Angelinos have been aware of this San Franciscan transplant for years, while the inclusion of Banhart’s “Insect Eyes” (from Rejoicing in the Hands) in The Hills Have Eyes 2 trailer introduced him to the more mainstream.
Banhart started with a somewhat demure opening, an acoustic number with the Latin spice that peppers Smokey. Gael García Bernal, who sings on the album’s “Cristobal,” joined Banhart onstage for a special performance.
Other standouts from Smokey, “Seahorse” and “Bad Girl,” paired Noah Georgeson’s vibrant guitar with Banhart’s incomparable vibrato inflections. Georgeson performed one of his own songs, as did two other members (Andy Cabic of Vetiver and Gregory Rogove of Priestbird) of Spiritual Bonerz.
After the crazy crowd melee onstage and 19 songs, the band capped the night off with a four-song encore, including “I Remember,” “Little Yellow Spider” and “This Beard Is for Siobhan,” leaving the crowd with memories that will remain as brilliantly vivid as the pictures painted by Banhart’s lyrics.