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Review: The Lumineers @ Capitol Hill Block Party

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The Lumineers at Capitol Hill Block Party, Photos by Amber Zbitnoff

The Lumineers have simply exploded over the past few months. Going from selling out the Tractor, then Neumos, and now packing the main stage at Capitol Hill Block Party, the little band from Denver has truly captured the hearts of Seattle. Playing the final day at a festival is a challenge- concert goers have had two days of heavy dancing, drinking, and dehydration. Often times, looking into a crowd, there’s a sort of glaze that covers people’s faces. Going into this show that’s exactly how I felt. However, the second the Lumineers came on stage it was like the crowd was injected with life. The way I see it, the Lumineers were like coconut water for the souls of Block Party attendees. Rejuvenating.

The Lumineers at Capitol Hill Block Party, Photo by Amber Zbitnoff

Think every positive, uplifting word you have in your vocabulary. That’s the best way to describe this band. Their live show is like an enhanced version of their record- full of vigor with the addition of several other members on various instruments (the band is primarily Wesley, Jeremiah, and Neyla). Most the members were adorned with face paint, and their attitudes on stage were contagious. They looked like they were having an outright great time.  The crowd of moms, dads, kids, and 20somethings fed off this and danced that awkward way that we do, but the best part about looking into the crowd was seeing so many smiling faces. With music so incredibly uplifting pelting your ears, how could you not?

The Lumineers at Capitol Hill Block Party, Photo by Amber Zbitnoff

Their set featured a great collection of songs from their self titled album, including ‘Submarines,’ ‘Flowers in Your Hair,’ and of course their radio hit ‘Hey Ho.’ Sprinkled into the mix were a few covers, including one by Bob Dylan and another by an artist named Sawmill Joe. There were two stand out moments for me during the set though that made this performance one of my favorites. The first was their performance of ‘Classy Girls.’ This was a treat for the crowd because not only were they not able to play it at their sold out Neumos show a few months back (and it’s completely one of my favorites), but also because it’s so much better live than on record. I may be biased, but lead singer Wesley infused it with so much passion that I was left wondering if this could possibly be their next single? Time will tell, obviously, but it was great.

The Lumineers at Capitol Hill Block Party, Photo by Amber Zbitnoff

The other moment that must be recognized was their dedication of ‘Stubborn Love’ to the people whose lives were changed as a result of the shooting in Aurora on Friday morning. As I mentioned, the Lumineers are from Denver, and so walking into this set I asked myself if they’d mention the Aurora tragedy. From all the sets I caught this weekend, they were the only that I saw which did so. Introducing the song, telling the crowd that “music saves us all,” Wesley taught the crowd the chorus and instructed us to sing along. A giant crowd singing “so keep your head up, so keep your love” into the air is a moment that, to be frank, brought me to tears and left me feeling like Wesley was right- music does save us all.

The Lumineers at Capitol Hill Block Party, Photo by Amber Zbitnoff

I read somewhere that the Lumineers are the best music to listen to when you’re in love. I can see that. However, I feel like a better way to describe them is that they are the best music when you need to feel loved. Their song writing is touching and insightful; if you’re looking to feel a connection with another person’s soul, I’d start with track one and press repeat when the album tries to tell you it’s over. It’s not over, it’s just beginning.

The Lumineers at Capitol Hill Block Party, Photo by Amber Zbitnoff