LIVE REVIEW: Sleepwalkers / SOAK / The Lumineers
Photos: Jorden Durkee
On Friday the 10th, hundreds, if not thousands, of people and I crammed ourselves in front of the Kansas City Live Block stage to see one of Denver’s finest musical exports: The Lumineers. I’ve been a fan since the release of their self titled debut album back in 2012. And after four long years I was lucky enough to have a front row seat to one of the most emotional and unifying shows I’ve ever been to.
With support from indie folk rockers Sleepwalkers and lo-fi indie artist from Ireland, Soak., they really helped set the tone for the entire night. “We choose the bands that tour with us. We like them a lot and we hope you do to.”, The Lumineers front man Wesley Schultz states; further solidifying the band’s love and preservation of music. Never listening to Sleepwalkers or Soak prior to the show, it’s obvious The Lumineers chose them as support because both bands had a considerably different sound which made for refreshingly dynamic show.
Sleepwalkers had a very cool blend between folk, indie, rock, and the perfect amount of funk. Imagine Lady Antebellum, Colony House, and The Police having a love child. Ireland artists Bridie Monds-Watson (better known as SOAK) immediately grabbed my attention when she started singing. Her soft but demanding voice over her oceanic, lush guitar playing juxtaposed well with Sleepwalkers hard rock sound. It’s always a really cool experience being able to discover a new artist/band at a live show because there’s no expectations or prejudices. After seeing both of these acts I can confidently say I’m excited to listen to their music here on out.
At this point in the show, I’m losing my sanity from the uncomfortable heat and high number of drunk girls in flower crowns, but as soon as The Lumineers appear on stage, the crowd erupts into cheers. Opening their set with “Sleep On The Floor” from their sophomore album ‘Cleopatra’, followed by their single “Ophelia”, Flowers In Your Hair”, and smash hit “Ho Hey”. One of the most notable things about hearing them live was how they carried the same emotion from both albums into a live setting. When they performed “Classy Girls”, you could hear the hopefulness in Schultz’s voice. In “Where The Skies Are Blue” - the sound of peace. And in their interlude “Patience”, I felt the same wave of joyfulness I experienced the first time I heard the last track on ‘Cleopatra’.
About nine or ten songs in, Schultz tells the crowd how when they first started performing they mostly did house shows and repeatedly commented on how massive the crowd before him was. A lucky chunk of the crowd was fortunate enough to have the band go off stage and perform a few songs to create that same intimacy you would feel at a house show. So many artists and bands alike seem to care more about their image as opposed to the quality and content of their art, and seeing their humbleness and gratitude really showed they care about their craft and making it a memorable experience for their fans.
After the show Friday night, the Denver trio that took the world by storm in 2012 showed me first hand how they haven’t lost their sound or relevancy - from the music, the lyrics, and live show. Their music resonates with me on such a powerful level because each song is a piece of a beautiful story that is still being told. They truly deserve all the success they’ve had and it’s bands like them that will surely stand the test of time.
Written by Cameron Capers