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Live Review: Band of Horses and Israel Nash @ O2 Academy Glasgow


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Israel Nash set them up and Band of Horses knocked them down. A fantastic night of music at Glasgow’s O2 Academy began with the Missouri-born master on top form.

Nash was captivating and created a tangible atmosphere, moving from an impassioned performance of his more upbeat numbers into the mellower 'L.A. Lately' in the middle of the set.

It’s arguably the highlight of his album, Silver Season, and L.A. Lately had the audience in the palm of his hand. The performance was an immersive experience above all else and Nash has to be commended for how atmospheric his short set became.

Short but sweet, more of Israel Nash’s soaring vocals and Americana styling would have been very welcome.

Seemingly arriving without much knowledge or experience of Glasgow and the UK, (in our interview Nash told us he was hoping for ‘sun’…) Israel and band will doubtless be pleased with their warm reception.

As Band of Horses made their way out under the lights the crowd grew and shifted in anticipation. Ben Bridwell appearing in a guise describable only as ‘truck-stop-chic’ made his intentions clear, “let’s party” he said, as they proceeded to hastily construct a wall of sound.

The set was arranged a little differently to their previous UK performances, as Bridwell pointed out, and they provided a mood and atmosphere that fluctuated with each song, launching from high tempo belters into oases of calm and back… repeatedly.

One such calmer moment came with the early deployment of their hit 'No One’s Gonna Love You'. Those fluctuations made for a performance with a real and forceful momentum, Bridwell himself stating with surprise how fast he felt they were getting through their set.

Where Israel Nash created a captivating calm Band of Horses were keen to operate at their most boisterous, at least at times. Their set was full of restless energy and captivated the audience in a very different way to their forerunner, Nash. The two acts were mutually reinforcing and complemented each other perfectly.

A night of all American entertainment went down a storm in Glasgow and Bridwell seemed genuinely pleased to be back Clyde-side, he was engaging and full of praise for Israel Nash who was the perfect accompaniment for their performance. Hopefully the rest of the tour and more exposure will leave Nash in high regard on this side of the Atlantic, it would be well deserved. 

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