April 23, 2013

Reviewed: The Lone Bellow, Ivan & Alyosha

Brighton Music Hall, Allston, MA

I kind of feel bad for Ivan & Alyosha. Their recent album, All The Times We Had, is a solid, catchy, and interesting indie folk-rock record, and they put on a very entertaining show to back it up. When this tour of theirs was booked, few had heard of the opening act, but now, touring behind their fantastic Civil Wars-meets-Mumford and Sons debut, The Lone Bellow is taking the nation by storm. So when they finished their jaw-dropping opening set, Ivan & Alyosha had a pretty tough act to follow. 

I have never seen an opening band win over a crowd so quickly and effectively. While it seemed that at least half of the crowd was familiar with The Lone Bellow, by the end of their set, they had 300 new guaranteed fans. 

The first thing that stands out about The Lone Bellow is the harmonies. And yes, they are pristine live. Frontman Zach Williams jumped, sweated, and hollered all over the tiny stage, whipping his soaked curls with excitement. While most people say they put 100% into every show, Williams manages to squeeze all 100% into every single song. Between tracks, he looks like he is about to pass out, and then, miraculously, summons enough energy and power to do it all over again. Ten more times. As NPR's Bob Boilen accurately describes it, he sings "every word as if it's the last time he'll ever get the chance."

Guitarist/singer Brian Elmquist didn't step into the spotlight for most of the show, but when he finally took the lead on his track "Watch Over Us," it became instantly clear that there is no weak link in this group. His voice was crystal clear bluesy perfection and the song was a nice change of pace that split up the set nicely. Please, RELEASE THAT SONG. It was unreal. 

Those lucky enough to be in the audience knew what they were witnessing: a band truly on the verge.


devon314 said...

YES! it was so perfect :)

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