Yesterday we shared a video clip from our very first time seeing The Lone Bellow. That was hands-down the best musical discovery ever! We want to know how you learned about the band. Were you already a fan before you saw them live? Are you a fan still waiting to see them? Let us know in our Forum or on our Facebook page.
Earlier this week Bobbie and some mutual friends of ours made a trip to Boston's Brighton Music Hall to see a Fantastic Negrito performance. I, unfortunately, was unable to attend, but in getting some details of the show, I was reminded of how incredible it is to be able to see a show at Brighton Music Hall. It's a great little venue.
This week we purchased tickets to two more recently announced Lone Bellow shows (Boston and South Burlington), and we already have tickets for their Seattle and one of their NYC shows. (There's nothing so great as knowing you have some Lone Bellow concerts in your near future!) After these concerts, we will both be into the twenties as far as the number of times we've seen them. We may have to stop counting, which is not a bad problem to have!
It was over two years ago that we first entered Brighton Music Hall, having no idea what we were in for. (You can read more about that here.) I found this video from that night of "You Never Need Nobody" and was reminded of just how much they impressed us from the get-go. We are a little sad that we most likely won't get to see them in that space again, but are grateful for every chance we do get to see them, no matter where it happens to be.
We can't wait! We'll be heading to the Burlington, VT show, and of course Boston!
Well, ok, I guess it's technically a Tuesday roundup. We are trying to get back on top of this site, as The Lone Bellow has some very busy months ahead, and we want to share all the info we can about them.
They had a particularly busy weekend, playing at festivals each day, Friday-Sunday. But they also did a couple of smaller shows in the days before.
On Wednesday, they performed an intimate show at the Renaissance Hotel in D.C. as part of the hotel's Signature Global Music Experience. We so wish we could have been there.
You can read more about the show and see more pictures here.
On Thursday, the band kicked off Newport Folk Festival with Watkins Family Hour at the Pickens Theater, along with Fiona Apple, Hiss Golden Messenger, and Joe Pug.
Now for the festivals...
First up was Newport Folk Festival in Newport, RI. I broke down and, despite my dislike of festivals, went to see them, so I'll have a recap of the show posted here in the next couple of days. NPR recorded their set, and you can listen to it here:
NPR Music's Rachel Horn wrote, "The Lone Bellow's Newport Folk set was powerful and practiced, but the trio also kept up an air of joyous spontaneity by bringing a stream of special guests onstage: The horn players of the New Breed Brass Band added punch to "Then Came The Morning" and "The One You Should've Let Go," Sara Watkins popped in for a fiddle solo, and both Leon Bridges and the women of Lucius added their voices at different points during the performance."
And Adam Kissick took some great photos of the show for NPR that you can view with the article.
On Saturday, they played the WayHome Music and Arts Festival in Barrie, Ontario.
And finally, they wrapped up their weekend on Sunday at XPoNential Festival in Camden, NJ.
A couple of weekends ago, we were on the road again to see The Lone Bellow in Albany, NY, at The Egg. The Egg is a very odd looking building, but the theater was small, intimate, and had really nice sound.
The band started the show in a way we’ve never seen before. Only Zach, Kanene, and Brian came out on the stage to start the show. They played quiet versions of “I Let You Go,” “Jessica,” and “You Can Be All Kinds of Emotional.” I have to confess, I am sometimes nervous about the crowds at venues that have memberships. I’ve been to shows in such places where much of the crowd is made up of members who aren’t really familiar with the music, and it can sometimes sap the energy from the show. I thought it was brave of The Lone Bellow to start their show in such a subdued way at The Egg rather than with a high energy song that would immediately grab the crowd. But the audience turned out to be awesome, whether they knew the music or not, and really into the intimacy of the music.
During “Jessica,” Brian came in on a verse too early, and the band just joked and laughed it off, then kept going, showing yet again how fun and easy going they are. Have we said enough times how much we love them for that?
Jason and Justin brought the energy when they came on stage and the band played “Cold As It Is” and “Then Came the Morning.” They played through their set list for that night, keeping the audience enraptured with the music, interspersed with some of the “talking” moments that we love so much.
It turns out Justin’s mom was in the audience, and Zach commended her on the shirt she bought for Justin, which he was wearing for the show, saying it looked good. After Zach introduced the rest of the band, Kanene indicated that Zach needed an introduction, too, which resulted in each band member stating one fact about Zach. Brian mentioned that he has three beautiful daughters, Justin shared that he has more clothes than anyone else in the band, to which Jason added that Zach’s mom also buys his shirts. Kanene finished off by mentioning that Zach is a cat person, which he vehemently denied. “I don’t have anything against cat people,” he said, “they just kind of freak me out.” When we were chatting with the band after the show, Zach defended his “assault” on cat people by telling us he’s had two cats. When Abra joked that I have 8 cats, Zach said uncertainly, “That’s not true…” Ha! (I only have two…)
Zach also mused about life on the road, and the relationships with bandmates. Touring with a band, he said, is like “that uncle you see at Thanksgiving. Keep him away from the kids and hide the Jim Beam!” To which Kanene asked, “Who is the uncle in this scenario?” Everyone, even Zach, agreed that he is the uncle. “You’re Uncle Dale!” Brian said.
One of the best moments came when Zach announced that Brian’s wife is due with a baby boy! We are so excited for them! She is due in November, and apparently Brian thought the sonogram looked like a "rat heart.” Hmmmm...
And as if the band hadn’t already created an amazing connection with the audience, they only made it stronger when they unplugged and came out into the audience to perform “Watch Over Us.” It was a beautiful moment.
They finished up the main part of the set with “The One You Should’ve Let Go,” and left the stage, but the audience wanted more! They came back on stage and ended the show with Kanene’s always incredible rendition of “Slip Sliding Away.”
It was a lovely night of music, spent among a lovely audience.
This review by Brian Lasky has some beautiful photographs if you would like to see more from that evening.
Have a burning question to ask the band? Monday is your chance when they participate in a Facebook Q&A courtesy of the Wayhome Music Festival.
Back in May, after we saw The Lone Bellow perform at MassMOCA, we really struggled to write a recap of the show that sounded fresh. I suppose this is the downside of going to so many of the band's shows - it starts to feel like we are saying the same, gushing things about their music and their performance over and over again! So we were grateful when Matthew Rector of Old School Record Review got in touch with us to share his review of the show. We enjoyed hearing his first-timer perspective, and we are happy to share it with you on our site.
Watching the trio, along with bassist Jason Pipkin and drummer Justin Glasco, sweat their way through a ninety-minute set plus an encore, frenetically dancing around stage and pouring so much furrow-browed passion into their vocals, I came away feeling this is simply a group of talented people who are fortunate enough to get a chance to do what they love. You can see the joy on their faces and hear the excitement in their voices. They aren’t taking fame for granted, it’s all still fun and new for them.
Paste magazine has included The Lone Bellow's Then Came The Morning on its list of "The 25 Best Albums of 2015 (So Far)." They write, "But the most remarkable thing that this record proves is that when Zach Williams, Kanene Pipkin and Elmquist sing their hearts out together, this band is unstoppable."
Who We Are
We are Abra and Bobbie, two friends living in Boston who go to a lot of concerts together. We saw The Lone Bellow, having never heard of them, and could not believe our good fortune in discovering such talent. We now try to go by the "Four-Hour-Rule", meaning if we can get to a show within four hours, we will be there, hopefully right up front.