|Houndmouth | GAMH | 6.23.15|
Rock and roll is not dead. It resides in the lesser known avenues of current music. One such place of refuge is Houndmouth—dare I say Indiana's finest? All four members are able to take on the roll of vocalist, reminding me of The Band. Their catalog is still growing and yet their young canon of songs are somehow familiar. I liken their brand of songwriting to that of Tom Petty. High praise for quartet still carving a path.
Their level of confidence has risen since the last time I saw them. They seem more comfortable on stage, especially the unsung guitar hero and bassist. Over the course of the evening we were treated to a balanced serving of songs from both albums—blending the night's energy well.
The first song, "Black Gold," is from their recent release, Little Neon Limelight. The vocals were impressive. Soon thereafter they blitz the crowd with "15 years" and "Comin' Down Again." Both numbers were straight-up rock and roll. The guitar work on "Palmyra," and the prancing for that matter, was very Prince-like. Then came the shred. "Casino (Bad Things)" was just a blistering wave of clean, powerful music.
If California's burgeoning agriculture scene needed an anthem, it might just be "Sedona." With a chorus of, you've got the cash but your credit's no good. Ya flipped the script and shot the plot, it seems to fit the bill. The buzz of the organ felt cool like a breeze, juxtaposing the hot guitar riffs. This one was a highlight of the set.
Matt Myers ability became fully apparent during 'Darlin'. For those of us who hanker for effortless guitar chops, this guy can bring it. "Say It" reminded us all to, say it like you mean it. Closing out the mega-set was, "My Cousin Greg." I'd like to think I'm living a life based on this songs' mantra—if you want to live the good life, you better stay away from the limelight.
Matt returned to the stage by himself for the first encore, performing a candid version of, "For No One," another one of my favorites. The rest of the band came out for "Houston Train." The lyrics of this song feel like mistakes made when you don't have what you want. Houndmouth ended the night with a classic from 1961. Dion's "Runaround Sue" sent the Great American crowd into the night on a nostalgic high. They pushed us into having fun, taking us places that were both new and classic.
Set list: Black Gold, On the Road, 15 years, Comin' Around Again, Palmyra, Casino (Bad Things), Honey Slider, Sedona, Hey Rose, Darlin', Say It, Penitentiary, Gasoline, Greg, E: For No One, Houston Train, Runaround Sue