Arizona & Gift Horse rock Broadways 2-21-09

by lydiasee

Arizona from Asheville/NY brought their finely-tuned space-rock to Broadways Saturday night for a show with droneing-noise-rock openers Gift Horse from Athens, GA who warmed up the crowd a bit with their unique blend of intense layering and feedback-heavy film soundtrack rock. Gift Horse, which is comprised of Brandon on drums, Hunter on keys & vocals, Mike on guitar & vocals, and Vaughan on bass, clearly draws inspiration from many different sources, and makes music for a fairly specific mood and setting. The smoky top floor of Broadways was a conducive environment, and within the first few songs, the band filled the large room with a surprisingly wide array of consuming noise without being overly loud or buzzed out, which is a difficult balance to achieve. While they sound a bit like a harder God is an Astronaut, a grittier Explosions in the Sky, a less-grunge Nirvana, or a less-processed Radiohead, Gift Horse has a complete and weighty sound of their own, and I look forward to hearing the fully mixed version of their upcoming record.

I have been impatiently awaiting Arizona’s next show in asheville since the Stella Blue show, Jan. 16th during PopAsheville, and I can safely say this performance did not dissapoint. These guys know how to play their hearts out, and the smallish but loyal crowd of fans and friends were quite receptive to their lack of a setlist in favor of a participatory set. I got my request of “Thimble” in early on in the set, but also heard some other favorites that I hadn’t heard live yet, including “Whiskey or Wine” and the unreleased “Where is Wallace” which was shared on video in this post via Dave Allen’s Pampelmoose. These guys rock a sound that hints at Muse, Pavement, the Delgadoes, and on “Don’t have the Body” from Glowing Bird, a little bit of Elliot Smith’s “Figure 8,” which is, in this gal’s opinion, a killer combination executed seamlessly. A stand-in by Matt Rumley and a finale of the Cranberries “Dreams” (with a teaser of the King of the Hill theme song) made the icing on this very sweet cake of a show.

Arizona is:
Alex Hornbake-Bass & Vocals, keys
Benjamin Morris Wigler-Vocals & Guitar, keys
James DeDakis-Drums & Percussion, Vocals
Nick Campbell-Guitar & Vocals, Portuguese Guitar

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