“Do you like these guys a lot? I found them on Pandora.” asked one concert-goer to me at the Independent last week. She was referring to Wild Belle, the brother-sister, dusty reggae-folk group of Elliot and Natalie Bergman headlining that night.
It’s easy to like Wild Belle — they are the prototypical Outside Lands 3 p.m. slot-holders and they are the band that is a pleasant tangent for Pandora stations based on Edward Sharpe. The only full length album they have released — last year’s Isles — is an endearing debut, but it’s hard to imagine a very in-depth listening experience past just head-nodding or swaying.
Wild Belle is cute — the archetypes of a glamorous Wild West photoshoot, but with luxurious fabrics like red velvet blazers that would never be possible in such a setting.
Not every band needs to be a deep-cutting soul-touching authority. You still can’t help but tap what you wish were cowboy boots on your feet to Wild Belle, and their relaxing type of desert-folk varies more than other bands of the same ripeness. Catchy saxophone loops and steady bass lines formed a relaxed background for Bergman’s vocals which reverberated firmer live than recorded.
If anything, they convinced with their performance of their evenly distributed band abilities — though the vixen of the band is the most visual, that they were a real band, rather than a teased head of hair (Bergman) with a sidekick and a constructed image. But Natalie’s brother, Elliot proved more than an accessory with his rich waves of sax throughout the set and when he took over the mic for “When It’s Over.”
The set was short but nectar-sweet; a solid show for a weeknight for those who didn’t want to fuss over planning out going to an entire concert.
Though they are the band that some people might claim to “find,” they aren’t hiding at all. They’ve been present at some of the largest music festivals in the past year, and their touring schedule is a major one. Though still moderate with their hits, Wild Belle is a band to neither underestimate nor skip.