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Comprising solo artists Jesse Lafser and Becca Mancari, and Alabama Shake’s lead vocalist Brittany Howard, Bermuda Triangle is creating swift movement in Americana and rock with their recent formation in 2017. Starting out in a basement in Nashville, the band has since been praised for their collaboration built on friendship, past lives, and individual artistries that together create the common triangle.
The show starts from a music box, blasting Missy Elliot’s “Get Ur Freak On,” as Lafser, Mancari, and Howard groove out on stage to take position at their instruments. Howard stands at her bass cello, cracking a wide-eyed smile at Mancari wearing pink sunglasses and a jumpsuit, screaming “it feels so good to be back in Austin!” Folk artist Lafser stands with frizzy hair over her eyes, grabbing her banjo as the show kicks off with a smooth melody of funky, soulful, beautiful women.
As the band begins “Rosey,” one of their two recorded songs on Spotify, a quietness takes over the audience, with their sweet sound sending us into a lull. Lafser drives the main vocals of the song, with Howard’s soul only heard in the backdrop, complemented with Mancari’s higher pitch. The sound combines fresh melodies, acoustics, and a mechanical backdrop, all together painting a beautiful sound of sorrow.
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“Brit that’s an incredible song,” says Mancari. “I love you Becc,” Howard smiles back.
The band plays several individually-written tunes, mostly melancholic, that create emotion with the stirring voices that carry them. They seem to collectively connect with the stories being told, of loneliness and heartbreak, love and forgiveness. Each song showcases each artists’ landscape; Mancari’s hazy folk that drifts into the atmosphere, Howard’s rasp and soul-filled ballads, and Lafser’s clear harmonic voice and quiet persona.
“We just get together and drink and pass around the guitar and now we’re a band and you’re here. But I can’t talk about it, I’ll start sweatin’” Howard laughs.
It’s not all business with these three; I think we laughed more than we cheered on Thursday. With a shout-out to the merch for sale at the front, Howard crafts a hilarious song highlighting all of the merchandise featured, including signed coffee cups and koozies. The crowd breaks out in laughter as Mancari strikes Howard with a smile and says “I hope no one recorded that.” We then hear the group’s theme song they all co-wrote, which starts off serious, and gets the crowd laughing once again with a chorus repeating “Bermuda” 20 times over. The trio seems to connect deeply with their band name, its religious tone, and symbolism of all sorts of earthly connections. They hint at past lives and combinations of all religious teachings and even hold their hands up in triangles to showcase the symbol that brought them together.
“In our past lives we were brothers in Palestine then monks and now we’re a band. Believe it or not, I don’t fucking care.”
“Get Ur Freak On” starts playing once again as the trio groove a little more. The crowd playfully waits for what’s to come, and quickly cheer on as Howard begins: “you love Suzanne and I love you” from their only other recorded track “Suzanne.” The band’s tone switches to a quiet seriousness, as Howard sings the chorus and Mercari and Lafser follow with a colorful melody. The beat of the drum machine in the background creates a 70s-esque atmosphere as the three end with a string of “bum bum bum bah bah.”
The show ends with an encore of sweet harmonics and soft melody. Lafser grabs her banjo and Mercari the harmonica, and I honestly couldn’t tell you the rest. The group sends waves of comfort and good vibes from their instruments and voice, and the audience is left in a familiar lull.
Overall, I give Bermuda Triangle a 10/10. The chemistry between the three makes their collaboration a raw and moving experience. The intimacy of the Antone’s was complemented by the group’s playful interaction with the small crowd, and made anyone there feel a part of the Triangle.
Nina is a junior from Houston, studying advertising and cultivating pop culture through words and ideas. She has a thing for lions and traveling and breakfast and Oprah.