Langhorne Slim, born as Sean Scolnick is one of those performers that you can’t see just once... Ask anyone at The Bluebird this past weekend. Most of the fans that filled the walls of the theater were all there to see Scolnick perform for their third, fifth and even seventh time. A true testament of a timeless performer. And while it was only our first time seeing him, we were quick to convert.
With a missing tooth, goofy boy grin and wild eyes Scolnick took the stage with such conviction that the entire theater erupted in resplendent excitement. Slim is humble in a refreshing way and confident in a non cocky way - his stage presence is truly awe inspiring. While it is no question that Scolnick is comfortable being in the spotlight as a performer, his lyrics allow him to rise above the white noise of Americana. Whether Scolnick is transporting the listener to his childhood home with grandpa Syd or to the voidless space of a love lost, each song evokes emotion and invites the audience into his life.
When Scolnick performs he is not there to just mark another venue or city off his tour list. He interacts with crowd and not only gets personal with us but pushes us to get closer to him (both figuratively and literally). Slim was constantly lengthening his mic cord so he could drop into the crowd and mingle with the audience. Jumping onto handrails and wearing sparkly hats from well dressed audience members he made us all wish (and sort of believe) he was our best friend. As veteran concert goers we see a lot of performers get into the crowd because they want to create a scene and in turn a memorable experience for the audience - but there was no motive behind Scolnick’s antics. He simply felt compelled to jump in and did it, his movements were unrehearsed and uninhibited.
A highlight of the night included a law-less performance from Scolnick. He went sans band and played us a couple songs from his 2009 solo release, Be Set Free to a pristinely quiet Bluebird. Slim’s voice reverberated throughout the beer soaked walls as each audience member absorbed the passion laden lyrics. With only his guitar as support he shook the theater to our core as we hung drunk on each word. Without the band, his voice held raw emotion and a brash sadness that is otherwise overshadowed from the organ, drums and bass that The Law bring to the table. Each performance is unparalleled, unique and ranges from show stopping emotion to knee shakin’ banjo dancing.
From what we’ve seen of Scolnick thus far we are joining forces with his legion of fans and adding more Langhorne Slim and The Law to our future show wishlist. And from what we’ve seen in Denver, two nights of Langhorne is still two too little.