SOUP brings guitarist Andrew Belle to café for Coffee Shop Series

Katie Kasper

Have you noticed? Almost every Tuesday night this April and May, live music has been performed in the campus center café. This is no coincidence, but rather the clever planning of the Student Organization for University Programming.
According to Caitlin Fish, the co-chair of SOUP, when the organization plans recurring events they try to plan them on the same day of the week to encourage attendance, hence every Tuesday night. Apparently their planning has worked so far, because attendance has been fairly good at these events, aptly named “The Coffee Shop Series.”
SOUP is already planning to continue these events next fall, and after last Tuesday’s performance by Andrew Belle, I can honestly say that these concerts are worth attending. After all, nothing goes better with gossip – under the guise of homework – than live music.
Andrew Belle, a guitar-playing vocalist in desperate need of a haircut, played at SOUP’s weekly event last week. However, his hair did go well with the rest of his look: fancy jeans and flip-flops, collared button-up shirt, blue bandana and a five o’clock shadow.
This look in turn complemented his music, described by Belle as “heavy mellow.” Belle performed on the café stage on a tall counter chair in a spot light. The setting was intimate and Belle reinforced this atmosphere by closing his eyes while playing and singing close to the microphone.
His music felt appropriate for a rainy day. A mix between the indistinguishable vocals of Kings of Leon and the acoustic guitar sound of Colbie Caillat, Belle’s music would fill the background of a broken heart movie montage perfectly.
Because his lips were on top of the microphone, the vocals often sounded muddled, but he did manage to hit the occasional, surprising falsetto. About half of the crowd at the café seemed to like Belle’s music, and there was a decent amount of applause after each song.
Belle continued the intimate theme of the evening with his stage banter as well: after each song, he struck up conversation with the audience or told an anecdote to transition into the next song. Though there were some sound problems with his vocals, Belle’s performance was generally enjoyable overall.
If you missed the concert, Belle has both an EP and an album available on iTunes. His lyrics are much more discernible on the recordings than they were live, and the background music is more interesting. The addition of drums and digital effects make the music much more layered than the homey sound of acoustic guitar.
The next installments of the Coffee Shop Series will happen May 11, featuring Shevy Smith and May 18, featuring David Campbell. Both start at 9 p.m. and take place in the café.
For more information on Belle or for samples of his music, visit his website at http://www.andrewbelle.