The YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts in Bay Shore was the place to be Friday night when it welcomed The Lone Bellow and Escondido to the stage. A converted movie theatre since 2003, this unique venue ensures an intimate concert experience and was designed for bands such as these.
The opening act, indie folk rock band Escondido, channeled The Mamas & the Papas with a modern ethereal flair. Jessica Maros and Tyler James’ voices harmonize seamlessly into a retro sound, enhanced by their costumes which came straight out of the ’70s. Escondido means hidden in Spanish, but this band won’t remain hidden to public consciousness much longer.
In their second appearance at the Boulton Center, alternative-country band The Lone Bellow played a sold-out show. Every note sung by Zach Williams, Kanene Donehey Pipkin and Brian Elmquist bursted with passion. Williams’ intensity, Pipkin’s mellow lilt and Elmquist’s strong tones blend flawlessly and powerfully.
The evening was peppered with impromptu Seal songs and random shout-outs to Brendan Fraser of The Mummy fame. A spontaneous Bryan Adams cover had the crowd chuckling and singing along.
The Lone Bellow knows how to get the audience involved and singing along. They often left fans in suspense before dropping those final notes sung in unison.
Any Lone Bellow concert will have you out of your seats stomping and clapping along to the driven upbeat turns then knock you off your feet with sweet acoustic compositions that showcase their vocals in a room quiet enough to hear a pin drop.
The encore featured the combined talents of Escondido and The Lone Bellow in a surprise tribute to Bob Dylan and Levon Helm with “I Shall Be Released.” Then the headliner brought down the house with their 2015 single and title track off their can’t-miss album Then Came The Morning. Any WFUV listener is familiar with the ebullient tune you’ll be humming the whole way home.
To learn more about the Boulton Center, visit www.boultoncenter.org. Upcoming acts include David Cook on March 4, Richard Shindell on March 19 and John Waite & The Axemen on April 7. Before the show, grab a bite and a drink next door at Pico Tequila Grill, a lively restaurant offering Mexican fare. Or choose from any number of eateries conveniently located on Main Street.