“Any veterans in the crowd today? No?” asks the musician on stage before launching into It Wants What It Wants, a song off his latest album Black Bear. The musician asking the question is Andrew Belle, a fairly tall, fairly skinny man with a mop of curly blonde hair and sad blue eyes. Nobody pipes in to affirm their veteran status because the crowd mostly consists of recent college graduates of the female gender, but Belle goes on anyway to dedicate the song to his veteran grandfather. Belle seems shy as he speaks this sweet, quiet introduction, setting the mood for the audience that the rest of this performance is going to be intimate, melancholy, and moody.

Belle opens with the first two songs off his album, Dark Matter and Pieces, and begins playing without any introduction. Surprisingly, he plays before the other band, Leagues, also performing that night. His band consists of an electric guitar player, a bass player, and a drummer, all wearing  clothes less on the hobo side of the hipster spectrum and more on the put-together side; they may as well be software developers instead of musicians.

Speaking of his musicians, everyone except for the drummer each has their own Macbook Pro in front of them with a little synthesizer hooked up to it. What is surprising is that despite this complicated electronic setup, if any distortions or manipulations are made to any instruments, it is too subtle to notice. For the most part, the music turned out surprisingly more soft rock than expected, even having a slightly acoustic aesthetic and an overall laid-back feel. Belle himself plays both guitar and keyboard, but the guitar is acoustic and the keyboard makes no other strange noises other than the sound of a regular piano.

Belle makes little small talk with the audience and instead plows through his set at a good pace, only interrupting his steady flow of tunes to plug the non-profit organization Cure. This only makes Belle seem all the more sensitive and brooding, as if his dancing-in-slo-mo-in-the-rain music didn’t show it enough. Of course, his audience eats it up–one girl audibly gasps when Belle announces he is going to be playing Open Your Eyes next and squeals, “I love this one!” Finally ending with The Ladder, an old favorite for long-time fans, Belle has certainly made a lot of ladies’ nights.

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