Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Lone Bellow @ The Opera House (live review)

At my age it's hard to get motivated to leave the house on a Sunday night.  However, there are a handful of acts that pretty much guarantee a fantastic show, and The Lone Bellow have added themselves to that very short list.

What makes The Lone Bellow such a great live performance is the fact that they genuinely seem to be happy to be on stage performing.  They are enjoying themselves and that translates to the audience.

The intensity of the show was remarkable.  And it was a two way street.  As much as singer Zach Williams had the crowd eating out of his hand with his Nick Cave-esque preacher act, the fans gobbled it up, magnified it, and projected it back at the stage in a connection rarely seen.

The band's self-titled debut provided the backbone of the set.  The three-part harmonies are almost as transcendent live as they are on record.  "You Don't Love Me Like You Used To", "You Never Need Nobody", and "The One You Should've Let Go" were among the standouts.

On the more subdued side, "You Can Be All Kinds of Emotional" and "Tree To Grow" provided some of the better weepy moments of the night.

The highlight of the night was, of course, the crowd-pleasing up tempo "Green Eyes and a Heart of Gold", a song so infectious that my 4-year old daughter was singing it earlier in the day.  Although, a surprise cover of Hootie & the Blowfish's "Hold My Hand" came a close second.

The night's most raucous moment came with the Revival stomp & rock of "Heaven Don't Call Me Home".

To cap things off, the audience was split up to provide 'ahhhhhs' for a grand rendition of the title track to Then Came The Morning.  Other newer tracks that fit beautifully and seamlessly into the set were "Fake Roses", "Take My Love", "Cold As It Is", and "Marietta".

It hardly seems possible, but support act Anderson East came close to giving the headliners a run for their money.  The throwback sound (think Lucero playing Sam & Dave covers) was punctuated by a delightful stage banter.

Opening act Hugh Masterson was also a pleasant surprise.

If you've never seen The Lone Bellow perform live, please do yourself a favour and make it out the next time they come to town.  I'm not sure I've had a concert experience that has been so intense, but still so beautiful.


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