Langhorne Slim at Fitzgerald's, 10/22/2013
On a cool early-autumn evening, Langhorne Slim and his band The Law brought Friday-night energy to a Tuesday-night performance, and while Fitzgerald's wasn't packed out, it was full of adoring fans new and old. At times you could hear a pin drop; others it was a barnstormer, but at all times it was the performance of the month and you most likely missed it.
The Pennsylvania foursome was on a mission to bring a good time to Houston Tuesday, and with great songs, humorous stories and the ability to keep a room captive for nearly two hours, they came through on their proclaimed promise. Langhorne Slim, lesser-known by his birth name Sean Scolnick, was on point with quips on life, love and everyday happenings, making the show feel at times more like an afternoon conversation at a coffee shop rather than a musical performance.
The show started much earlier than I figured, unfortunately forcing me to miss opener Johnny Fritz née Johnny Corndawg. I've seen him on a couple different occasions, and I love that dude. Hopefully he gave the Houston crowd who did make it out early a performance worthy of his ample songwriting skills. (Try Google or YouTube.)
Langhorne Slim came to stage unassumingly, the band taking their spots behind their respective instruments - the standard piano, drums, stand-up bass and acoustic guitar. While they've been a steady force on the same scene as The Avett Brothers, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Josh Ritter and Justin Townes Earle, Langhorne and the Law have stamped out quite a name for themselves over the past couple years. Now, with spots on popular late-night talk shows and their songs in several major commercials, they're finally starting to get their dues paid in full.
Off the top of your head, you might be unfamiliar with Langhorne Slim, but if you think back to last year (I know, a long time ago) and you remember that Traveler's Insurance commercial with all of those floating umbrellas. That was them. "If you got worries, then you're like me, don't worry now." Sound familiar? Well, they do a whole lot more than that 30 seconds of that song, and you should probably check them out as soon as you can.
The Law started with high energy and didn't let up until the end of the night. Even the pair of acoustic segments that found the crowd awestruck and enveloped in Slim's storytelling had a buzz about them. The best part of the evening to me, other than the great show on stage, was the super-attentive crowd. While it wasn't overly packed -- it was a Tuesday in Houston, after all -- everyone who purchased a ticket did so with the intention of enjoying the show. That's my favorite part of a weekday show: it weeds out all the terrible people who talk their way through the night while getting sloppy drunk, only to piss off the band and cause them never to return.
This wasn't Langhorne Slim's first trip to Houston, he's actually played here on several occasions. Last time came not too terribly long ago, when he played the downstairs room at Fitz to an equally-sized crowd. The band's most memorable experience here -- at least for Slim -- was opening up for that infamous Two Gallants show at Walter's on Washington several years ago, where everything went to hell after a simple noise complaint.
Unfortunately, in the skirmish with the officer, one member of Two Gallants was thrown onto Slim's stand-up bass, shattering it to pieces. While it made for a good story, I'm sure it ruined the day of several people involved. Slim referenced that night on a few different occasions, one time even calling out to a friend who helped out with the law stuff afterwards.
Review continues on the next page.