At this point in my life I have seen thousands of bands, ranging from the biggest in the world to new bands, and I’ve never seen a group of performers happier to be on a stage playing then The Lumineers. From the opening note at Space in Evanston, the sold out crowd didn’t stop dancing, clapping, hootin and hollering until the very end. The crowd was a pretty even mix of men and women. At first, I thought it was date night, but as I looked around during “Submarines” and was surprised to see just as many men singing along to every word. Listening to Wesley Schultz belt out emotion-packed lyrics, while Jeremiah Fraites encourages the crowd to sing along, and Neyla Pakarek sport a huge grin as she plays the cello makes this group one of the best bands to watch and listen to live.
Having recently released their self-titled debut LP, I was excited to hear many of those tracks in person. The group got the crowd going by playing their most popular song, “Ho Hey,” early in the set and kept the audience’s attention after that. The band proclaimed mid-set that that Evanston was the most responsive crowd to date and during most songs, the crowd was almost louder than the music.
The Lumineers are a band that plays to the crowd’s energy, which enhances the concert-going experience. With this particular crowd adding exponentially to the night, the overall result was as close as I have been to a religious experience. I’ve always felt that an important aspect that draws people to live shows is the ability to connect with complete strangers over a simple song. Encouraging the audience to sing and dance as one is something this band does better than any I’ve seen in a long time. While this ability is surely a large factor in drawing in the crowd Wesley’s soulful vocals in “Slow it Down” truly highlight this band’s talent.
After the show, the band made their way through the crowd to exit, however, the crowd remained on the floor screaming for an encore, and that is just we got. Playing “Charlie Boy” and “Flapper Girl” off the album was a great way to close out the night.
The band has many upcoming headlining dates across the U.S. as well as being placed on several festival bills. Make sure to get your tickets as soon as you can since dates are selling out left and right. This is my must see band of the year so far. Get your dancing shoes ready and enjoy a night that you will surely leave with a smile on your face.
All Photos (c) Daniela Montelongo
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