Friday night’s (March 3, 2017) Lumineers show at Lakefront Arena marked their long awaited return to the city. They played back in October of 2014 opening up for Dr. Dog at UNO also. Prior to that, the band had only played two other times in the city. Both shows were in 2012 and coincided with their debut self-titled album; one at them was at the House of Blues and the other, much to my surprise was at the Circle Bar (can’t even wrap my head around that one).
The small nature of the Circle Bar is where the band got the start, playing small house gigs and very interment venues. As a band, playing the big venues is gratifying, but singer Wesley Schultz has been one for sticking to those “Circle Bar” roots. So midway through the set, the bad left the main stage and headed toward the soundboard, where a secondary satellite stage was lifted up into the air. The band played elbow to elbow and didn’t miss a beat. This near breaking the forth wall would only be topped by Schultz leaving the stage and going directly into the crowd. Over the past few years I’ve seen this play out. I think it really is the cure for a technologically savvy and alienated generation.
The band didn’t waste any time banging out their biggest hit, “Ho Hey” third in the set. In some ways it’s a weeding technique and in others is a stress relief for the band. The set was a nice mixture of last year’s Cleopatra as well their debut ST gem.
One thing a big venue can afford a band verses a smaller club is a production. The lights were amazing and rear projection echoed a sense of nostalgia magnified by the giant wall chandeliers. The band could have easily skipped out on the satellite stage, but it to had its own lighting rig.
The main set ended with crowd favorite “Patience.” The encore that followed consisted of three songs, but most notable and one of the band’s trademarks was an amazing cover of Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”
Friday night’s show was the end of another Mardi Gras, and a wonderful way to go out. The show as a whole was amazing and with only two albums under their belt, I was treated to all my favorites. You can see more shots here.