Langhorne played a great set. “Back to the Wild” is a perfect opener, and the setlist was a good mix of old stuff and tracks from the new album, including my personal favorite “Diamonds and Gold”. I was disappointed not to hear Be Set Free closer “Boots Boy” as it was a live favorite long before he gave it a real name — I’d known it as “Nobody But You” before the album — but its absence wasn’t a dealbreaker. The new album stuff sounds excellent live; they’ve added a keyboard/banjo player who really brings out the complexity, the layers, of the new album, which is one of the things I really love about it. As far as music goes, A+ evening. He’s one of those performers who never plays a bad or flat set. He is always a tremendous musician and an excellent performer.
(He was minus the above mustache and plus the keyboard/banjo player last night; I hung out on the edge of the crowd and gloried in his energy, and it was nice, in its way, not to try and shoot it.)
It was a fairly appalling crowd, though; Drunk Dude From Winston-Salem, the quiet of “Diamonds and Gold” is not an appropriate time to declare your mancrush at top volume, and Langhorne doesn’t play Winston because Winston sucks and is also improbably miracle-of-physics 7000 miles from everywhere else in the country. Shut up. I’d have liked to stick around after the show and tell Sean how much I dig the new album, because I really do like it more and more with every listen, but I wasn’t in the mood to wade through crowds of college students too drunk to stand up.
In other news: a fascinating conversation moderated by Carrie Brownstein, amongst people who still own and actively run independent record labels, over here on Monitor Mix.