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The Belle Brigade at Amoeba on Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Having already seen them twice quite recently, having reviewed their album released just last month, what could have another The Belle Brigade’s show brought? No new songs of course, they are just making these new ones known, but I did not hesitate going to their in-store at Amoeba on Thursday because, well, I like them. They are a lot of fun and you immediately feel right at home with their music, they are like Fleetwood Mac before their official reunion… yes no need to wait for 2012 and a potential tour of the 70s band, brother and sister Ethan and Barbara Gruska are what you need, their songs are throwing so many happy hooks in your face that their full-of-life live shows are difficult to resist.

Their popularity and potential stardom must even have grown recently since there were quite a few professional photographers packed first row where I was too. The two siblings arrived on stage followed by a full band, that Barbara, with her usual wit and good humor, did not miss to present later.

‘Good evening shoppers!’ Said Barbara before starting the sad-lyrics-ultra-upbeat tune ‘Lucky Guy’. I don’t know what else to say, you don’t need to have heard their songs before, each one of them seem familiar right away, and not in a trite way at all.

They played their most Fleetwood Mac inspired tunes, ‘Lonely Lonely’ and ‘Where not to Look for Freedom’, a truly rocking song with that so-70s guitar riff, which was naturally inviting the audience to do some hand clapping, whereas Barbara had switched her place with the drummer.
‘Sweet Louise’ was welcomed by some ahhhhs of satisfaction of the crowd, and someone shouted ‘my favorite song,…ever’ at the first notes of ‘Rusted Wheel’. Obviously they have quite a few fans, something I had already realized during their Monday residency at the Satellite a few months ago.
They also played ‘Shirt’ with its beautiful Paul Simon-esque acoustic beginning and its explosive development, … even their saddest songs end up being this exhilarating numbers. They closed the show as I expected with ‘Losers’, and its full anthem potential.

The Belle Brigade have reached a special place with their album of celebration and reemergence of great music, as the popularity of their live performances shows it. Let’s hope they can continue to follow this path.


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