I WAS THERE . . . Bell X1 @ Highline Ballroom, 3.14.09

Bell X1, the critically-acclaimed Irish import, shamrock’d the stage at the Highline Ballroom. Lead singer Paul Noonan spasmodically jumped, jived, and cooed the crowd into a collective mush; the result of his vocal integrity combined with clever lyrics. Vocal harmonies were tastefully bolstered by David Gerahty (guitar/piano) and Dominic Philips (bass). For a full house of dedicated, lyric-lipping fans, Bell X1 played a smattering of songs from yesteryear as well as songs from their celebrated fourth album Blue Lights on the Runway released earlier this month by Belly Up Records.

While Bell X1 performed each song to the utmost (no studio kings here!), two songs noticeably soothed a crowd sweaty from the Harlem Shakes opening performance: “Eve is the apple of my eye,” an empathic ballad off their 2003 album Music in Mouth and “Blow Ins,” a clever diddy off Blue Lights on the Runway, which addressed the idea that if the whole existence of the world were compacted into 24 hours, humans would be a 3-second blip in the operation. A bottleneck added to the ethereal nature of Noonan’s vocals (and the humbling concept), creating continuous transitions in pitch softly primped by easy piano–a melodic representation of how all else will continue long after mankind has given its final note.

Nicole Velasco

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