The Elected Featuring Blake Sennett and Jake Bellows
Oct. 10, 2011
Private Residence, Fullerton
It's not every day you have a member indie band like The Elected making a stop in a suburban city like Fullerton. It's even rare for said band member to perform in someone's living room with a very intimate audience--nothing but guitars. That's what fans had the privilege to enjoy last night. This sold out Fullerton house concert is one of three stops on their mini California motorcycle tour. However, even though the performances are listed on The Elected website, Blake Sennett is the only band member present and accompanying him on his motorcycle tour is his friend Jake Bellows of the Omaha outfit Neva Dinova. For those not familiar with The Elected, Sennett is the lead singer and was also the lead guitarist for the recently dissolved Rilo Kiley. As per the acoustic, intimate setting of this concert Sennett traded his stylish suits for a hoodie and beanie, almost like he wanted to blend in with the audience.
The less than pretentious setting, meeting interesting folk (everyone had name tags) and free beer and snacks made the living room venue great. The band lured people from places near (San Diego) and far (London) to the 1960s Fullerton home in the hills for their set.
Bellows started off the performance with songs from his days in Neva Dinova. With his soft, low voice, the set was intimate yet strong, especially on "Should You Ever Change Your Mind" and fan favorite "Will The Lady Send Your Flowers."
When Sennett took the, uh, stage, it was a comfortable scenario. Sennett conversed with Bellows and the audience throughout, telling anecdotes such as one called "a curious incident at a sushi restaurant involving edamame." Audience participation increased when he performed "Biggest Star" from The Elected's Sun, Sun, Sun album; fans even mimicked the missing electric guitar sounds for sonic layering!
Of course, the stripped-down gig had its hiccups. But with last night's loyal audience (who helped Sennett and Bellows remember some of their lyrics, even) it was much easier for Sennett and Bellows to push along with their hour-long set. It seemed the more they flubbed their lyrics, the more the audience were willing to help them out by singing along with them and ending the song with a huge round of applause.
This new effort by Sennett and Bellows to perform in fans' houses is an opportunity to listen to these talented singers sans the elaborate musical production and the glaring lights of the stage. Perhaps a Blake and Jake album will come to fruition?
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Personal Bias: I'm a longtime Rilo Kiley fan and went because I never had a chance to see them live.
The Crowd: Sennett said it best: "This demographic hates a fucking nightclub!"
Random Notebook Dump: When he's not strumming his guitar, Bellows' day job is building sliding glass doors.
Overheard From The Crowd: "I've had that ringtone [The Elected song] for the longest time!"