LINCOLN — Rain and thunder couldn't stop The Lumineers from ho'ing and hey'ing to several thousand at the Pershing Center on Thursday night.
As it stormed outside, more than 6,000 fans sang with the Denver quintet's tunes such as “Ho Hey” and “Flowers in Your Hair” — songs so catchy that you'll never stop them from ringing in your ears.
Rain forced the move of the concert from the scenic Pinewood Bowl to the aging Pershing, but it also meant the previously sold-out show could pack in at least another thousand fans.
In its performance, the band juxtaposed simple, stripped-down tunes such as “Slow It Down” with big, filled-out folk tunes such as “Big Parade” that sounded like a living room party where everyone picked up an instrument and added to the sweet cacophony.
Wesley Schultz's voice soars above the mandolin melodies and strong drumming from Jeremiah Fraites, who adds a boot-stomping beat to even the slowest songs. And cellist/vocalist Neyla Pekarek created a quiet yearning with her cello melodies that fit like a puzzle piece with lines such as “keep your head up” in the song “Stubborn Love.”
In addition to the 11 songs from its debut album, the band played “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” Bob Dylan's 1965 single. They also included a new song, which the band refers to as “The Duet.” Schultz and Pekarek shared vocal duties in a song destined to be the first single on their next album .
Pekarek's voice was a surprise. It carried the song and its strength almost blew out Schultz. Unfortunately, she's usually relegated to backup duties.
Opener J. Roddy Walston & The Business injected some Southern rock energy into the show's early stages.
A groove-ridden, rhythm-heavy indie rock set by Cold War Kids further excited fans.
Even in the large venue, The Lumineers played a show reminiscent of an intimate performance of a band in a park gazebo. Things got even more intimate when the five-piece outfit marched into the audience and performed “Darlene” and “Gun Song.”
After a short break, the band returned for an encore of the quiet “Morning Song,” which was followed by the boisterous “Big Parade,” which had most of the arena clapping to the beat. Some in the mostly full arena also busted into dance during the song, which the band played extra fast.
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