Brother and sister Ethan and Barbara Gruska, also known as The Belle Brigade, hit the stage at The Beacon Theater on Thursday night and took the room with a force of powerful musical chemistry that left everyone in the audience in awe. Currently on tour opening for Ray LaMontagne (as well as playing in his backing band) the group played three nights at The Beacon, and although I only saw them one of the three nights, that was all I needed.
The band’s nine-song set really highlighted Barbara and Ethans melodic vocal chemistry as well as their craft on drums and guitar. Ethan’s smooth and subtle guitar tones mesh perfectly with Barbara’s powerful and precise drumming. Although their music can easily fit into a pop category, there’s nothing cheap or manufactured about their songwriting quality. Their set featured songs off Just Beacause, the groups second full-length album released back in the spring.
Set list included ‘Ashes’, ‘Likely To Use Something’, ‘How I See It’, ‘When Everything Was What It Was’, and the tune ‘Rusted Wheel’ from their 2011 self-titled album. Of course no Bella Brigade set is complete without a bitchin drum solo from Barbara. Leave it up to these two brilliant musicians to lead a solid opening set, only to bring their abilities back out thirty minutes later to join Ray in his band and put on a solid performance there as well.
Article by: Tom Shackleford
Photos: Nicholas Fallon