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Indie-Folk Powerhouse Trio Stops in Charlottesville

The Lone Bellow moves audience at The Jefferson

As a part of their sold-out American tour, indie folk band The Lone Bellow took to the stage at the Jefferson Theater Saturday and delivered a two-hour performance that gave the audience goosebumps. With guitar in hand and a three-piece wool suit on his back, Zach Williams — the band’s guitarist and lead vocalist — led the trio in a striking vocal and musical show.

Although the crowd consisted mostly of Charlottesville’s young working adults, they all danced and sang like teenagers in a country-folk-mosh-pit sort of way, creating a weirdly charming atmosphere.

The Lone Bellow beautifully and relentlessly carried the audience on a journey from Southern rock stories to acoustic love songs, seamlessly joining together favorites from their self-titled album to tracks from their most recent release “Then Came the Morning.” This offered listeners a wide range of musical instrumentation, including hints of mandolin and bass, slide guitar and keys.

Undeniably though, the most moving part of the show was the trio’s vocal harmony — a sound sent from heaven itself. Kanene Pipkin, who sings and plays the mandolin and bass, and Brian Elmquist, a guitarist and vocalist, joined Williams in moments of true artistry with songs like “Watch Over Us,” stripping away all unnecessary instrumental sounds to deliver moments of a cappella or acoustic performance that sent chills down the spine.

Neither excellence nor purity was lost in the transition from recording studio to live performance, as the musical intricacies played well alongside the trio’s flawless vocal showing. The instruments served as perfect complements to the singers’ soulful and genuine voices.

This concert was not staged for the benefit of the band but rather for the enjoyment of the audience. Williams furiously worked himself into a sweat as he engaged his fans, leaping from the stage to the floor, inviting all to share in his joy and passion.

Everyone in the audience was visibly moved by The Lone Bellow’s charm and sincerity, a combination that most bands struggle to maintain. This show in Charlottesville is just one indication of the major success that lies ahead in the years to come for this Brooklyn-based trio.


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