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Friday, December 17

The Lumineers - The Top Hat – Missoula, MT - December 15th, 2010 - Review

The Lumineers
The Top Hat – Missoula, MT
December 15th, 2010

Words: Samuel Martin
Photo: Pekarek and Schultz (Denver -July Show)

The Lumineers from Denver, Colorado came into Missoula on the 15th for what would be the second to last show on a substantial West Coast/ Northwest Tour. It's great to stumble upon a brilliant new band that makes intricate and unique music, and in this case The Lumineers' recorded music translates amazingly in the live setting.

Consisting of Wesley Keith Schultz on Lead Vocals, Guitar and Piano, Jeremiah Fraites playing Drums as well as Piano, Neyla Pekarek on both Cello, Piano and Maxwell Hughes Wesley switching it up between Mandolin and Guitar they diversified the balance of the show by moving between their respective different instruments.

The first thing one will notice is the unique almost Paul Simon-esq voice of Schultz who took center stage and from the first notes to the last he captivated a rather full venue, filled with dancing and cheering fans. Playing songs off of their first and only album that was self-produced and recorded in what they call a mobile recording studio their songs while more subdued and mellow on the album come across very upbeat and danceable in the live setting. The improvisation of Hughes on the mandolin was ear catching and supplemented the piano and cello craftsmanship of Pekarek. Having a cello player in this band made for some very rare sounds and added a richness to the music that otherwise would be lacking.

The band went through a very well balanced and defined list of songs, Hughes with a great big smile on his face throughout while Fraites drumming was the pounding rhythm that kept the tempo and momentum in full swing as the show went on. Everyone got a turn to showcase their talent, and who doesn't like a rockin' drum solo?

Their interaction with the crowd was what won over most audience members as they have a very “nice guy”, and friendly approach to performing. Genuinely nice and talented musicians, who love what they do. They not only played their own songs but covered a couple of famous Bob's - Dylan, and Seager. Their rendition of “Subterranean Homesick Blues” was spectacular and well sung by Schultz. Later playing “Old Time Rock N Roll” really showed the diversity and range this band has.

Their second set was on fire as well, with even more crowd interaction as the band came down into the dance floor playing percussive instruments and dancing in a parade line through the masses. Another special treat that was knocked out of the park was a cover of “Psycho Killer” by the Talking Heads. As the show came to an end they asked if the crowd wanted one more and to many cheers went back to the Talking Heads for “This Must Be The Place”, a very layered and powerful version of one of the more complex Heads songs. It was an awesome song to go out on and all together one of the better live shows witnessed by me in some time.

Working on a second album and with two members of the band originally from New Jersey they will head back East in March for a residential stay at The Living Room in NYC. Listening to their songs from the album is one thing, and I would recommend “Flowers In Your Hair” if you haven't yet heard it, but even more importantly if you get a chance go see this hard working and rockin' folk band live. You wont be disappointed.