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Sunday, April 21, 2024
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	Natalie Bergman of Wild Belle performs at U Street Music Hall on Oct. 22.

Wild Belle steams up U Street Music Hall

Watching Wild Belle perform was similar to the experience of a dehydrated person envisioning a sensational mirage as they aimlessly wander through the desert.

The stage set-up seemed western with all of the equipment decked out in wood. Since the space was packed with a sold-out crowd, U Street Music Hall was toasty throughout the entire evening of Oct. 22.

The opening band Saint Rich evoked feel-good 1970s psychedelic rock. Though it was difficult to catch the words jumping out of lead singer Steve Marion’s mouth, the beats swept the D.C. crowd away in addition to the band’s fans from their home state of New Jersey.

Though she left her white blouse unbuttoned, Natalie Bergman rocked a pair of funky metallic pants with a belt that had a switch-blade attached, reminding spectators not to mess with her. She could probably take anyone down. Elliot Bergman opted for a simple all-black ensemble, low cut enough to reveal a peep of chest hair.

With one album to their name, Wild Belle’s set list consisted of songs off their debut album “Isles.” Natalie’s foxy vocals were hypnotizing, particularly during “Another Girl” and “Backslider.” Her range is impressive, making her persona all the more intimidating.

Wild Belle’s sound dips into a variety of genres- there’s Motown pop and reggae beats matched with jazzy saxophones and a touch of R&B. All the while, each song telling a story that contains groove of its own that makes dancing to the beat feel like breathing air.

The night was full of slow grinding as couples made-out, almost under a love spell when Wild Belle performed songs like “Shine,” “Twisted” and “It’s Too Late.”

For “When It’s Over,” the Bergman siblings switched places. Natalie took to the side behind the keyboard, while Elliot was front and center at the microphone.

“We’ve been to D.C. a few times before, but this is the first time it’s for us,” Elliot said.

Wild Belle closed with “Keep You,” followed by a two-song long encore. If bumping and grinding is wrong, Wild Belle made it feel so right.

sgore@theeagleonline.com


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