When summer seems so far away and the cozy thought of sweaters in winter is distant, The Lumineers swooped in and saved us with their loving musical embrace for two nights at Harlow’s in Sacramento on Oct. 9 and 10. For the night, we were all transported to a country barn with good friends and beautiful earnest music made out of feelings.
The Lumineers are one of the growing bands in the “roots revival” movement giving music listeners a refreshing change. The style is smartly written, inviting, simple musical genius. Like their brothers in genre Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, their music is made for clapping, stomping and singing.
The band poured out the spaces behind varying instruments and filled the stage. They arrived dressed modestly in simple clothes and they would look just fine traveling via horse and buggy. They did, however, break the cardinal rule: there were not one, but two fedoras in the group. Like the gentlemen they were, though, they removed them frequently when speaking with heavy sentiments and covered their hearts.
The cellist, Neyla Pekarek, looked like a beautifully grown-up version of Arya Stark from “Game of Thrones.” I do not doubt her ability to slay anyone with her bow. As far as emoting went, this woman won. Every song she delivered with such a sincere smile and soft eyes, as if she truly was battling her to control her feelings of love for us.
Another lookalike was the energetic drummer who took the audience captive with every instrument change; his real name is Jeremiah Fraites, but I dubbed him Woody Harrelson II in my notes. He was the director for audience interaction and he did it with the flair only a deliriously happy musician could muster.
The clapping: I’ve never heard a more motivated and rhythmically intelligent duet between artist and audience – clapping smartly and responding during every call back song.
As they burrowed deeper into our hearts, they revealed to us their plan for the encore and it was a doozy. Arranged in a circle in the middle of their fans, they stood on chairs facing out. The band brought out a guitar, an accordion and a teal child’s xylophone. Then and there, they sang us sweetly out with “Darlene,” an A capella song. “I see you/ Standing there/ In your favorite dress/ I like what you wear.” We see you too, Lumineers, and you all looked quite dapper.