Concert Review: Tristen, Bell X1, October 14, The Great Hall


Its an odd sensation to go to a show for the opener and have no idea whatsoever who the headliner is when more often its the other way around entirely. Yet this was the case for Bell X1‘s headlining set at The Great Hall. Going in to this show I had next to no idea who these guys were. Rather, I was here for Tristen.

The Chicago born, Nashville based singer-songwriter is touring behind her just released album C A V E S, which marks a bit of a musical departure for her.  While her earlier work could best be described as fitting within the confines of folk-pop, she’s switched to more of a synth-based electronic sound for the new release.  While much of the window dressing may have changed, the heart of her songwriting is fundamentally the same, she’s just working with a different palette.

Regardless of the instrumentation used, Tristen’s songs hold up pretty well live, with highlights being “No One’s Gonna Know” and “The Anti-Baby,” which she introduced as being about “the kind of person that thinks being negative all the time makes them intelligent.” After she finished that song,some dude near the stage shouted out “ce soir!” to which Tristen replied, “does that mean so suave?” After the guy explained that it meant “tonight” (yet offered up no explanation as to why exactly he was shouting it), she didn’t really know how to respond to that and seemed to utter a couple of words afterwords which may have been French. Perhaps inspired by the French excamation, Tristen asked the crowd, “Would you guys like to hear a song called Bourgeois Bouquet?” They did and so she launched into it. At the end of her set, she simply said, “If you would like to purchase a CD, I’ll be the girl over there in the shiny purple pants.” It’s true, those pants were pretty shiny.

bell x1

Now on to the previously unknown to me headliners. A little bit of research shows that Bell X1 are actually something of a big deal in their native Ireland with Wikipedia describing them as festival and arena headliners who have had two songs make it onto a radio poll of the Top 20 Greatest Irish Songs Of All Time.  And they’ve been going since 2000. Who knew? I guess we all have gaps in our musical knowledge. To make up for it though, I do know a tiny bit about Danish hip hop, so I’ve got that going for me … I guess?

Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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