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Wild Belle Rings Out Seduction Of Casanova At Kimbell

October 15th, 2017 · Tags:Uncategorized

The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth is making me fall in love with my city all over again.  Last night’s Kimbell Fest, put together by the museum, concert experts Fortress Fest and local sponsors was way too cool for people like me to even attend.

But I’ve never let that stop me.  … stayed start to finish anyway.

This time of year Fort Worth may still “enjoy” high temperatures right up to sundown, and then some.  But last night — the eve of today’s cold front and lower temps — was perfect.  If you have not been, The Kimbell facility itself is an art masterpiece — a world renowned architectural gem by the legendary Louis I. Kahn — surrounded by somewhat stark gardens, avant sculptures and a majestic reflecting pool glimmering under the stars between the main structure and its little sister, The Piano Pavilion (named for the architect Renzo Piano) to the immediate west.

The Piano

It was overlooking that reflecting pool that I was fortunate enough to rub shoulders with some of Fort Worth’s most influential, enjoy conversation with a new friend, and watch battery-powered & neon-illuminated modern dancers, twirlers, jugglers and such … all while the entertainment fired up in the background at a stage about 100 yards away.  (It must have been pretty good conversation … I didn’t even check the Wi-Fi network, although I know it is there.)


Last’s night festival was in conjunction with the museum’s latest exhibit, Casanova: The Seduction Of Europe.”  The evening was filled with painted masterpieces, a parade of Renaissance-masqued bicycle riders, opera, farcical skits, acrobats and two pretty hip rock bands.  Something for everyone, on a very lovely evening, with mild temps, cool breezes and spotlights flashing on the Will Rogers Tower in the background.

Of particular interest inside the museum — the first known painting of Michelangelo, the somewhat comical or animated demon-filled painting “Torment Of Saint Anthony” … one of the multitudes of paintings in the Kimbell permanent collection (as of 2009).

Torment Of St. Anthony

Ha … but I especially liked a work that will remain nameless.  Visit the museum and ask any docent to show you the “magic foot” painting.  As demonstrated to me last night, if you stand on the right side of the painting, one of the subject’s feet almost appears to be a second-left foot.  But as the viewer walks past the painting, the foot appears to change structure and shape to become “the right foot.”  It is weird and cool and I may have to take up drinking again someday and go check out the visual effect under the influence.

Seduction Of Casanova

Perhaps the time has probably come in my career for me to stop commenting on music, because what is considered to be good and popular today has changed much, much more than my tastes allow me to bend.  However … however, I still enjoyed both Henry The Archer and Wild Belle … especially the latter.  (Special note: Ol’ Hank Arch has a song called “Wi-Fi Pets’ that did not go unnoticed in our research …) So much for what I think … I also noticed the young cool types, and the families spread out on blankets as well also enjoying the scene.



Check out the sultry vocals of Natalie Bergman, who fronts WB, and the soulful sax of her brother Elliot Bergman on the streaming source of your choice.  As for old-school me, I think I will actually buy some of their tunes today on iTunes … 

Natalie is a bit mysterious on stage, bathed in rich red or blue lighting, appearing somewhat mature and perhaps brazen or sexy lounge singer-like, sauntering in her skin-tight silver metallic pants and long blonde hair.  But, as I learned in seeing her in the “we-sell-vinyl” line after the show, she’s young … in her late 20s.  Put a long, sleek cigarette holder in her hand, and a little more harsh lighting, and she easily could have been some flashback to the 1960s siren era … just biding her time, waiting for her chance to sing a James Bond theme song.  Ha … but like I said, she is young and pretty, but has those stylized pipes that evoke raw sensuality and images of the ghost of go-go past.  (I would love to hear her tear up a cover version of “Gold Finger,” or “These Boots Are Made For Walking” … I digress …)

The band’s music is smooth … maybe a taste of funk at times … an overwhelming dose a baseline, a touch of that … perhaps blue-eyed soul (although I couldn’t make out her eyes) and some nice reggae rhythm chops from time to time.  The roots flava makes sense, given brother Elliot’s formative years at The U. of Michigan, playing a host of instruments in an Afrobeat outfit called NOMO.  At first blush, the band sounded so familiar … I don’t know if maybe I have heard some of their songs featured in movies or tv shows … or perhaps their vibe just channels my inner-martini … but they sounded so familiar … and good.

Stayed until the end, and lined up to see the band, doing what they do — meeting with fans and pushing merchandise in that glamorous rock ’n’ roll lifestyle … a road they have traveled since appearing on Conan back in 2012.



Lastly … to emphasize and revisit the earlier point about Fort Worth.  What a great show, so easily accessible in Fort Worth’s pristine cultural district … free parking all around … no mass traffic jam, a decent-sized crowd on a Sunday night, but no long lines and no sweaty pushing and shoving to get to the front of the stage … just perfect concertdom on a plush lawn.  Our festival is better than your festival … You know, unless you like overcrowding, attitudes, and essence of too many human.

Know what I sayin?