The Lone Bellow Open For Ivan & Alyosha at The Drake

Date of show: April 22, 2013
Written by: Chiara DiAngelo

Brooklyn’s The Lone Bellow were the second band of the night. The core trio of Zach Williams (vocals, guitar), Brian Elmquist (guitar, vocals), and Kanene Pipkin (vocals, mandolin) were joined by Jason Pipkin (upright bass) and Brian Griffin (drums).

Wielding more depth and grit than the two bands they accompanied on the bill, they warmed up with “You Can Be All Kinds of Emotional” before the raw and riveting three-part vocals on “You Never Need Nobody” stopped my heart for a moment as they shredded at my soul. Looking around afterwards, it was evident those around me were left similarly gripped.

The intricate guitar work on “Green Eyes and a Heart of Gold” was another set highlight, as was the sheer amount of sweat pouring out of Williams at this point in the set. Elmquist also dazzled the audience with one of his own country songs “Watch Over Us,” the heartfelt nature of which had me nearly in tears. Covering a moving John Prine song, it was almost as if frontman Williams was conducting the audience in an intensely emotional sing-along. The collective experience came to a close with “Teach Me To Know.”

Having earned comparisons to Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers, fans of the folk-rock revival may want to give The Lone Bellow’s self-titled album a listen. Commanding some mighty soul with their tunes, don’t be surprised if they stir some deeply hidden emotions up inside of you.

Ivan & Alyosha

Headlining act Ivan & Alyosha brought their dreamy folk-pop and spacey distortion to end the night. For a band from Seattle they sure were sunny. It was easy to fall for their dazzling four-part vocal harmonies and pretty boy band-like appeal.

Touring in support of their album All the Times We Had released earlier this year, much of their set highlighted this new material, including ”Who Are You” and “Easy to Love.” As a special surprise, towards the end of their set the band invited everyone from the two opening acts to join them. Grabbing any instrument they could find on the stage, they added an elevated exuberance to “Don’t Wanna Die Anymore” and “Be Your Man.”

With the stage to themselves once more, the band closed with lovely single “Running For Cover.” Quickly returning for an encore, they offered up a stripped down version of “Glorify” off their 2011 EP Fathers Be Kind. Ready to depart the stage after just the one song, upon the insistence of a persistent audience member, they took her request and performed “Everything Is Burning” from the same EP, first prefacing it with the warning that they weren’t sure they still remembered how to play it. The friendly atmosphere created through the exchange between band and audience was a truly wonderful way to end the night.

Twin Forks

When former frontman of Dashboard Confessional, Chris Carrabba’s new band Twin Forks is the first opener of a show, people show up early. The venue was already hopping as the quartet took the stage to start the night. Some people may be taken aback by this new project of Carrabba’s. Beyond the pretty lyrics, the guy-girl vocal pairing with ridiculously cute and bouncy Suzie Zeldin (mandolin, vocals) – also known for her previous work with The Narrative – added a wholesome, “sweet like apple pie” quality to their folk-rock sound. Having fully shed his emo exterior, Carrabba noted that “it’s fun to have fun sometimes.” And who can truly deny Carrabba the level of happiness that was blatantly apparent on his beaming face the entire time?

Set highlights included their folked-up version of The Talking Heads’ “And She Was,” as well as the single “Something You Just Know.” Still a new band, the group had played less than a dozen shows at this point and indicated their trepidation at playing in such an intimidatingly “cool” city like Toronto. Seasoned professionals however, they rarely missed a step – except of course when Carrabba knocked off a cymbal from the drummer’s kit.

Carrabba promised they would soon return for Edgefest in July. They also offered up free downloads of their tour EP as well as kisses at the merch booth, which was conveniently located beneath the neon “Kiss Kiss” sign. I’m sure that more than a handful of the hyperventilating women up front took full advantage of at least one of those offers!

The entire night was a great introduction to bands I had never seen, or had much of an opportunity to listen to, before. It was a much-needed reminder as to why I love going to shows as much as I do!

Tags: , , ,

Categories: Live Music


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: