The Lumineers, Live Session # 103

by oz on June 11, 2012

The Lumineers session at last. In my review of their debut album, I made the following comment:

Music was a catharsis to Wes and Jer after losing a loved one, but the album and every one of their performances feels like a celebration – often in spite of the lyrics. The Lumineers are a reminder that even when love or a loved one is lost, or if we’re hopeless or filled with regret, it’s always great to be alive. And life is worth celebrating.

It’s often difficult to gain a true appreciation for a band until seeing them perform live. I had the chance to see them with fresh legs at our party at SxSW, just as they kicked their tour into full gear, and then again in Kansas City – their last stop on tour. They took the stage that night in KC through an alley door straight out of their van. The band looked road weary to say the least. Lead singer Wesley Schulz stretched his arms across his body like he was warming up for a ballgame. Neyla Pekarek took a few long, deep breaths. Jeremiah Fraites strolled in with his hat and suspenders, smiling like always but with tired eyes. They looked like a band in recovery after being shot out of a cannon – and for good reason.

As I waited for their set to begin in this sold out room, I asked the woman next to me how she heard about the band. Her response: “I heard them on Alice 102.1” My response: “As in FM radio?” Indeed. The Lumineers have a hit song (Ho Hey) on mainstream radio. It was their first time ever playing in KC (not an easy indie music market) and they sold out the room. They’ve made it.

I turned to the stage and saw the band all shake hands with one another and with the first note, all the tired eyes were washed away in smiles and melodies. They played their brand of folk-rock with the same enthusiasm, smiles and sincerity that catches like contagion and turns the casual or curious fans into die hards.

If you haven’t had the experience yet, hopefully this session gives you a sense for the magic that is The Lumineers. If you don’t own the album yet, hopefully you’re inspired to pick up one of the best albums of the year. Truly an honor to have this band in for a session at Shirk Music + Sound in Chicago and a big thanks to Yuriy Chernin and Steve Shirk for the incredible videography and sweet sounds. Hope y’all enjoy.

The Lumineers Band Introduction

Exclusive: The Lumineers – Big Parade [Video: YouTube | Vimeo]

Exclusive: The Lumineers – Submarines [Video: YouTube | Vimeo]

Exclusive: The Lumineers – Slow It Down [Video: YouTube | Vimeo]

Download The Lumineers Live Session as a zip file.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary June 11, 2012 at 8:35 pm

Yep – one of my favorites this year.

Woody June 11, 2012 at 9:01 pm

That day was like a musical nirvana. I left that session and drove home. I then turned around and took the train to Cold One City to catch Trampled By Turtles @ The Metro. Finished it up with a gyro platter at Wrigleyville Dogs.

A little side note – Wesley was wearing a Springsteen for President t-shirt during the session.

J Drew June 12, 2012 at 2:28 am

Such HONEST music. The only fear I had when Mumford and Sons blew up was that it was going to be a short lived folk revival but if true music like this continues to pour out then this will not just be a glimmer on music radar. You guys have something special here.

(Beautifully recorded too by the way – Cheers)

Scott June 14, 2012 at 12:18 am

First saw Lumineers at your SXSW show. Thanks for helping me find this band.

They played a sold-out Antones recently and the crowd was so into them. Lumineers commented that this was more people than saw them combined at their 7 SXSW shows.

Chris June 14, 2012 at 11:04 pm

Great set Shirk! This band is terrific.

Ben Foster June 15, 2012 at 11:24 pm

since you posted this on FB 48 hours ago, i’ve listened to it many times. I haven’t had this great of an experience with a song in a long time. many thanks.

Suzy June 18, 2012 at 2:12 am

Love, love this band so fresh and alive!

Nathan February 16, 2013 at 1:50 am

Great addition to my library, I love the lumineers. Especially these recordings, I find them more so appealing over the album versions.

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