Show Review

@ the Beachland

Marty Connors
Going into the night, I was convinced that Horse Feathers had two problems working against them. To begin with, they were playing a show on a Monday night, which I think puts any band at a disadvantage. Fully admitting that I feel more and more like an old man every day, a Monday night concert is a hard sell when my morning work wake-up is loudly beckoning me. Second, the band has a few beautiful albums to its name, but those albums are mellow, quiet affairs. Would the band be able to keep the attention of everyone who made it out for their Monday show? I shouldn't have worried.

I misjudged what Horse Feathers were capable of. While on the albums the slight orchestration that the band uses weaves its way out of Justin Ringle's guitar and vocals, live the orchestration, if anything, seems more prominent. It's not that the subtlety is necessarily lost, but just that with the members of the band in full view, it's easier to see how much is actually going into their songs. After the concert, I listened to Horse Feathers’ newest album, Thistled Spring, again, and heard for the first time some of what I had witnessed in the live show. I had never heard the subtle playing of a hand saw on one of the songs. On the album, it's quiet, almost background noise. Live, the other worldly sighing from the saw bounced off the walls of the small tavern. It's impressive that live, the band can seemingly make more out of what was already on their albums.

In doing so, they held the audience rapt; a respectful silence permeating throughout the tavern during the songs. And between songs, the band seemed genuinely appreciative that we had all made it out on a Monday night, even asking if any of us had to work the next day. But by that point, I had stopped feeling so old and had already forgotten that my alarm was going to go off early the next morning. I have Horse Feathers to thank for that.