The doors opened and we made our way to the stage. Alone. We were confused. Where were all of those rude people who were trying to cut in front of us? How come we were 4 inches from the stage and everyone else was at least 4 feet back? And then it dawned on us. We’re in Vermont, home to some of the kindest and most laid back people on Earth. These people were not here to win the concert game, they were here to have fun, and they certainly did that well.
We have to admit, friendly or not, we have always loved being a part of Boston crowds at the many Lone Bellow shows we’ve been to. Sure, they can be rowdy, but Boston audiences make it clear that they will take any and everything the band throws at them. We have come to expect the unexpected at Boston shows, and that’s part of what makes them so fun. We thought nothing could compare to Boston, but Burlington proved us wrong. Burlington clearly loves The Lone Bellow, and we were so incredibly happy to be among them.
As soon as the band came onto the stage, a large portion of the crowd started chanting, “Twig! Twig! Twig!” We don’t know the whole story there (feel free to enlighten us!), but this was a nickname given to Brian Elmquist the last time they passed through town. When Zach Williams asked the crowd to sing along, they did, loudly and proudly. During “Diners,” Zach suggested we waltz with one another. While he made this same request at both of the Paradise shows, last night was the first time we actually witnessed an entire audience waltzing about the room.
So often it happens that we are at a Lone Bellow show and there is a moment where you realize anything goes, and that you may find yourself in tears of laughter, or tears from being overcome with emotion. For us, this moment came when Zach and Kanene Pipkin began talking about some of the first songs they sang together. They started singing the Michael McDonald song “I Keep Forgetting,” prompting Jason Pipkin to transition into the rap song “Regulate” by Warren G and Nate Dogg. Despite Zach telling Jason to stop, almost as if they just couldn’t help themselves, they continued with Brian rapping, while Kanene managed an impressive imitation of Michael McDonald’s voice. Somehow this led to “California Love” by 2Pac, changing “Compton” to “Burlington” and a few shouts of “Maple Syrup” for good measure.