Aug 3, 2015

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Live Review: Langhorne Slim & The Law – Brooklyn, NY

langhorne law

After seeing his Williamsburg solo show this past Spring, I knew it would only be a matter of time before Langhorne Slim brought his powerhouse of a supporting band back to Brooklyn. And The Law brought nothing short of a spectacular performance to Brooklyn Bowl last Thursday.

I’ve mentioned in past live reviews how picky I am with the choices singer/songwriters make when they choose to bring in more instruments to an already perfected solo song. But Langhorne Slim knows exactly what songs to play and when exactly to get more musical support.

The show kicked off with a new song from the upcoming LP The Spirit Moves that wasn’t released on the pre-order yet. But the following new song Changes, which I didn’t gravitate towards when it became available, changed my first impression. As a sentimental song about the major differences Langhorne has experienced with his recent life habits, the calming bass line and succinct drum beat added much more livelihood to the solo version that he performed in the Spring solo show.

Next, the band ripped into fan favourite The Way We Move, which had me, my brother-in-law and the rest of the crowd jumping for the entire song. More highlights of the night were Fire, a song that was inspired by Langhorne’s first childhood cul-de-sac crush experience, and Song For Sid, another sentimental song dedicated to his beloved, late grandfathers Jack and Sidney. While the full band’s Fire kept the audience rising with excitement, Song For Sid gave Langhorne a chance to connect with the audience one-on-one, spilling his guts over the simple instrumentation of his voice and acoustic guitar. Then he continued the solo vibe by playing an incredibly raw version of Coffee Cups, a song written about his old drunken days drinking wine out of coffee cups into the early hours of the morning.

For the first encore of the night, mama Langhorne joined her son on stage for a special rendition of Diamonds And Gold, which was a fitting song choice since he had just finished telling us about how she never told him to stop playing music. And that natural support was all she needed to feed her son to one day join in on his spotlight. “You can have all the diamonds, all the gold, but you’re still going to get old.” To cap the night, Langhorne broke into an energetic version of Past Lives, jumping on the shoulders of a fan and parading around the crowd, high-fiving a majority of the audience closest to the stage. This is the momentum singer/songwriters need to break into when they have their supporting team shredding the spotlight with them. And this is why The Spirit Moves has all the ingredients to achieve a high slot on the most successful indie folk/rock records of 2015.

Scott J. Herman