When the bombs went off at the finish line in 2013, each one of us felt it in some way. Our city fell into such despair and we mourned not only for those who were injured and killed, but also for having one of our most joyous moments cruelly taken from us. The days after were an endless stream of anxiety provoking events: rumors of who was responsible, the increasing count of the wounded, what felt like nonstop sirens blaring and helicopters hovering. By the early morning hours on Friday, most of the Boston area was on lockdown as police hunted for the one surviving suspect, and residents were ordered to shelter in place. It was a crazy day as we hunkered down with our families, listening to the radio, obsessively refreshing news feeds and Facebook and Twitter, waiting for news that it was all over.
The next day we were still reeling from this experience, but desperate to have anything to make us feel normal again we forced ourselves to keep our plans to catch a show at Brighton Music Hall. Having never before heard of The Lone Bellow, we were, at best, mildly curious about them. We most likely complained that they were one of two bands we were having to sit through before being able to see the band we actually came for. But when they came onto the stage and started their set, less than a minute into “You Can Be All Kinds Of Emotional,” we gave each other the “Holy S**t!” look, knowing we had somehow been lucky enough to stumble upon musical greatness.
We have gone to enough concerts to know that it is a rare thing to see band members flawlessly and intuitively connect with one another. To witness this feels like a gift. It is rarer still for that same band to be able to also share that connection with the audience, especially when the audience is on the heels of tragedy. Yet, somehow, here were these musicians before us, so clearly giving us everything they had: their talent, their humor, and their sympathy. The singer, whom we later learned was Zach Williams, delicately stated to us, “Boston, you’ve been through something.” Later, when the crowd was being particularly exuberant, Kanene joked, “Did somebody just let you out of your houses?” Although these words were likely spoken as a simple gesture of compassion, they, combined with the brilliance of their performance, had a slightly therapeutic effect. Among this crowd of a few hundred, we were feeling validated, feeling alive, feeling something other than sadness for the first time in days. The sensation in the room that night was not unlike the sensation that envelops this city every Marathon Monday.
Since that night, almost two years ago, we have been fortunate enough to see The Lone Bellow several times, and they never fail to make us feel “all kinds of emotional” with their music. (Luckily for us they are in New England a lot!) It would obviously be a gross oversimplification to say that discovering The Lone Bellow right after the marathon bombing somehow healed us. That event remains an incredibly painful memory. It is true, however, that their performance was exactly what we needed in that moment. We are so grateful to have found them, grateful for the music they make, and grateful that they continue to be an extraordinary presence on the stage. This website is our feeble attempt at a thank you.