What brings a viewer to a live performance? What’s the draw that pulls people in from their daily lives? How does a band entice a fan to come see their show? For most, the ability to see an artist– having the human singing in their headphones come to life– is what gets them up off the couch and inside a venue. Getting to watch with their own eyes someone they’d only seen on TV or Instagram videos. But what defines a great show and makes for an enjoyable experience? An event that hits both the visual and audio senses in a way only a concert-goer can understand by seeing a live show. But what if a band does not meet expectations in one of these areas?

Wild Belle, the Chicago-native band performing back in their home city, put on a show that would perhaps not tick all the boxes of a fantastic night. However, the sound was excellent and the songs were well played. It can be worrisome to see an artist who doesn’t sound quite the same when they’re playing right in front of you as opposed to on Spotify, but fortunately that wasn’t the case here. Natalie Bergman, the lead singer of the group definitely sang well and true to the music. Her reggae-style/indie rock voice is unique and the way she bounces around the notes make the music soulful and funky. Bergman adorned what can simply be described as “a drag queen’s vision come to female life” in high-heeled leather boots, sheer nude tights and a long-sleeved black thong bodysuit with a lace detail. She truly looked stunning in an outfit most humans could never pull off and her sound was impeccable.

Although the quality of the music is crucial for a great performance, there also needs to be an added texture of entertainment. For many this includes the set/backdrop, intricate choreography, unique lighting or even fog. The show put on by Wild Belle was lacking many of these elements, which therefore made for an unexciting event. Despite the fabulous music, the show needed an UMPH layer of something visually appealing. No one expects a normal human person like Natalie to be able to do some intense dance or crazy backflip during a show, but more movement and energy would have vamped up the performance. Fun lights, cool colors and a more decorated set would have created a real experience for the audience. Since Wild Belle very recently released their third album, Everybody One Of A Kind, they’ve most likely been focused on perfecting the sound on that record. But since their release of their first and most popular album, Isles, it seems their performance momentum has gone down as they’ve been working on trying to perfect their sound. In this viewer’s opinion, they could use some time also work on their live sets.