Monolith 2008 | Recap, Photos (Band of Horses, TV on the Radio, Justice)

Band of Horses, Monolith, Red Rocks 09/14/08

Sunday at Monolith was not really a full day. After watching my beloved Redskins — they won — and picking my buddy up at the airport it was nearly 6pm and our arrival to Red Rocks was marked by the setting sun. It was a sunny but chilly day for early September, but you can experience all four seasons in Colorado on any given day so I wasn’t complaining. The night was full of energy, there was nearly a full moon and the wind was moving a light fog down the venue from early evening until the festival closed. Read on for some more takes on the evening and a lot of photos.

We arrived at Red Rocks just in time to grab some food and get in the pit for Band of Horses. The South Carolina based group rolled out a nice mix of new and old — if Everything All the Time is old. They even treated the crowd to a few new songs that both leaned heavy on the country. I’m totally into them playing a more country feel because the genre is seriously lacking and they play it well. 

Their show was really solid. Occasionally Ben Bridwell relies to heavily on the twangy side of his voice but overall I love his sound. They pulled in a piano player for the show who I believe is full time in the band now. Ryan Monroe accompanies Bridwell’s voice well and adds the much loved keys. The show was good and led well into the next group. 

TV on the Radio had quite a time getting to Denver and I’m really, really glad they made the festival. Their bus broke down in Utah on a Sunday, which meant that getting it fixed was near impossible — there’s a lot of church going out there. By the time they got it fixed and were in Grand Junction it would have been impossible for a bus to bomb through the mountains safely. Instead of giving up, they rented alternate vehicles and raced to Morrison to make the show — amazing. What commitment.

The quintet rolled through an hour or so show with the ferocity and soul that I know them for and when they roared into “Wolf Like Me” the crowd return the favor with sensational enthusiasm. The song took its proper place in the evening’s mood with fitting lyrics like, “when the moon is round and full, gonna teach you tricks that’ll blow your mongrel mind.” This is the epitome of things falling into place.

The highlights for me were the first single off Dear Science, “Golden Age” and another track off the new LP, “Halfway Home”, which locks in on a serious drone-y jam at the end. The show here in Chicago at the Riviera near the end of October is one that I am seriously looking forward to; check these guys out on their fall tour, get the new LP and thank me later. 

After a bit of a wait the festival headliners, Justice, came out to the ominous timpani drums that mark the beginning of the lead track, “Genesis”, off †. Moving between some serious production the duo pushed the crowd early and often. They really hit the skids though when something blew and the sound cut completely. The show stopped for about five minutes. They were cool about it — they’re cool, period — and the staff got the problem solved quickly but it was a tough blow to the continuity of a show that relies heavily on just that.

The last fifteen minutes of Justice’s show was exactly what I expected from them all night: heavy, distorted, move-your-body music. The final song, “We Are You Friends,” was awesome and left a great taste for whenever I get to see them next. The crowd kept singing the chorus for about five minutes after Justice left the stage, which was seriously cool. The festival overall was great and would recommend the event to everyone. But make sure you get in shape before because the stairs are a workout in that altitude! Take a look at some more photos below.

Band of Horses

TV on the Radio