The Red Bull Sound Space is a room no larger than an average studio apartment but the space has been host to some of the biggest names in music. The eastern wall is covered in the names of the artists who have threatened to tear the walls off the foundation with their music and along the back wall, a cart is set up to hand out Red Bull cans to any thirsty member of the audience. The stage, itself, is covered in rugs and the wall behind the drum set is built out of amps, radios, and speakers.
Today, August 29th, the stage is set to host Band Of Horses. The 5-piece alternative rock group is at Los Angeles’s KROQ promoting their newest album, Why Are You Ok, which was released June 10th, 2016. This is the band’s fifth studio album and arguably one of their best.
Before the whole band takes the stage, Ted Stryker, one of KROQ’s D.J.’s steps up on stage to inform the buzzing crowd that the show will soon begin, but just after a short interview. Ben Bridwell, the 38- year-old father of four girls and lead singer of the band, steps up to the mic to interview on behalf of the band. The pair spoke about everything ranging from college football to the producers on the new album to how Ben got started in music. He explained that he was self-taught on the guitar in his mid- twenties, saying that he intentionally stayed away from technical lessons because it would “take away from the weirdness of the music that I write.” When Stryker asked about how the band kept up their energy, Ben specifically with his four daughters, Ben simply replied, “you can’t wait to get the ghost out of you.”
The crowd erupted as the rest of the band took the stage and settled into their instruments. “This is normally where I say ‘we are Band of Horses,’” Ben said just before the first few notes of “Is there a Ghost” were played. Among the six-song set list was “Casual Party” from their new album, and their smash hits “No One’s Gonna Love You” and “The Funeral”. The set list consisted of songs from almost all of their albums, mixing together their indie sound with strong alternative rock influences that is a similar sound to bands like Local Natives and The Decemberists.
Band of Horses is the perfect example that sometimes music is just an inherent gift given to a lucky few. I look forward to rocking out to them again.
– Rula Eskaf
photos courtesy of Red Bull / Chelsea Lauren