Usually, a band is lucky if they concoct just one shout-along, feel-good summer anthem. For Houndmouth, that seems to be their whole discography. Their show at Irving Plaza was not only sold out, but sold out to an electric crowd that knew every single lyric and sang them louder than the band. Sometimes, a sound just hits the spot.
This particular sound is a stew of campfire vocals and “everything’s alright” progressions, which dip into the best elements of vintage country at whim. With the full band singing, Houndmouth brings a sparkling finish to tales of postcards, pills, and neon lights.
There’s something flawlessly all-American about the Indiana folk rockers (Matt Myers, Katie Toupin, Zak Appleby, and Shane Cody), who couldn’t help but crack flattered smiles between each verse. They own the persona that they’re constantly rolling straight from van to stage, fresh off a massive road trip – most likely because they are. With all the wayfaring emotion baked into their music, it’s not hard to picture them hitchhiking across state lines or hopping freight trains in their free time.
At a Houndmouth show, it’s the little touches – like diving into an impromptu jam session to “Margaritaville,” or switching the Memphis line of “Comin’ Round Again” to “Had a couple of drinks at Irving Plaza.” Speaking of which, the night’s hit-themed drink specials included a Sedona (whiskey, ginger, bitters, lime) and a Honeyslider (PBR and a shot).
Houndmouth’s spirited setlist included “My Cousin Greg,” “Come On, Illinois,” “Hey Rose,” “Darlin’,” “Krampus,” “Comin’ Round Again,” “Honey Slider,” “15 Years,” “Houston Train,” “Say It,” “Palmyra,” “Gasoline,” “On the Road,” and everyone’s latest addiction, “Sedona.” The encore showed off “For No One,” “Black Gold,” “Casino (Bad Things),” and their take on Dion’s “Runaround Sue.” It was warm, rugged, and real. And it was exactly what we needed.
Article: Olivia Isenhart
Photos: Michael DiGiovanni