The Lumineers Wowed crowd of 13 000 in South Africa.
by Louw Mulder
When you are attending a Big Concerts production, you can be sure to have a very entertaining experience, no matter who or what you see. This was just yet again the case on Friday night when I got to see The Lumineers live during their second visit to the RSA.
A night full of surprises started as early as the opening band came on stage. A band, unfamiliar to myself came on, and exceeded all expectations I could have for an opening act. Founded in 2015, three youngsters that call themselves Opposite the Other, rocked out, and I was consumed by the massive volumes of energy they beamed out.
Opposite the Other played tracks from their previous album, as well as songs from their new album to be released soon. Their alternative pop music is easy to listen to, and even easier to get stuck in your head. I have to mention their drummer, Rob Spooner. Not only is he one amazing drum player, but to watch him play, is an absolute treat itself. I am sure that these guys will still make a huge name for themselves.
Built on the mood set by these youngsters, the audience was more than ready for The Lumineers to take the spotlight. And so they did. With huge applause, a typical South African roar, the Indie pop, folk rock sounds, unique to The Lumineers, filled the whole of the Ticket-Pro Dome to start the 90 minutes of their set.
The stage was spectacular, and the size thereof majestically consumed each member of the crowd with every song sung. With each shade of different colours of lights, the mood changed accordingly, and added so much more feeling to the experience of each song. The sound was powerful; to feel each beat as it was played, yet equalised just right to hear the music behind each song.
Wesley Schultz, Neyla Pekarek and Jeremiah Fraites, displayed every skill and talent they have to bring their music to the live stage, and did so justifiably. This was further justified by a crowd of about 13 000 fans singing along to almost every song. Schultz bragged about his talent with the guitar, Pakarek elegantly behind the cello, and Fraites with the drums and percussion. Surpsingly during their concert, they switched instruments, just to add variety. Yes, Fraites and Schultz are just as gifted behind the piano.
They performed the songs on their latest album, Cleopatra, the second studio album after their first released in 2012, called The Lumineers. The album already received raving reviews all over the world, debuting at number one on the UK Album Chart, and the Billboard 200. Songs included Ophelia, Cleopatra, My Eyes, from the new album, but also older songs from their previous album, like the one Schultz said put them on the map, Ho Hey.
With a show of this magnitude, it is easy for the event to be a little impersonal, with a somewhat coldish atmosphere. This was certainly not the case during this concert of The Lumineers. The main man, Wesley Schultz, had the audience’s attention with every tale he told, and with everything he said in between songs. They came across as real people, genuine musicians, who are making music for the sole purpose of making music.
In his words from off the stage, Schultz said that South Africa is one of their favourite places to perform. He also mentioned that they are used to playing in small intimate venues, and not a full crowd like at the Dome that night. It was then when they surprised the whole crowd by moving to a small, intimate little stage that was ready for them in the middle of the Dome, surrounded by their fans. With a piano, guitars and percussion, they managed to soulfully create that intimate feeling, out of which their genre of music was born.
It was a magical night, with good music, a nice crowd, and a Big Concerts experience to go up very close to top off the list. Next up for Big Concerts, is Justin Bieber in May, Lady Antebellum in October, as well as the Theatrical return of Lord of the Dance, in August.