Friday, Oct. 4 was the pinnacle of my young life. In other words, the long-awaited date of the greatest concert known to man: The Lumineers.
Rising to prominence with their breakthrough hit “Ho Hey” after it was used in the CW Network’s show “Hart of Dixie,” the band began to garner national attention. The song, followed by their debut album “The Lumineers,” rose to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2012. Later, “Stubborn Love” rose in popularity as well, topping the Alternative Billboard Charts. Since then, The Lumineers have toured the world, performing shows in Japan, Australia and Germany, among others.
For months, I have listened to every song, clinging to each and every word with an admiration only brought on by the thrill of a band like the Lumineers. Their easy, playful lyrics have been on repeat in my car for over a year, after I first discovered the group in summer of 2011. Since then, I have searched for a chance to hear them live, in vain until now. This weekend, travelling to St. Louis, I got the chance of a lifetime: to listen live to one of folk’s brightest bands.
Arriving at 6:30 that afternoon, my friends and I were forced to wait for about three more hours while opening acts (Nathaniel Rateliff and Dr. Dog) performed. While both were top notch, Dr. Dog definitely prevailed as the better of the two with a worn and heartfelt sound. Finishing out with their hit “Heart it Races,” the band was a success with the crowd and definitely lived up to their recorded sound.
Finally, in the moment we had all waited for, The Lumineers took the stage in a spirited rendition of “Submarines.” Joining the original three, Stelth Ulvang and Ben Wahamaki added to the concert with piano and bass solos, among others.
In a combination of old and new pieces, the group pulled in the crowd’s participation with songs like “Stubborn Love.” Throughout the concert, I was blown away by how smooth and precise each and every word was. Wesley Keith Schultz, who sings lead vocals, effortlessly crooned each tune, perfectly mirroring the album (if not better). The band’s excitement was contagious, and it was easy to see the group’s delight in performing.
About midway through the concert, the band travelled under the floor to a stage in the middle of the the crowd. This transition brought an intimate feel to the stadium-style performance. Within touching distance, the band strummed along, unaffected by the thousands of screaming fans. If that’s not talent, I don’t know what is.
Overall, The Lumineers not only lived up to but surpassed every expectation I had going into the concert. Their witty songs mix folk and the theatrical, a characteristic completely unique to the group. Leaving on “Stubborn Love,” I couldn’t help but feel a little elated. The eclectic sound reverberated off the walls as the band danced around on stage. In the crowd, the music echoed off everyone’s lips. It had been a good night.
By Ashleigh Atasoy