Houndmouth — the alternative blues band based in New Albany, Indiana — graced the stage of The Jefferson Theater Friday. The three-man band is currently touring their latest album, “Golden Age,” as well as their recent EP, “California Voodoo.” The show started at 8:30 p.m., but Houndmouth did not appear until 10:15 p.m. Modern Love Child and Ben Kweller filled the hour and 15 minutes before Houndmouth came on stage. Although Houndmouth’s hit track “Sedona” mentions a “Saturday night kind of pink” energy, that did not stop the crowd from screaming out “Friday” in its place. The band and the crowd fed off of each other, shouting out lyrics and dancing across the stage and floor.
What the band lacks in flare, they make up for in talent. Without exaggerated light shows, electronic features or even the powerful bass that most dance songs depend on lately, Houndmouth works with smooth guitar solos, bouncing melodies and bluesy lyrics that beget empathetic audiences — mirroring the energy the band displays. The classic “Say It” off of their previous album “Little Neon Limelight” left the whole crowd in a half-moshing style of dancing, sloshing Bold Rock IPA onto each other’s flannels and the tossing of a couple of baseball caps in the air. And towards the tail end of the concert, “Darlin’” left the crowd swaying against one another, bending over to shout out the lyrics, “why don’t you sleep at night?” louder than the band itself.
Certain audience members mirrored more than just the band’s energy. Embodying a similar style as Myers, Appleby and Cody, attendees sported mustaches and white t-shirts beneath bomber jackets. While certain clothing styles were a constant at the show, it was clear that age did not matter. The audience covered a vast age range, from 13-year-old girls in matching merch t-shirts to 60-year-old couples swaying to the same tunes as college students.
Guitarist Matt Myers played a sparkling gold guitar — certainly keeping in tune with the golden theme of their latest album — but the group did not stick to the only their most recent tracks. They played a mixture of new and old, including “Black Gold,” “Sedona” and “Honey Slider” off of their previous album “Little Neon Limelight.” While “Golden Age” certainly brings about more modern energy, the crowd favorites were still the songs off of “Little Neon Limelight,” which holds more of the tunes expected from a bluesy-folk band from Little Rock, Arkansas in the 1960s.
Their encore featured three songs off of “Little Neon Limelight”—”My Cousin Greg,” “Darlin’” and “For No One.” The encore began with “For No One” which was an intimate set of just Matt Meyers and a saxophonist — an element not featured on their albums but that added a special touch to the concert.
Overall, even though the songs off of “Golden Age” certainly did not get the same attention as those off of “Little Neon Limelight,” each song was met with the same enthusiasm from the crowd, and the same passion from the band, creating a vibrant, glowing energy that lingered even after the show ended.