NEW YORK CITY — The Lumineers are at that enviable career point where nearly every show is selling out. And so it made sense that the Denver indie folk act was playing two very sold-out nights at Terminal 5, a popular midtown Manhattan club, last weekend.
The show mostly echoed the group’s recent live work, from its New Year’s Eve shows at Denver’s Ogden Theatre to its two-song stint on “Saturday Night Live” last month. But something was different about seeing the Lumineers — whose eponymous full-length release is quickly approaching platinum status with 901,339 copies sold — in New York, a city the band once called home.
By now you’ve heard the song that made this three-piece famous, “Ho Hey,” with its infectious energy and jaunty melody. And last weekend in New York, the band’s confidence communicated to its fans: “We’re not going anywhere.”
“I think they’re going to win that Grammy,” I heard somebody share over the crowd’s murmur. And it was hard not to agree with her.
The Lumineers are nominated for two Grammy Awards on Sunday, and while it’s impossible to say now they’ll win or they won’t, there are strong indicators pointing toward them going home with a trophy on Sunday.
The road to a Grammy can go any number of directions, but the Lumineers have shown they’re going their own way.
Here is one band’s timeline to a Grammy:
October 2009: New Jersey natives Wes Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites move to Denver after striking out in Brooklyn. After being mostly ignored on the East Coast, the two lifelong friends came to Colorado, where they found a bandmate (multi-instrumentalist Neyla Pekarek) and a supportive community of musicians. “Ho Hey” eventually helped the band get the attention of an entire team of people, including management and a label, which led to …
April 3, 2012: “The Lumineers” was released by little-known imprint Dualtone Music Group, but the buzz had already started. More industry folks had heard “Ho Hey,” and it was enough to garner the band a few complimentary mentions in multiple major outlets after its South by Southwest showcases. Airplay was also picking up, which led to …
May 7, 2012: As late-night host Conan O’Brien introduced the Lumineers on his show, he shouted out to an oddly familiar landmark on Colorado’s East Colfax Avenue: “On Friday and Saturday nights, they’ll be appearing at the Bluebird Theatre in Denver, Colorado. Please welcome, the Lumineers!” This was happening. The Lumineers were on Bing commercials and radio and late-night television and, perhaps most telling, your mom’s Spotify playlists. Which brought them to …