The Lumineers at Target Center, 5/31/2013
|Photo by @melliemroszak|
with Cold War Kids and J. Roddy Walston and the Business
Target Center, Minneapolis
Friday, May 31, 2013
A career based on eleven songs can be a scary thing. Is that enough? Colorado's the Lumineers don't seem too bent out of shape trying to please anyone, and have thrived happily off their massive single "Ho Hey" thus far. The band launched to stardom quickly based off some hooting and the deceivingly simple and easily salable line: "I belong to you, you belong to me, you're my sweetheart."
The Lumineers on Craigslist, Denver, and Basilica Block Party
Review: Basilica Block Party Day 2, 7/7/12
Creating the feel of a front porch concert in the Appalachian Mountains, the Lumineers' stage setting sectioned off their cello, drums, and piano on platforms backed by patio railing and had chandeliers that were raised and lowered based on the songs. For their set, the band took their 11 recorded songs and added covers and some new pieces that they have been working on. How do you get away from the song that defines your career -- and you're most likely sick of? Play it early in the set. The band threw in "Ho Hey" four songs in after a cover of Sawmill Joe's " I Ain't Nobody's Problem But My Own."
"Classy Girls" is the ultimate narrative of a pickup in a bar, building into a fevered frenzy of acoustic guitars battling with the mandolin and kick drum that was set right up front for drummer Jeremiah Fraites, who is a dead-ringer for Woody Harrelson. Perhaps it was a nod to someone that obviously flavored their sound, or perhaps they were in Minnesota -- bands do tend to cover Dylan or Prince when they come through the Cities -- but no matter, the band pulled out their countrified version of Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" for the Minneapolis crowd.
Lead singer Wesley Schultz shared that he had always wanted to be a basketball player growing up and that he had told his mom he'd get on the court, he just didn't think it would have been this way [as a musician]. Launching into the poignant "Slow it Down," Schultz's voice held a promise of heartbreak that carried throughout the stadium. Even though the song was called "Slow it Down," Wesley was eventually joined onstage by Jeremiah, who sped up the piece to once again a foot-stomping clap-along song.
The Lumineers is essentially a three-piece, but include two unofficial members in their pianist and accordianist/guitarist when touring. To get back to their roots, they played a run of songs with just the three members -- Jeremiah, Wesley, and cellist/backup vocalist Neyla Pekarek. One of those being "The Duet" with Neyla stepping away from the cello and, as the name implies, dueting with Wesley on the new piece that begins with "I love everything about you." Another hit for the band, perhaps?
Neyla's haunting cello plays a lot into the band's songs, most especially "Charlie Boy," but the entire ensemble decided to take the stripped-down versions of their show even further by heading into the crowd and playing in the audience in a campfire-like singalong atmosphere. Before leading into "Eloise," Schultz urged, and almost shamed audience members, to put away their cell phones and just be present in the moment. When some people didn't comply, he asked the rest of the audience to clap until they put them away.