The last time Band of Horses played Savannah, the wildly popular band was, improbably, at The Wormhole.

It seems that BOH booked such a small venue because the band was looking for a show to get warmed up for October's Southern Ground Music & Food Festival in Charleston.

But the set sure didn't feel like a practice one, and the event proved one of the cultural highlights of the year.

The Wormhole's low stage meant fans - at least those lucky enough to score tickets - could literally get within a few feet of the band during its strong, energetic set.

I had skipped Band of Horses' performance a few years ago at the Savannah Music Festival because of the lack of intimacy of Johnny Mercer Theatre, so I was thrilled to experience the band up close and personal.

For the sellout show on March 3, Band of Horses will be at Trustees Theater on Broughton Street, which has a capacity more than 1,000.

The theater has more in common with the Mercer than with The Wormhole.

But the old movie house has proven time and again that it's a great setting for well-produced shows.

And Band of Horses probably needs a room of that size and quality for the current acoustic tour promoting the wonderful new album "Acoustic at the Ryman," which was of course recorded in the historic Ryman Theater in Nashville.

The album represents an embrace of a purer, simpler sound by the Charleston-based band.

You can imagine tracks like "Everything's Gonna Be Undone" being played around the proverbial campfire or on the front porch as the lightning bugs come out.

Will Band of Horses' set at Trustees be able to capture that same spirit?

Here's hoping so.

Band of Horses' show unofficially kicks off what I've started calling Savannah's "Music March."

Savannah Stopover begins on March 6, and the Savannah Music Festival on March 20.

In between, there are always plenty of good music at public venues over the long St. Patrick's Day holiday.

It's an exciting time for those of us who love live music and love the way festivals fit so well into the fabric of our historic public spaces.

Bill Dawers writes City Talk in Savannah Morning News and blogs at Savannah Unplugged (www.billdawers.com). Contact him at billdawers@comcast.net.