“Please welcome the newest contributor to Chicagoings.com, Alberto Herrera. I am extremely proud of this, his very first article. Alberto is a passionate music lover and lifelong Chicagoan. Here he shares his experinence from last Friday, watching Wild Belle perform for a sold out crowd at Metro.” – Kari
“When things are broken, you fix them.” Elliot Bergman’s subtle shot at the various mic and sound malfunctions pretty much set the tone for Wild Belle’s set Friday night at Metro. Who hasn’t seen an artist get visibly flustered by malfunctioning equipment and watched that frustration affect their performance? However, Wild Belle seemed to come back stronger and with increased resolve after each reoccurring issue, to ultimately produce a fantastic and engaging set.
I was curious to see how the band’s second album, Dreamland, which feels like it’d be at home resonating inside an indoor arena or floating off into the night sky at an outdoor venue, would sound inside Metro’s club-like setting. Yet, despite the layers of this album, it’s Natalie Bergman’s songwriting and vocals that keeps the delivery grounded, intimate, and relatable, no matter the setting.
I was also glad to hear “Our Love Will Survive”, a reminder that the only everlasting thing in this world continues to be the love between two people.
The group kicked things off with their love letter to New Orleans, “Mississippi River,” which set up the rest of the show nicely. Soon after they played “Dreamland,” one of my favorites. It’s a song that seems to linger and then melt into your ear. I was curious to see how such an ethereal tune would sound in a live setting — and I wasn’t disappointed! The frenetic pace of the new wave-ish “Giving up on You” roused everyone up just as we were getting comfortable listening to a few songs from the mellower Isles album. I was also glad to hear “Our Love Will Survive”, a reminder that the only everlasting thing in this world continues to be the love between two people. They then ended the first part of their show with the anthemic “Throw Down Your Guns,” a song, à la “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” that will never lose its relevancy, especially in a city that continues to struggle against gun violence.
Friday night’s show and their most recent material prove Wild Belle’s hand in the wave of artistic high-quality music Chicago has and is still producing.
Photos: Kari Herrera from Mamby on the Beach 2016