Words by Amantha Dikin
It all started months ago, refreshing the screen. Eagerly waiting. Patiently waiting. Waiting for the little words ‘Purchase Tickets Now’ to pop up. I had revered the Lumineers for years, and to think they were finally coming to my city! The Lumineers are one of the unlikeliest success stories of the past few years. A scruffy independent Americana trio out of Denver, the Lumineers’ cellist joined the band after responding to a Craigslist ad. Their catchy anthem “Ho Hey” took the world by storm in 2012, followed by a second #1 single “Stubborn Love” and their third charting single “Submarines” lifting them to immediate and unprecedented stardom. Their much anticipated sophomore album, Cleopatra, was released earlier this year. Flash forward to September and I am in the middle of my first month back in school. It’s about the time where tests and due dates are coming up; It’s ugly. There are a lot of all-nighters. I am running on coffee and naps alone. It is easy to get caught up in the hectic day-to-day drudge, but knowing I had the Lumineers show to look forward to was getting me through that week.
Once I arrived at the venue, I knew it was going to be a special night. The Lumineers have such a raw, passionate sound so how could it not be as moving as their studio albums? Bands like the Lumineers usually don’t fill up amphitheaters like Austin360, so it was really something special to be with 13,000 other people to hear magic happen. To make the venue feel more intimate, the lead singer, Wesley Schultz, did something I have never seen in a live show. To make those on the lawn feel special, Wesley and his two other main band mates, Jeremiah Fraites (drums, piano) and Neyla Pekarek (cellist and backing vocalist), walked through the general admission pit, up the stadium seats and sat on the lawn to perform two acoustic songs to everyone in the back. While I was front row in the General Admission pit, I know that everyone on the lawn felt just as special as I felt in the front which in turn made me even happier.
The whole band took it upon themselves to perform for us. While there was no elaborate light show or backup dancers, the performance was special nonetheless. With almost each song, Wesley added small anecdotes about what went into writing the song or what he feels when he sings it. It felt like the performance as a whole was between the band and I. I felt drawn to the band’s presence on stage, looking at each band member and how they looked and played as if they were one being. After the five-song encore, the whole band came together for a group hug and kissed each other on the check. They then went around and shook each other’s hands. It was humbling to be in the presence of such careful, beautiful artists who not only respected each other but respected us as an audience.