The Lumineers & Co. rock the Bell Centre! - March 18th, 2017

Crowds flooded into the Bell Centre on the evening of Saturday, March 18. As the beer flowed and the seats filled, the arena became wired with anticipation. Getting the crowd going indefinitely were the opening two acts: Susto, and the born to rock, Kaleo, who really know how to put on a show. The production value really excelled, sending vibrations into your bones. Icelandic born and bred, Kaleo offered unforgiving vocals and heart-pounding tracks, sending the crowd into frenzy, especially when it was time for “Way Down We Go.” Bravo, boys.

As the lights died down and the crowd began to buzz with excitement, sending loud cheers and thunderous applause as they preface their set with a recording of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain,” building with percussion, The Lumineers started the show. The lights dropped and the curtain rose, and The Lumineers kicked into “Submarines,” and both the band and the crowd never looked back. “This is a tremendous amount of people to come out to a show,” said singer/guitarist Wesley Shultz as the Bell Centre lit up with audience lights, allowing the band to eye the arena with admiration and joy. Shultz was wonderfully engaged with the audience as they transitioned into their signature hit off their self-titled 2012 debut album, “Ho Hey,” willing the audience to sing along. “I want to hear your voices,” and yes he did, as thousands of people proclaimed the lyrics towards the stage.

The Lumineers are undoubtedly a live band—and in a live environment, their short, simple, and concise lyrics excel, with expert instrumentation and musicality fulfilling an arena with sentiment. They move effortlessly through popular tracks, “Cleopatra,” “Gun Song,” and the athematic “Dead Sea,” offering touching anecdotes about the inspiration behind the tracks. Leading uninterrupted into an intimate and stripped-down set at centre ice, the band showed their ability as musicians, using just a stand-up bass, cello, a three-piece drum kit and an acoustic guitar, running through a further five songs. The whole set up created a very intimate performance, with the reminiscent feel of the Fleetwood Mac opening made by the band, showcasing the strong and unforgiving vocals of frontman Shultz and in particular cellist/bassist Neyla Pekarek. The setting is only amplified by the cell phone flashlights in full force in the audience.

Concluding the show, the band returned to the mainstage, powering through favourites “Angela” and “Ophelia,” covering Tom Petty’s “Walls,” before finishing with a melancholic piano solo of “Patience.”  The crowd cheered and rumbled into applause as the band respectfully headed straight into a three-song encore, demonstrating an interesting, dark and twisty interpretation of Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” before concluding with a foot-stomping sing-along of “Stubborn Love,” closing the show with contemplation and admiration for the crowd. Shultz uttered, “the only reason we are here is because of you. So thank you.”

And, we thank you!