Saturday, April 27, 2013

Houndmouth slays Iroquois.

Last night at Iroquois Amphitheater afforded my first opportunity to experience the band Houndmouth in person.

Hyperbole aside: Wow.

To my ears, numerous musical strands come together in Houndmouth's music. It's baseball, hot dogs and apple pie American -- folk, country, roots and rock -- and you can spin a playlist wheel to guess exactly which element most influences a particular song, because the weaving is seamless, but I believe it's way more than that, because the most impressive thing about Houndmouth to me is an intangible.

In our everyday working lives, we discover very early that placing otherwise disparate individuals into a team setting only rarely produces transcendence. Probably we most often strive for a modicum of professionalism that permits chores to be accomplished and paychecks issued, but two or four or fifteen persons simply don't become one in spite of our efforts to make it seem so. We muddle in the foothills, and only dream of ascending the peak.

Chemistry? Once you have found it, never let it go.

Accordingly, speaking as a lifelong music fan who knows far less about music than he pretends to, seeing Houndmouth perform was a joy precisely because four band members functioned as one on stage. They picked up (and later switched) instruments, locked into a groove, and stayed right there, communicating effortlessly between themselves and with the crowd, musically wise beyond their ridiculously youthful years, but with all the pure joy of something brand new. Each member sings beautifully, and the harmonies alone were worth the price of admission.

My hunch is that in future years, I'll grin when viewing the ticket stub with the bargain basement price of $12 printed on it.

Meanwhile, I'm frightened to look at the Friday sales number at NABC's two establishments, because everyone I know seemed to be at Iroquois for last night's show. In addition, permit me to apologize for running out of beer after blowing through four kegs of Houndmouth (the ale) a full 45 minutes before the band even took the stage. We sent eight kegs to Louisville, but only four turned up on site at Iroquois.

If I would have been allowed to drive to the wholesaler's warehouse and get more beer, I'd have done so. In Indiana we could have done it, though not in Kentucky. Luckily, Houndmouth's music was so good that the perennial iniquities and frustrations of the three-tier beer distribution system rendered me only slightly homicidal afterward -- and that's quite a feat of seduction.

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