring 2022) to the fall: for BAND OF HORSES head Ben Bridwell things didn’t go according to plan. “Things Are Great” may be understood ironically. All the better that the band finally made it to Germany in November.


Gently Tender

As support of the BAND OF HORSES, however, GENTLY TENDER were allowed to perform for half an hour at the beginning of the evening. The British band released their debut album ‘Take Hold Of Your Promise!’ back in August and was allowed to present many songs from this very first album. As new as GENTLY TENDER may be: the members of the band are not that completely inexperienced. More than 10 years ago, singer and guitarist Sam Fryer, together with drummer Will Doyle and keyboardist Pete Mayhew, founded the band PALMA VIOLETS, which released two quite successful albums in 2013 and 2015. After the demise of this band, the three friends soon started working on a follow-up band, which was completed by guitarist Adam Brown and keyboardist Celia Archer. Together, the quintet needed a whole five years to complete and release the debut album.

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Music & Performance
On stage the band convinced with a very relaxed performance, which underlines the laidback mood of their songs well. And also live, songs like ‘Home Anymore’ or also ‘True Colours (Sometime I’ll Get Through)’ spread the warmth that characterizes their songs on the album as well. And even though Sam Fryer was in the spotlight vocally on the majority of the songs: it happened several times that all members of the band joined in on vocals and acted as a chorus, which sounded really good. All in all, GENTLY TENDER offered a very likeable performance. Only the really bad light during the performance is a cause for criticism.

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Setlist
01. Home Anymore
02. Dead Is Dead
03. True Colours (Sometime I’ll Get Through)
04. Right Time
05. God Didn’t Leave The Factory
06. Love All The Population
07. Avez Vous Deja

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 7
Light: 4
Sound: 7
Total: 6.5 / 10

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Band Of Horses

Finally someone says it: “Things Are Great”! As always, BAND OF HORSES have taken their time with a new album whose title is as hopeful and positive as it gets. Great it has become again, the new record, which was released in early March 2022. But that was to be expected. Like no other band, the indie rockers channelled the fear of an entire generation in the noughties and gave it a musical form. With their furious debut album ‘Everything All The Time’ and the successful album ‘Infinite Arms’ they set milestones. Now BAND OF HORSES have returned to their origins with their new album.

bandofhorses by andrewilms16

Music & Performance
Let’s start with the biggest criticism of the opening band: the light. With the BAND OF HORSES, the light show was more impressive. The stylish four spotlights at the back of the stage alone created a completely different atmosphere and raised the light show to a whole different level. In the 90 minutes that Ben Bridwell performed with his BAND OF HORSES, the Americans of course played songs from the new album ‘Things Are Great’, which makes sense considering the tour of the same name. However, only four songs from the current album were played. More thoroughly covered was the now 15-year-old album ‘Cease To Begin’, which is not surprising in the face of great songs like ‘Is There A Ghost’ or ‘No One’s Gonna Love You’. In fact, a loud audible murmur went through the audience when, for example, the first chords of ‘Is There A Ghost’ were played.

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Similar to GENTLY TENDER, the BAND OF HORSES also refrained from an expressive performance. For the most part, the musicians remained at their places. Among them also the aforementioned new members bassist Matt Gentling, who visually stood out a bit in his short-sleeved lumberjack shirt and long hair, and Ian MacDougall on guitar. Clearly in focus, however, was mastermind Ben Bridwell. The tall singer and guitarist impressed by his very outstanding vocals, which is the trademark of the BAND OF HORSES. ‘Funeral’, by far the band’s most successful song, was of course not to be missed. The anthem ended the regular set, was celebrated frenetically and literally triggered storms of enthusiasm. The two songs as an encore finally completed an all-around successful concert evening.

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Setlist
01. In the Hard Times
02. Laredo
03. Lights
04. Wicked Gil
05. Ode to LRC
06. The Great Salt Lake
07. Is There a Ghost
08. Warning Signs
09. Casual Party
10. Islands on the Coast
11. No One’s Gonna Love You
12. Marry Song
13. Older
14. Crutch
15. Hag
16. The Funeral
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17. Dull Times / The Moon
18. The General Specific

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 7
Light: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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All pictures by André Wilms

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