Review + Photos | The Lone Bellow + Aoife O'Donovan @ The Paradise

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Photos by Boston Concert Photography

[B]rooklyn band The Lone Bellow took to the stage last Wednesday night to a roar from the sold-out crowd that had been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the newest heavy-hitters on the Americana rock n’ roll map. 2013 has been kind to the trio and their commitment to the road, combined with multiple visits to each state over the course of the year, have helped in spreading the word far and wide

Zach Williams (guitar, vocals), Kanene Pipkin, (mandolin, vocals) and  Brian Elmquist (guitar, vocals) have introduced deeper layers of sound to the Lone Bellow live shows by adding Ben Mars (bass), Brian Murphy (keyboards), Matt Knapp (lap steel, electric guitar), Jason Pipkin (banjo, mandolin), and Brian Griffin (drums) to the touring group. Adding new musicians has also created a playful stage dynamic, allowing Williams more opportunity to hop around and engage each member of the band like a guitar-wielding, Georgian marsh rabbit.

Kicking off the the set with the new song “I Let You Go,” the rambunctious crowd quieted down and listened in almost complete silence, which is a rarity at most shows in our fair city. People wanted to jump around and sing-a-long but kept still while the voices from the stage hypnotized. All bets were off however when the band jumped into “You Can Be All Kind’s of Emotional.” Everyone in Paradise knew every word and the band beamed with joy, taking the song into hyper-drive singing the chorus of “Wish I was gone/Wish I was gone” at the top of their lungs.

With their debut self-titled album released at the beginning of the year the Bellow gang tackled pretty much every song on the record and then some. Live staples like “You Never Need Nobody” and “Green Eyes and a Heart of Gold” were played with such enthusiasm it was as if the band were discovering the music for the very first time. The boogie-woogie of “Georgia Will” had the roof shaking and the beautiful cover of John Prine’s “Angel from Montgomery” had the charismatic front-man leading the audience participation of the song’s chorus. The band ended the evening with a rousing rendition of “Teach Me to Know,” with the trio jumping into the crowd to finish the song in spectacular fashion.

Local musician Aofie O’Donovan (Crooked Still/Sometymes Why) owned that opening spot with her stellar voice and guitar-picking prowess. Playing a set built around her recent release, Fossils, O’Donovan set the course for the night with her impressive blend of contemporary, indie-fused folk that she has crafted throughout her impressive career. This was her first time on the Paradise stage with her own band and she took advantage of the moment, conversing with fans in between songs like she knew each and everyone of them personally. Funny, talented, and charming, a winning combination.

Check out the video and fantastic shots of the good times taken by our partner in crime Boston Concert Photography.