The Lone Bellow – Paradise Rock Club, Boston, MA 2/12/15 (SHOW REVIEW/GALLERY)

The Lone Bellow came to Boston on the first stop of their current tour in support of their latest album Then Came the Morning. The stormy weather and cold temperature did not hinder the band’s fans from lining up outside the Paradise, hours before the doors opened. Once inside, most of the diehards lined up against the waist-high stage with a beer or two and didn’t move for the next few hours. Boston’s own Will Dailey warmed up the show with his quirky, but catchy style of rock and roll. He mentioned several times that he hoped to warm up the Paradise before the Lone Bellow hit the stage. Many audience members yelled Dailey’s name – offering some reassurance that he was part of the draw as well. However, when Dailey and his band left the stage, it was time for the real show – a treat for the eyes and ears alike from the Brooklyn, NY based trio. The Lone Bellow did perform as a full, five-piece band with Jason Pipkin on bass/keys and Justin Glasco on drums. They did not disappoint.

Zach Williams (lead vocals/guitar) walked out on stage, plugged in his sunburst Gibson acoustic and serenaded the crowd with “To The Woods” by himself. It was a unique way to start the show, but there were no complaints from those looking for the trio. It surely was a sign that it was going to be a unique and amazing show. Brian Elmquist (guitar/vocals) and multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Kanene Pipkin promptly joined him on stage for the second song of the set, the foot-stomping, hand-clapping and harmony laden “Cold As It Is” – which blew the crowd away. After “Morning”, Williams could not and apparently would not – hide his enthusiasm from the audience. With a primal jig and flailing hands, he almost found himself falling off the stage and into the front row – before gathering himself and settling down to perform the more mellow “Fake Roses” and “Henrietta” – sending the audience into a tizzy with its three part harmony. The band proceeded to play most of the songs from their sophomore effort, a few songs from their debut album and a few impromptu and odd covers that removed any predictability from about what was to come.

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Taking a breather, Williams asked the crowd, “Everybody doin’ alright?” before breaking into the twangy “Diners” which gave Elmquist a chance to shine with a heartfelt and tasty guitar solo. Kanene Pipkin, who had been switching between keys and bass, picked up her vintage, road-worn mandolin before the band belted out the killer “The One You Should’ve Let Go”, during which Williams complimented the audience for their participation by declaring, “That sounds beautiful.” before leading them into a call and response session that united the band and audience on a whole new level. Elmquist took lead vocals duty on the riff-heavy “Heaven Don’t Call Me Home” (A.K.A. “Georgia Will). If you weren’t watching the show, one’s ear might have thought Gary Clark Jr. was on stage ripping it up.

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The Lone Bellow took audience participation to a whole new level, with the trio stepping off stage and losing themselves within the sardine can-packed sea of fans before, like a team of choir conductors – leading the masses through one of their best known songs, “Green Eyes And A Heart Of Gold”. It was a special moment, for everyone. The band really could have ended their set after that extraordinary performance, but they still had plenty of fuel left in their tank. Naturally, the fans wanted more and they didn’t have to wait long. What was to be a two-song encore was surprising turned into something a little more. It was hard to tell if the band or the audience initiated a jovial cover of the Proclaimers’ “500 Miles” which was then followed by Whitney Houston’s “I Want To Dance With Somebody”. Kanene Pipkin stole the spotlight by taking the slippery lead vocals and nailing them, much to the pleasure of the audience and band alike. The trio then managed to get back on track by ending the extended encore with the heavy-hearted “Teach Me To Know” and the gripping “Bleeding Out”.

SETLIST
Into The Woods
Cold As It Is
Then Came In The Morning
Fake Roses
Marietta
Diners
The One You Should’ve Let Go
Heaven Don’t Call Me Home
Green Eyes And A Heart Of Gold
Watch Over Us
Call To War
Telluride
You Never Need Nobody
Leave Me Or Let Me Go
Take My Love
Impromptu Medley:
500 Miles (The Proclaimers)
I Want To Dance With Somebody (Whitney Houston)
Teach Me To Know
Bleeding Out

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