Lollapalooza: Wild Belle takes it up a notch in strong finish

Natalie Bergman of the band Wild Belles performs on day 3 of Lollapalooza 2013 at Grant Park on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013, in Chicago. (Photo by Steve Mitchell/Invision/AP)


Natalie Bergman and Wild Belles kicked off day three of Lollapalooza with a soul and reggae-influenced set. (Photo by The Associated Press)

At the suggestion of a friend, I went and caught Wild Belle to kick off my third and final day at Lollapalooza.

I was first struck by the group’s white suits and sunglasses look, which is certainly the classiest look I’ve see all weekend.

Led by brother-sister duo Natalie and Elliott Bergman, Wild Belle is a sort of neo-soul band that, at least in some of its songs, lacks a particular amount of soul. The first few songs – “Twisted,” “It’s Too Late,” “Backslider” – came and went without much feeling coming from the band, the audience or its instruments.

Once the band got into “Another Girl” and its thumping beat and then the simple jazz of “Love Like This,” things finally picked up.

Wild Belle’s final three songs upped the energy even more. “When It’s Over,” with Elliott Bergman on vocals, was a much more dynamic song with his slick vocal and dynamic sound.

Natalie Bergman came back to sing “Shine in the Sun,” a thumping tune with a wicked sax line from her brother, that was perfect (and soulful, too) with the afternoon sun making us all worry about applying more sunscreen.

Of course, it all came to a head with “Keep You,” the reggae-influenced favorite that had cloudy swirls of organ and most of the audience singing along.

It’s not a band I’m going to listen to day in and day out, but a portion of their songs did strike me. The audience – one of whom I heard say, “I’m so glad I saw that. They were so amazing…” – were certainly satisfied.

“Thank you so much, Lolla,” Natalie Bergman said. “We love you.”

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