PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
Music

The Lone Bellow's Socially-Distant Cow Field Show (photos)

All photos credit: Sachyn Mital

The Lone Bellow's live performance was a pleasurable distraction in the middle of a pandemic. But I had forgotten how to attend a ticketed concert.

South Farms

A literal cow field. That's what I saw when I drove into the Morris, Connecticut parking area for a socially-distanced concert from the Lone Bellow at South Farms. I took the almost two-hour drive up to see the band perform their final show of 2020, part of a handful of socially distant shows. I felt lucky to be able to see them perform and see live music. But of course, the pandemic has changed everything.

South Farms

With the COVID-19 still obviously a concern, I observed the proper safety protocols, which started with the mask and a pre-signed health waiver. But after going almost six months without attending a ticketed concert, I forget how to get into the show. When I got to security, I was confused by why they wanted to see my ID because they couldn't match it to my masked face (it was to check for the drinking age). Then I was confused about why I couldn't just walk in (like free outdoor shows in NYC). Well, that was because I hadn't yet picked up my ticket from the box office...

South Farms

Being grounded in NYC for most of the pandemic, I also had forgotten how there could be vast green spaces without people. South Farms' lawn was massive. Ticket-holders bought two-person grids, and each grid was at least six feet away from the next grid. It was practically as big as a football field. The venue had been hosting shows for over a month, and things were clearly running smoothly and safely.

Zach Williams

Fan

And it was awesome to be at a show with enthusiastic fans. When Zach Williams got out of the car to take the stage, he threw his fists in the air. Fans caught on the camera were exuberant as they got a moment on the big screen -- some expressing themselves with abandon.

The Lone Bellow

And then the Lone Bellow, Williams, Brian Elmquist, and Kanene Pipkin, took the stage to fervent applause. It was a unique performance given that it was just the three of them with their instruments around one microphone -- no percussion or other accompaniment. Williams acknowledged that this also permitted the band to be flexible with their setlist when they wanted to switch things up.

The Lone Bellow

The band had released their latest album Half Moon Light about a month before the pandemic shut down live performances, so they were enthusiastic about being on stage. They played some tracks from the album, including "Count on Me" and "Just Enough to Get By", in the stripped-down style.

The Lone Bellow

The Lone Bellow also performed a couple of covers, namely Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" and the National's "Pink Rabbits" (both of which were released in 2018). Though likely not a commentary on the audience's racial makeup, the latter's line of "white girl in a crowd of white girls in the park" could sum up many concerts in New England.

The Lone Bellow

Williams spoke about loving the general feel of the area. He noted that they had recorded Half Moon Light in a similar region, which elicited chuckles as he likely meant areas north of New York City and not in Connecticut. (I later learned The National's Aaron Dessner produced their new record and Dessner's studio is in Hudson, New York so a bit further north). The band also mourned that they couldn't really see the crowd once it had gotten dark, but at least the audience didn't have to deal with anyone singing or being annoying right next to them.

The Lone Bellow

Near the end, the band performed "Green Eyes and a Heart of Gold", which got a couple up front dancing. And shortly after, they departed. Staff at the venue didn't think there would be an encore, but fortunately, the Lone Bellow returned for another song giving the audience another few minutes to forget there was a pandemic underway.

South Farms Merch

Manic Presents has scheduled a few more shows for South Farms including Neko Case, Warren Haynes, Manchester Orchestra and Grace Potter before the venues closes for season on November 1st. More information and tickets for Twilight Concerts on the Farm.

The Lone Bellow

The Lone Bellow

The Lone Bellow

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Film

The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.

Music

British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.

Film

Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.

Music

​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.

Music

The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.

Music

Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.

Television

How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.

Music

Floodlights' 'From a View' Is Classicist Antipodal Indie Guitar Pop

Aussie indie rockers, Floodlights' debut From a View is a very cleanly, crisply-produced and mixed collection of shambolic, do-it-yourself indie guitar music.

Music

CF Watkins Embraces a Cool, Sophisticated Twang on 'Babygirl'

CF Watkins has pulled off the unique trick of creating an album that is imbued with the warmth of the American South as well as the urban sophistication of New York.

Music

Helena Deland Suggests Imagination Is More Rewarding Than Reality on 'Something New'

Canadian singer-songwriter Helena Deland's first full-length release Someone New reveals her considerable creative talents.

Music

While the Sun Shines: An Interview with Composer Joe Wong

Joe Wong, the composer behind Netflix's Russian Doll and Master of None, articulates personal grief and grappling with artistic fulfillment into a sweeping debut album.

Music

Peter Frampton Asks "Do You Feel Like I Do?" in Rock-Solid Book on Storied Career

British rocker Peter Frampton grew up fast before reaching meteoric heights with Frampton Comes Alive! Now the 70-year-old Grammy-winning artist facing a degenerative muscle condition looks back on his life in his new memoir and this revealing interview.

Books

Bishakh Som's 'Spellbound' Is an Innovative Take on the Graphic Memoir

Bishakh's Som's graphic memoir, Spellbound, serves as a reminder that trans memoirs need not hinge on transition narratives, or at least not on the ones we are used to seeing.

Music

Gamblers' Michael McManus Discusses Religion, Addiction, and the Importance of Writing Open-Ended Songs

Seductively approachable, Gamblers' sunny sound masks the tragedy and despair that populate the band's debut album.

Books

Peter Guralnick's 'Looking to Get Lost' Is an Ode to the Pleasures of Writing About Music

Peter Guralnick's homage to writing about music, 'Looking to Get Lost', shows how good music writing gets the music into the readers' head.

Film

In Praise of the Artifice in George Cukor's 'Sylvia Scarlett'

George Cukor's gender-bending Sylvia Scarlett proposes a heroine who learns nothing from her cross-gendered ordeal.

Music

The Cure: Ranking the Albums From 13 to 1

Just about every Cure album is worth picking up, and even those ranked lowest boast worthwhile moments. Here are their albums, spanning 29 years, presented from worst to best.

Television

The 20 Best Episodes of 'Star Trek: The Original Series'

This is a timeless list of 20 thrilling Star Trek episodes that delight, excite, and entertain, all the while exploring the deepest aspects of the human condition and questioning our place in the universe.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.