THE LUMINEERS fall into the lump of bands that critics are bound together in hating. They are essentially just another building block of the tower headed by Mumford & Sons. But why exactly has this kind of music started to be considered as a sort of guilty pleasure? When did admitting to liking bands like THE LUMINEERS become today’s equivalent of still being hung up on boy bands well into the 2000s?
We get it: it’s commercialized folk music, and their songs have a way of all blending together. They put on a big production for a genre that originally stood on the opposite end of commercialization. But does that mean these guys should be dubbed as inauthentic or worthy of dismissal? Probably not.
Grandiose gestures in a room full of love
NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION watched the band play to a nearly sold out Admiralspalast in Berlin last week, and we found a band that actually meets the expectations of both fans and critics, depending what you’re looking for.
Their performance was dotted with grandiose gestures. One Lumineer scaled the balcony for an accordion solo; another climbed onto the venue’s towering speakers; and Wesley Schultz, the lead vocalist, bellowed out his lyrics while walking through the audience.
And unlike their performance, THE LUMINEERS keep their music simple, which again, can be beloved or criticized. The percussion is consistent, the violin line is uncomplicated and, most importantly, the lyrics are catchy and easy to pick up. On the one hand this can be reduced to easily sold singles. On the other, there is something spectacular in joining a packed theater as they chant the lyrics to nearly every track that rolls along.
You have the fans soaking up the show from front row, with the occasional tear coming out; the couples swaying together like its the last time they’ll ever see each other; and the token elderly couple. It’s a roomful of people adamantly trying their best to keep tempo with the band. It is a roomful of people wholeheartedly and unabashedly loving THE LUMINEERS. And isn’t that the best part of it all, anyways?