Live from Cleveland: Band of Horses at the Beachland


As frontmen go, Ben Bridwell is pretty unassuming. The Band of Horses singer and guitarist spent the first couple songs of Friday’s sold-out concert at the Beachland Ballroom sitting down, while the rest of the group – expanded to a sextet on this tour – stood stoically in place. Bridwell eventually got rid of the chair, but that was about as far as stage movement went. This isn't a terribly active group. (If that's your deal, you might have enjoyed the recent Wyclef show) But Bridwell and Co. are a compelling live act. ... Their 90-minute set was filled with songs from last year’s Cease to Begin and 2006’s self-titled debut. Favorites like “No One’s Gonna Love You" (featured above), “Funeral,” and “Is There a Ghost?” were delivered pretty much as they are on record: flawlessly, languidly, and just short of jam-band-y (all that’s missing are the solos; Band of Horses don’t believe in them). “Weed Party” – which showed up about halfway through the set – says it all. While revelations were infrequent, the pitch-black stage and Bridwell’s “the world is such a wonderful place” mantra in “Ode to LRC” certainly created a mood. If anything, Band of Horses exposed themselves as a classic rock band, one that could have come from the ’70s (those Neil Young comparisons aren’t far off). This was most obvious during the night’s last two songs, a pair of covers: “Effigy” (one of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s worst songs; Uncle Tupelo used to do this one too) and “Feelin’ Stronger Every Day” (one of Chicago’s better songs; is there a Chicago renaissance in the near future?). Like everything else Band of Horses play, they were irony-free, laid-back, and graced with just a hint of melancholy. -- Michael Gallucci


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.