Quirky might be the first word that comes to mind after The Lumineers’ performance last Thursday at the Santa Barbara Bowl. The band brought in a crowd of all ages to their sold-out show, creating a scene that looked a lot like hipster heaven.
The evening started off with Denver’s Nathaniel Rateliff, who welcomed in the crowd with his soulful R&B sound. His set was followed by six-piece indie rock band Dr. Dog, which revved up the crowd with fan favorites like “That Old Black Hole” and “Lonesome.” At points, the crowd got so into it that one couldn’t help but wonder which of the night’s acts had drawn the larger crowd.
Not long after, The Lumineers took the stage to show their stuff. Frontman Wesley Schultz began the show strumming on his banjo — and wearing his signature brown fedora — for the tune “Classy Girls.” Behind him hung a stage set filled with oversized chandeliers, which added a nice ambiance to the crisp evening.
The trio played a variety of songs from their 2012 self-titled debut, as well as a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” They sprinkled in new tunes, too, including a cutesy duet with cellist Neyla Pekarek titled “Falling In Love.” Still, it wasn’t ’til the opening chords of hit single “Ho Hey” that fans stood from their seats. Disappointingly, the band didn’t rework the track from its recorded counterpart; even Schultz’s “last one!” line was mimed in perfect time. Later, the band made their way out to the middle landing of the Bowl to play a few numbers, which left non-pit audience members elated. But at more than a few points during Thursday’s performance things started to feel scripted. (See the mid-song stop and mini-piano accompaniment on “Morning Song.”) Granted, The Lumineers are still a fairly new band, and what they lacked in spontaneity they made up for with charm, spunk, and energy.