Show Review: The Lone Bellow @ the Paradise Rock Club (2.12.15)

by Taylor Piepenbrink (Music Industry), published March 3rd 2015

Fans of The Lone Bellow were far from enthusiastic to have to wait outside in the cold for The Paradise’s doors to open on the brutally cold night of February 12th, but the group still managed to sell out the show in a matter of days when tickets were released back in October. The self-described “Brooklyn country music” trio, made up of lead singer and guitarist Zachary Williams, mandolin player and vocalist, Kenene Pipkin, and singer and guitarist, Brian Elmquist, kicked off their US tour in Boston to support their second full-length album Then Came the Morning with opener singer/songwriter Will Dailey. Dailey made several comments about his hopes to “warm up the venue” for The Lone Bellow, which only fueled the crowd’s excitement. By the time guitarist and lead singer Zachary William’s strode on stage with guitar in hand, the crowd was buzzing with anticipation.

Despite the fact that Williams’ two fellow band mates were absent from stage, he immediately launched into the sweet acoustic melody of “Into the Woods” from the new album. It was an unusual song to open the tour with, and not at all indicative of the gusto that the band would bring to the stage moments later. Soon the rest of the band joined him on stage and leapt into “Cold As It Is.” The unison of the trio’s voices, mixed with the catchy rhythms and melodies of nearly the entirety of Then Came the Morning brought the audience to life, and it wasn’t long before Williams was drenched with sweat that proceeded to drip onto the closest fans whenever he leaned over them.

The Lone Bellow played a long set, which included new songs, fan favorites from their self-titled debut album, and some unexpected but fully appreciated covers. About halfway through the set the group mentioned the upcoming Valentines Day and proceeded to play several covers well-known love songs, including Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” and K-Ci & JoJo’s “All My Life.” At one point, they even handed out valentines to the fans while performing.

One of the biggest- crowd pleasers was the segue from the chorus of The Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” into fan-favorite “Green Eyes and a Heart of Gold,” the performance of blues-rock inspired track “Heaven Don’t Call Me Home,” with a lively call and response portion in the bridge, and the band’s classic set closer “Teach Me to Know,” which ended the night with the band climbing into the audience, instruments in hand, to rouse the crowd to sing rounds of the final chorus. Any Lone Bellow fan will vouch for the band’s immense talent and the purity of their three-part harmonies, but the trio’s stage presence is what really sets them apart. Elmquist, Williams and Pipkin complement each other perfectly on stage, and the truly honest and genuine nature of their performances (as with their show at the Paradise) always leave fans begging for more.


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