Langhorne Slim & the Law Leave Them Smiling at Brooklyn Bowl

Posted on Friday July 24th in

Langhorne Slim & the Law – Brooklyn Bowl – July 23, 2015
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The giddy anticipation of Langhorne Slim & the Law at Brooklyn Bowl last night was so palpable that it was understandable if the crowd had overlooked the two opening acts. But that would’ve been a shame, because the whole bill was quite strong with Fly Golden Eagle getting things rolling with their fun, band-that-should-be-on-your-radar sound. Their set built to its climax with the closing “Medicine Hat,” quite nicely mixing Midwest rock with Southern groove. Traveller—a supergroup of sorts, with Robert Ellis, Jonny Fritz and Cory Chisel—filled the second slot with the easy feel of friends hanging out and messing around with their guitars and songwriting wit. There was plenty of joking around onstage, much of which centered on the fact that this was their second gig ever. The material, most of it new originals written together, was both new and well-worn, country rockers
for grownups. With its humorous storyline, chunky funk feel and smile-worthy imagery, “Hummingbird” was a clear highlight made all the better by Fritz doing a goofy dance throughout, coffee cup in hand. After 35 minutes, they ran out of material, but the crowd had plenty to digest
while waiting for the headliner.

The room pretty much filled and rearing to go, Langhorne Slim & the Law finally took the stage. With an album coming out in just a couple of weeks, the band opened with a flurry of new songs, but the crowd wasn’t fazed in the slightest, whooping, hollering and clapping along to each tune like they were old favorites. By the second song, the album’s title track, “The Spirit Moves,” the tempo and the energy had already reached a fevered level, Mr. Slim oozing charisma, proving hard to resist for most in the room. “Changes” showed he could do soft and introspective too, singing, “Things could be stranger, but I don’t know how.” When the band hit on some familiar material, like “The Way We Move,” I wasn’t sure if the floorboards would be able to handle the joyous surge in the audience, which had reached a triple-exclamation-point level.

Slim balanced in that rare spot between folksy and sexy, careening and preening, belting out lyrics and muttering anecdotes and asides. At one point a guest fiddle player emerged and helped click up the speed again, getting the room bouncing like kernels in a popcorn popper. A couple of solo songs cooled off things and gave the fans a little one-on-one time with Slim before the band returned to close out the show with a new single (“Strangers”), old stories (“Fire”), some keyboard-driven grooving (“Land of Dreams”) and plenty of bouncing, dancing, clapping, ooohing, la-la-laing, and, most important, smiling. —A. Stein | @Neddyo

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