October 28, 2005 – Fox Theater – Boulder, CO
by Betsy Ellison
When Devendra Banhart walked out on stage, all bearded and long-haired, talking about the "family," it was hard not to think about another bearded, long-haired, "family" oriented man – Charles Manson. The similarities don’t end there, either: both came to recognition while based in Northern California, and both are musicians. The difference is, I don’t think Devendra has ever convinced anyone to kill for him.
Banhart, who appeared to be battling a slight cold, and the Hairy Fairy band, played for about two hours. Most of the set consisted of material from his newest album, Cripple Crow, which was released in September, but there were numbers from older albums, a song written by Hairy Fairy band member Noah Georgeson, and a song written and performed by an audience member he pulled up at random.
The show started off slowly, but became better and better as it progressed. The band was tight, and when they did mess up (as they did when Devendra seemed to get distracted while singing "At the Hop"), they joked about it and quickly made up for it.
The opening band, New York’s Bunny Brains, was more interesting to watch than it was to hear. The costumes and stage antics were phenomenal, but the music left a bit to be desired. As my friend remarked to me, it would have probably made much more sense had we been on acid. Luckily for us, they only played for about half of an hour, leaving plenty of time for Banhart and his band to take over and erase the bad memories of Bunny Brains’ music from the ears of the audience.