For this show, we decided to splurge on the "Happy Hour with The Lone Bellow" package, and it proved to be well worth it. The band performed a small, acoustic set interspersed with a Q & A with the audience, which was probably no greater than 25 people. It was a perfect start to the evening, and also a great reminder that these guys genuinely love their fans.
When we returned for the main show, we were completely impressed by opener, Hugh Masterson. This was our first time seeing him, but it will definitely not be our last. Although he was without his band for this performance, his set was solid, he told good jokes, and he was more than capable of giving a strong solo performance.
Anderson East followed, and he and his band mates were fantastic. They did exactly what an opening band should do: make great music and energize the crowd. We weren't quite sure of what to expect of this band, and we ended up being pleasantly surprised.
When TLB took the stage, the crowd was more than ready. They opened with "I Let You Go," and we were instantly in our happy place. They played for just under two hours, and as usual there were plenty of surprises. Some of our favorite moments were:
- "Marietta." We are not sure where Zach goes when he sings this song, but he completely gives it everything he's got. Inevitably, we end up in tears before the song ends.
- "To the Woods." We love this sweet, little song and had not heard this song live since the Paradise show when Zach came alone on stage to begin the show with it. We were surprised to hear that the band has completely reworked this song, and it sounded nothing like the album version. We ended up loving it in its new form, but would be happy to hear either version.
- "Lovely in Blue." This was a new song that the band has only performed a few times in the last couple of months. It has a classic country vibe, and provided another opportunity to enjoy Kanene's voice.
- 90's R & B. We are never sure if we are going to be treated to these homages to 90's music, but thankfully we were. For us, watching the band momentarily lapse into R & B performers never gets old. Not quite ready to let it go, Kanene and Brian totally surprised Zach by returning to "I'm Every Woman" during the last verses of "Green Eyes and a Heart of Gold." They were quite proud that they pulled this off, and gave each other enthusiastic "high fives" once the song was finished.
- The finale. Wow! After the Portland, ME show, last February, we kind of jokingly, kind of seriously, asked Brian if they would do a cover of "Purple Rain." We did not actually expect him to take us up on it, but we learned that they eventually performed it at a couple of shows. Unfortunately, we were not in attendance for those. It turns out, though, it was worth waiting for. Along with Hugh Masterson and the members of Anderson East, they did a cover that brought the house down. It was epic. We're sure Prince himself would have been proud.
We were happy to learn that this show was being streamed by the Melodic Caring Project. MCP is a non-profit organization whose goal is to share music with children who are hospitalized. TLB made sure to acknowledge this, and throughout the evening they dedicated different songs to the kids who were watching.
We have less than a month before we get to see them three times in one week! And don't be surprised if we manage to squeeze in one more somewhere along their tour- after all, between the two of us, we have plenty of friends around the country!