Review Date: November 24 2019
Location: Manchester Arena, Manchester
On Sunday November 24 2019, I finally had the chance to watch my favourite band live in concert, The Lumineers at Manchester Arena. The day had been marked on my calendar for months, and to say I was excited is an understatement.
Californian folk band The Lumineers gained fame back in 2012 upon the release of their hit single Ho Hey. This song topped charts all around the world, and for good reason. Since then, they have released two more stunning albums that are guaranteed to pull on the heart strings.
Their most recent album lll, released in September 2019, is arguably their most insightful and powerful one yet, focusing mainly on the theme of alcoholism and how that impacts families, something the band members themselves have been deeply affected by.
The band are currently on tour with lll, selling out venues across the UK, and so I was lucky enough to see them myself at Manchester Arena. I remember standing, looking up at the stage, anticipation coursing through my body. I could hardly wait. This moment had been on my bucket list since 2012 upon the release of their first album, which was self-titled The Lumineers. The time had finally come. The lights went dim. The crowd went silent. Then, the band walked out one-by-one. The crowd erupted like a volcano as they began to play Sleep On The Floor, an upbeat song from their second album Cleopatra. The atmosphere was electric. I, along with the crowd, sang along to every word.
One thing I did question before going to see the show was how they were going to balance it. All of their albums have a good mixture of slow, emotional songs and Speedy folk songs. I wondered how they were going to change from one to another without ruining the tone and confusing the audience. However, my worries didn’t matter as they managed to overcome this in an interesting yet impactful way. Wesley Schultz, the frontman, talked to the audience about the story behind the song that they were about to play, setting the right tone and preparing the crowd.
I was also concerned, before going in, about the dark subject matter of the album. I was unsure as to how this would affect the audience. Would it lower the tone? Would it create a dark, sad atmosphere? Then I realised, as they played the songs, that it didn’t matter. The audience were there to watch a band they love, just like I was. Nothing could lower the tone.
It is rare that I go to a concert and know every word to every song. Yet that is what happened. I even lost my voice through singing so loudly! The band played all of my favourite songs. They played them beautifully, in time and in tune. Each band member is a multi-instrumentalist; they are the most talented people I have ever seen perform live. Each of them would switch from guitar to keyboard, and even to drums or banjo! It really was a spectacle to behold. The lighting, stage design and alternative appearance of the band added to the overall effect. It was overwhelming in the best way!
All in all, The Lumineers exceeded my expectations, and it was an experience I will never forget. I recommend that everyone listens to the albums and, if the chance arises, to watch them live!
Overall Rating: 10/10 – Perfect