The Lumineers at X-Tra Zurich

You keep hearing songs by The Lumineers on the radio and only good things about the band. Now, about 3 years later, the band returned with their second album “Cleopatra” to Zurich and thanks to Mainland Music I could be part of it. I know now, why people kept raving about them so much – absolutely justified!

The Lumineers are front guy Wesley Schultz, Neyla Pekarek and Jeremiah Fraites, a folk trio from Denver, who’s touring with three additional musicians. Byron Isaacs, Stelth Ulvang and the third one I unfortunately can’t remember the name of. Their breakthrough they had in 2012 with their debut album “The Lumineers” and esp. their Hit “Ho hey” probably everyone knows.

Shortly before 8 pm the support act entered the stage of X-Tra. Afie Jurvanen from Toronto, Canada performed known as Bahamas with his band a 30 min set. Their music also goes direction folk. Until the end of the performance they never introduced themselves properly, or we missed it.img_5791 I doubt though anyway, that it would have been much of the audiences interest. No clue what is or was wrong with the band. Are they so wiped out from touring? The background singer is only purring something, my friend said, and the bass player looked like he’s about to fall asleep. I probably never seen before such an inertial and joyless looking band. Judging from the chatter of the audience, that kept becoming louder, we believe others thought the same. It was a rather irritating performance.

The more incredible were The Lumineers. Their music, their songs are live even more lively, more energetic and just wonderful. It was a 300% gain compared to the support. If not even more. Okay, partly it was quite shattering, when front guy Wesley was telling, where the inspiration for the lyrics came from: “Charlie Boy” he had written for his brother, that never returned from war. “Gun Song” he wrote after he had found a gun between his father’s socks, he never knew about. As known, gun control is a controversial topic in USA. And for his from cancer passed away father he wrote “Long way from home”.

They started the concert with “Sleep On The Floor”. They recently have published  a video for, what is connected to the previous released ones of “Cleopatra” and “Angela”. Go and have a look at them. And there followed hit by hit: second title was already the known “Ophelia”, fourth “Ho hey”. Wesley told about it, that many couples use it for their weddings, even though it’s actually a song about splitting up. For the song the whole band was standing at the edge of the stage with accoustic guitare and mandoline. Before they started the song,Weasly asked the audience to film the song for his sake, but to put all the phones away after. It even worked pretty well. They sounded so incredibly nice and super harmonic, with the audience as their choir.

The single members kept swapping instruments between each other all the time – piano, guitares, mandoline, contrabass, basedrum or just a simple tambourine. Neya Pekarek, the only woman in the group, was also the only one just sticking to her cello, at most put it away to stand at the edge of the stage. All the others kept changing instruments. Even drummer Jeremiah suddendly sat at the piano. Songs like ” Cleopatra”, ” Classy Girls”, ” Slow it down” or ” Submarines” followed. At times it was quite, then wilder again. Once Wesley was balancing over the iron bars in front of the stage and jumped into the audience, wandering through the people to climb back on stage again next to us.  At some point Stelth was even standing on top of the piano or walked with his guitare over the bars to go firing up the audience. They knew how to thrill.

Towarrds the end of the concert they turned it up once more with “Big Parade”. It started quitely and ended with a huge, white confetti rain, that totally covered the whole floor (It’s probably going to end like with  Coldplay – I’ll keep finding confetti for days in my appartement.  hehe). Besides we were standing way too close to the  confetti canons and and were about to coke of the paper pieces. Standing there with closed eyes, impact lips,  letting us sprinkel… but it was huge fun. Eek, it was snowing.

The Lumineers played three encores, among them the audience seemed esp. to know “Stubborn Love” very well. It was great to see how a big part of the audience came out of themselves. The Swiss know how to do it after all and The Lumineers got it out of them. And the concert ended even before I had to leave. Just great! As a setlist collector I though almost got a heart attack during their goodbyes, when they scrunched them up to catapult them into the audience. Well, fair, not only the front gets them. But the beautiful setlists…

On 3rd July 2017 the band will play an additional concert at Volkshaus Zurich. I recommend to go.  You should have seen The Lumineers at least once in a lifetime.

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