The Lumineers are a band which over the last six months have exploded into the mainstream of UK music. Their song Hey Ho has, alone gained over forty million youtube views, largely due to its use in the EON tv advert as well as in the trailer for Silver Linings Playbook. This attention made their tour a sell out. On a cold February night in Manchester The Lumineers played to a sold out Academy 1, the venue was moved from a previous one due to demand. The support act for the night were also an American band, a four piece, named Langhorne Slim.
The Lumineers came on stage promptly at 9:15, accompanied by the music of Fleetwood Mac. By this time the academy was crammed full of people, the crowd was a peculiar mix. A crowd predominantly made up of people aged 25 and upwards, it was perhaps a sign towards the bands crowd-pleasing sound. The band opened with Charlie Boys a song that created an instant reaction with the packed venue reacting positively to the song. They followed this with a cover of a song from a friend of theirs band, a jazz influenced song that received a good response. After this the band announced they were to bring the music to the audience, and they really did this by exiting the stage and entering the crowd, walking through towards the sound desk. When there they proceeded to perform an acoustic, sing along version of Hey Ho, everyone knew the words and duly accepted the offer of and joined in. The chorus was interrupted for us as a fight broke out leading to a man in his 40’s being physically removed by security, a stark contrast to the friendly nature to Hey Ho. The band returned to the stage to rapturous applause and proceeded with a cover of Subterranean Homesick Blues by Dylan, a song that unfortunately didn’t provoke a great reaction from the crowd, a shame as the vocals of Schultz were fantastic. The band then played the popular Go Slow, with all members of the band swapping instruments, reminding the audience that they are talented all round musicians. This was followed by Submarine and the Stubborn Love, by this time the audience which included a majority of couples were embraced, singing along to the lyrics with an amazing level of dedication considering that less than a year ago the band were relatively unknown. Hey Ho was repeated “in case you didn’t hear it properly last time” which again led to every member of the crowd clapping and singing along. By this point it was 10:15 and the audience was at a high point. Strangely the Lumineers chose to follow this with two slower songs, not really using the atmosphere to its full advantage. The band exited the stage at around half ten to unanimous applause and cheering, whilst gone there was chanting, with the crowd really wanting them to return. Return they did to a somewhat inevitable encore, however by this stage they had exhausted their album and played a b-side track named Manchester, finishing their set they reintroduced the support act and finished with what could be described as a barn dance style final song.
In summary The Lumineers live were really, very good. They have a relationship on stage, which is tight, their musical ability is un-doubtable, switching between their instruments showed this. However, the hour and a half set time appeared too long for a band that only has one album and the order of songs didn’t seem very well thought out. Yet, it is inevitable that through more touring and playing to large crowds they will polish their set, and with the passionate following they already have they are bound to be a success in festivals and future tours.
Words: Adam Gardiner