Live Review: The Lumineers

Lumineers Press Session

The Lumineers Live

 

April 30th, at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, ON

 

At a stage when folk music has as much chance of being manufactured as the next Disney pop stars, finding a true sense of authenticity is becoming more and more of a rarity. As a result, when seeing a band like Colorado’s The Lumineers explode onto the scene with huge singles like “Ho Hey” one has to be a little bit skeptical. But upon seeing them play at the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton, Ontario “genuine” is likely the best way to describe them.

Opening band “You Won’t”, a two-piece band from Massachusetts though forgettable, featured a drummer who played everything from piano, to ukulele, to a band saw with a violin bow. Perhaps, the biggest harm to the band however was the seeming lack of sound levels that may have plagued the band’s performance. However, seeing the spectacle of a man who plays like he has more hands than a Hindu god is certainly worth watching.

For anyone who has listened to the Lumineer’s self-titled debut, they’ll recognize the count-ins and shouting gang vocals from the album are a true representation of their live shows. Band members are frequently running around the stage, playing multiple instruments and shouting lyrics in a way that manages to feel authentic rather than contrived. Every member of the band seemed not only happy to be playing every note but grateful. Lead singer Wesley Schultz repeatedly thanked the audience for coming to see them and singing the lyrics to every song, encouraging the crowd to put away their electronic devices and have “a real experience with your friends The Lumineers.”

Starting with fan favorite “Submarines”, they quickly went into the first of three covers during the night. The song “I Ain’t Nobody’s Problem” by Sawmill Joe a catchy blues song was praised by lead singer Wesley Schultz, encouraging concertgoers to look them up. In addition to playing every track on their album, “Subterranean Homesick Blues” by Bob Dylan and “This Must Be the Place” by the Talking Heads were also part of their thirteen song set.

Highlights from the show included a searing version of “Classy Girls” and a beautiful performance of “Slow it Down” by Schultz and percussionist Jeremiah Fraites that completely surpasses the album version. But perhaps the most intimate moment from the show was when the members ventured onto the floor of the arena to play two new songs in the crowd before returning to the stage to play “Big Parade” as their last booming song of the evening.

Ending the show with a bow and hugs for all band members, I only hope that more bands as genuine as The Lumineers can remain a mainstay in popular music.

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