The Lumineers at Red Rocks Amphitheatre day one, 9-14-13 (photos, review)By Colleen Smith | September 16th, 2013 | No Comments »
Deadly floods flashing across Colorado didnâ€™t stop most fans from trekking to the high ground of Red Rocks Amphitheatre for the Lumineers‘ first of two sold out concerts on Saturday. The opposite of indifference is love, the Lumineersâ€™ single â€śStubborn Loveâ€ť proclaims. And an enthusiastic audience gave big love for the hometown act that’s putting the Denver music scene on the map. A jubilant crowd sang, dance, clapped and stomped feet to the groupâ€™s catchy melodies.
The Lumineers performed most songs on their self-titled, Grammy-nominated debut album. The band is fresh, but also a rooted throwback, as their apparel suggested. Founders Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites doffed antique habadashery. Fraitesâ€™ trademark suspenders are even screened on Lumineersâ€™ T-shirts.
The Lumineersâ€™ big parade marched to the beat of different drums, filling the stage with tom-toms, high-hats, snare and bass drums, along with the jangle of tambourines and the tinkling of a tiny toy piano.
But the achy aspect of their emotion-laden songs owes to the heartstrings of cellist Neyla Pekarek. Recruited through a Craigâ€™s List ad, she added strong female vocals and a classy dose of estrogen. She wore a color-blocked dress and fashionable red heels for the Red Rocks show — a contrast to the work boots and bare feet of her male counterparts.
The Lumineersâ€™ hand-wrought sound is authentically human, and so is the band’s spirit. The Lumineers passed containers to collect donations for Colorado flood victims. The concert also included beautifully fluid American Sign Language accompaniment — an inclusive, dance-like element.
The show opened with another Denver band, Paper Bird, followed by Family of the Year out of Los Angeles. Langhorne Slim and the Law threw down a rousing set, and the Lumineers invited the band back on stage to cover â€śAmerican Music.â€ť
Colleen Smith is a longtime contributor to The Denver Post and the author of the acclaimed novel â€śGlass Haloâ€ť and â€śLaid-Back Skierâ€ť by Friday Jones Publishing.
Lisa Higginbotham is a Denver photographer and a regular contributor to Reverb.