Concert Review: Belle Histoire / Tallhart at Rumba Cafe (Columbus, OH)by Ryan G on Aug 30, 2012 • 10:01 pm No Comments
Two underrated buzz bands are wrapping up a short co-headlining tour, and midweek they swung by the intimate Rumba Cafe for a show. For both bands, it was their first time playing in Columbus.
Local band The Kraze entertained the onlookers with thirty minutes of straightforward but earnest rock n’ roll. The band is ready for radio (and not in a bad way). I was also impressed by their sincere gratitude toward all in attendance, with one guy approaching me later in the evening to introduce himself and personally thank me for being there! And this was before any word of me blabbing about being a music journalist! Long story short, I’m surprised that I hadn’t heard of these guys before this week and plainly they want to be heard.
Tallhart is another quartet that played straightforward, fast-paced alternative rock. The vocalist maintained an interesting stage presence, with his powerful tenor accentuating his large physical presence. I walked into the set almost completely cold – I had heard nothing from the band in advance. Sometimes, this makes for an interesting experience and often exposes the reviewer to a more accurate portrayal of the quality of the band. I’m pleased to report this experiment had a positive result. The set ended with an impromptu dance party begun by the guys and girl of Belle Histoire.
Belle Histoire, a band highly praised in my recent review of their debut LP Dreamers brought on high expectations for the show. The band isn’t flashy or overly charismatic but they light up the stage in a humble way. Singer Jane Smith seemed to undergo a transformation onstage, with her offstage reserved demeanor morphing into contagious cheerfulness while performing. The set involved performances from both the LP and EPs from the band, with highlights like “My Dear,” “Keep Your Heart,” and “Don’t You Run Away.” A number of people in attendance sung along to every song, which the band seemed to humbly appreciate. Humble keeps coming up in my mind, but it’s true.
Local band Andolino, whom had opened for Paper Route in May closed the show. It was explained to me that the odd ordering of the performances was orchestrated due to Tallhart and Belle Histoire never having performed in Columbus before. The venue (I think?) wanted the bands new to the area to have maximum exposure and not fall victim to a mass exodus after the local favorites finished. This is an unorthodox strategy, but one more small venues ought to try out. Unsurprisingly, Andolino performed a passionate set of alternative rock with some folk stylings, ending their set with my favorite “Tired and Torn” – mentioned in my Paper Route concert review. These guys have no plans to move beyond a local band playing occasional gigs, but they play like veterans.