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Review: Ray LaMontagne, Belle Brigade at Lawn


Belle Brigade played onstage with Ray LaMontagne this Friday the 13th at White River State Park. - STACY KAGIWADA
  • Stacy Kagiwada
  • Belle Brigade played onstage with Ray LaMontagne this Friday the 13th at White River State Park.

Belle Brigade began promptly and enthusiastically at 8 p.m. sharp this Friday the 13 at the Lawn at White River State Park. The brother-sister duo from LA jumped into the opening set with "Ashes," from their brand new album, Just Because. The siblings were front and center stage as Barbara beat the drums and Ethan lead with guitar. We had a perfect view of the siblings as they exchanged smiles and glances onstage while rocking out. Barbara's white streak of hair was visible yards back into the crowd as she bobbed her head enthusiastically during "Losers," a song from Belle Brigade's self-titled first album.

"It's been a lovely evening for us so far; we hung out in this beautiful garden. It's our first time in Indy, and so far it's an A-plus. A-plus town," declared Barbara between songs. The fourth song of the set began with a rocking drum solo and laser lights flashing about the stage. The performance was punctuated with the band's enthusiastic bobbing and dynamic energy. Even during the more upbeat songs, the the music was very easy and relaxed as Barbara and Ethan did what they were clearly meant to do: Make music together.

"This next song is about being an asshole," exclaimed Barbara as the beginning chords began to the song "My Goodness." "It's about learning how to be a better asshole."

After they finished playing, the siblings announced that they would meet and greet after the show near the merchandise table. "See you soon," added Ethan as they left the stage -- but not for long, as they were soon to return with Ray LaMontagne as part of his backing band.

Ray took to the stage at dusk in a brown fedora, kicking the show off with the new hit "Lavender" from his most recent album and inspiring the crowd (buzzing with wild energy) to climb to their feet. Intricate colors and patterns moved on a large screen behind the band, providing dynamic visuals to accompany the music.

"You know there's gonna be a full moon tonight. And I think you should all get out of your chairs, that's what I think," Ray said, encouraging stragglers to stand and observe the honey moon. The music took a mellow turn with "For The Summer," followed by "Pick Up A Gun" and intensely popular hit "Supernova."

Much to the crowd's delight, Ray performed one of his older songs "Beg Steal or Borrow," a tune that many in the audience knew the words to and sang along. Mid-set, Ray paused between songs to point out the large, yellow full moon behind the crowd. "There it is," he said, pointing to the last full moon we'll see on a Friday the 13 (until 2049).

Nearing the end of the show, Ray took time to praise the members of his band and Belle Brigade, introducing them one by one. He invited the audience to sing along with him for his last few songs. Fireworks exploded behind the audience from another venue, adding the finishing touch to a night of perfect weather and beautiful music.


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