Live Reviews

The Lumineers – Live at O2, London ***** – Review

The Lumineers rocked the O2 and thrilled the audience with their brand of anthemic Americana rock.

“Our first gig in London was at the Hoxton Bar and Grill playing to 200 people and now we’re playing the O2” enthused lead singer Wesley Schultz. Several times he thanked the crowd for coming and seemed humbled to be playing the venue.

Sleep On The Floor opened, followed by Life In The City from the band’s new album III which the band is touring to promote. The 90-minute set contained nine tracks from the album. III is a hard hitting and emotionally supercharged record, superbly produced by Simone Felice.

The Lumineers live are full of energy. Singer Wesley Schultz has a raw passion and great delivery. Many of the songs feature drums and percussion, with bassist Byron Isaacs creating a heavy beat underpinning Schultz’ vocals.

Several of the band members swapped instruments at will during the set. Drummer (and main co-writer with Schultz) Jerimiah Fraites also played guitar and piano. Lauren Jacobson played violin and piano. The barefoot, livewire pianist Stelth Ulvang played guitar, went walkabout halfway down the O2 arena and danced on the top of the upright piano before jumping off it.

At one point in the show the whole band stopped mid track, playing musical statues for at least thirty seconds, a novel and effective technique only to be attempted by an outfit with supreme confidence.

Their mega cross-over hit Hey Ho got an outing mid-set with the five core band members strung in a line across the O2 stage.

This show must hold the record for the most songs played with titles of girls’ names. Six. Angela; the piano heavy Donna; the hauntingly beautiful April; Cleopatra; Ophelia; Gloria.

Two tracks of particular note were My Cell with awesome vocals by Schultz and, as he describes it, the badass Jimmy Sparks. Awesome.

The second of four encore songs, Democracy, featured the Webb Sisters. The band reluctantly left the stage after overrunning the scheduled finish time by 20 minutes, ending with Stubborn Love.

Powerful songs, powerfully performed, with passion, skill and energy. A great live band.

 

Words: Chaz Brooks

Live photo: Ella Brooks

Categories: Live Reviews

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