(Guest review by Dani Chavez)
The Lumineers rocked the Greek Theatre for the first of two sold-out shows.
Opening up was Nathaniel Rateliff, a 5-piece indie folk rock group with Nathaniel Rateliff himself as the singer. Their music was mellow and seemed that it would have been better suited under the stars in rural Minnesota than as an opening act.
Next up was Dr. Dog, a band who looks like Grouplove but sounds like Walk the Moon. The voices of bass guitarist Toby Leaman and lead guitarist Scott McMicken awakened the crowd as they switched off every other song as lead singer. Aside from the obnoxious amount of Technicolor strobe lights and one members wearing sunglasses at night, Dr. Dog really brought life to the stage. Leaman and McMicken managed to keep the soul in songs like “Lonesome” and “The Truth” without getting stuck in the pop/rock trap that so many indie bands do.
While it took them two hours to get to the stage and seven minutes of dramatic music to make their entrance, The Lumineers immediately raised the crowd from their seats as they opened with “Submarines.” Lead singer Wesley Schultz made his way from a piano on the side to the center with his guitar as they covered Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues.”
A quarter into the show Schultz took to the microphone and had a little announcement for the crowd.
“We’re not used to playing places this big so we’re going to try and make it feel a little smaller and come out to you guys,” he said. Within seconds the band, drummer/percussionist Jeremiah Fraites and cello/vocalist Neyla Pekarek, picked up their instruments and made their way through the crowd, settling in a corner stage right in section B for the next two songs.
The Lumineers performed two new songs, one in which Pekarek and Shultz share an adorable duet, and closed with “Big Parade.” Their set was a perfect time of an hour and 45: enough time to get your folk on but not fall asleep to the soothing rhythms of “Slow it Down” and “Morning Song.”
Their sound was on point, they kept the crowd standing and they managed to pull off the overalls and fedora look. Would they do well in a Staples Center where the crowd is 23,000 people and the venue is a basketball arena? Probably not. But bands like The Lumineers are perfect for outside venues and are what the Greek Theatre was made for: good music and laidback nights.
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