Written By | Jason Vega
After two very long years, The Lone Bellow returns to Chicago. Joined by Early James, they sold out their Chicago show. Before the show, members of both bands personally greeted fans giving out high fives and handing out masks. They expressed their concerns for the safety of their fans. Encouraging everyone to continue to abide by the city covid rules so they could continue to enjoy great live music.
See more photos of Early James HERE
All the way from Birmingham, Alabama, Thalia Hall welcomes Early James. The alternative folk-rock band started the night off with a bang; playing “Way of the Dinosaur”, “Easter Eggs”, and “High Horse”. Fredrick James has a voice that can only be described as grainy. He has this nervous sound that pairs well with raspy grain. His voice paired with the folk-rock band reminded me of being a kid and listening to old johnny cash records with my grandpa. They then played “Gone as a Ghost”. Which I would have to say was my favorite song of theirs. The whispered rasp singing, and blues/jazz instrumental sent chills down my spine.
Between songs, James made many jokes; going as far as saying,” This next song is about mothers, valentine’s day, and wives; which when you’re from Alabama it’s pretty normal for all three to exist as one person” to introduce “Mama Can be my valentine”. The whole venue went silent in shock and they burst out in laughter once they processed the joke. They closed their set with ” Clockwork Town”, “It Doesn’t Matter Now”, and their newest single “Tumbleweed”.
See more photos of The Lone Bellow HERE
Shortly after The Lone Bellow To the stage. Sporting very old western, country singer ensembles. My personal favorite was Kanene Donehey Pipkin’s dark purple and black sequin jumpsuit. The way it sparkled in the stage lights was hypnotizing. At the beginning go their set they thanked fans for coming out to the show, despite everything going on in the world.
They opened their show with ” wonder”, “Count on me”, and “Good Times”. The sound of rock filled the room and uplifted all of our spirits. The complex harmonies created so much dissonance that just lingered in the air. Their use of silence and singing acapella was so strong and enhanced the listeners’ experience. The use of Accapella vocals showcased their insane talents and as a response fans screamed and cheered for them. They were so impressed that it was hard to silence them to continue the Accapella portions of songs.
After that, they played what became my new favorite song,”Just Enough To Get By”. Subsequently, fans were speechless. It was a long night of dancing, singing, and even some crying. Brian Elmquist and Fredick James had a mini jam session in the middle of the show. Their voices complemented each other beautifully; this was paired with a beautiful light show on the pointillism western scene backdrop behind them. The band closed the night with fan favorites,” Then Came The Morning”, “Green Eyes and A Heart of gold’, and finally ” May You Be Well”. During which Zach Williams, Elmquist, and Pipkins stood side by side in the spotlight giving a heart-felt performance the left us all in tears.
All in all, fans were left wanting more they chanted for an encore. The band returned to the stage and end the night on a high note with” Tree To Grow” and “Watch Over Us”. The stage presence that this band has transported you into a whole other world, and leaves you wanting more. I along with many other fans eagerly await the return of The lone below and are left with only the wonderful memories of the night. If you are a fan of alt-rock and indie-folk I would 1000% recommend you listen to Early James and The lone below.
Photo Credit | Jason Vega