Langhorne Slim at Belly Up Tavern


Where were YOU Sunday night? If it was anywhere close to North Country then you’re sure to have heard the sweet sounds of professional reveler, Langhorne Slim, and his band.

Sean Scolnick (aka Langhorne Slim) made the third stop of his late fall tour this Sunday night at Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach. Some things should never change, and one of those is the marriage of the Tavern and Langhorne Slim. An intimate atmosphere and a stage low enough to lend itself to the arms of a welcoming crowd certainly made for a memorable night.

Following a rousing performance from Toronto’s Jeremie Albino, Langhorne Slim stepped on stage solo to begin the night. He launched into “Morning Prayer” and “Sugar Plum” before his band (comprised of Jeff Ratner on bass, Malachi DeLorenzo on drums, and Casey Wayne McAllister on Keys and Accordion) joined him to amplify his already larger-than-life presence. With a crowd sufficiently warmed up, there was a call to action that would set the president for the rest of the night. “We are here to bring you love […] are you ready to sing and dance with us?” followed by, “If you don’t know the words but you feel it—we encourage you to make s— up.”


No one does it like Langhorne Slim. The frontman is equal parts musician, storyteller, and preacher. He holds a crowd in rapture–hosting a sort of secular revival in the name of music and the common themes found within. Throughout the night there were stories of grief, redemption, stolen cars… but more than anything there was an overwhelming sense of connection–both physical and spiritual. Slim grabbed hands, shared his mic, hosted a birthday sing-along to “Sea of Love,” and waded his way through the crowd.

To narrow down a singular favorite moment of the show would be impossible, but longtime cherished tunes “Changes,” “The Way We Move,” and “House of my Soul (You Light The Rooms)” certainly gave way to the most dancing. As an encore, Slim graced us with three more songs and lessons alike. From his most recent album Strawberry Mansion he played “Mighty Soul” and left us with a the final prompt of the night: “let us pour love into the mighty soul.”

To see Slim is not to witness a performance, but to engage in an experience. If you weren’t so fortunate to participate with him Sunday night, be sure to catch him at one of his upcoming fall/winter dates.


Photos + Review: Lauren Hartmann