Tag Archives: Lord Huron
Alt-J/Lord Huron – Rumsey Playfield – September 15, 2013
Late-summer breezes swept over Rumsey Playfield in Central Park last night as a sold-out crowd gathered to hear music by two remarkable sets of musicians. Lord Huron, an indie folk-rock band with rich soundscapes that really belong in an outdoor setting, performed first. Frontman Ben Schneider complimented the venue: “It feels real good to be back in New York on a night like this. It really is beautiful here.” Songs from the band’s debut full-length album, Lonesome Dreams, and their two previous EPs rang out as the light of day drained from the park. A gauzy backdrop of mountaintops was backlit in sunset colors for the duration of the set, giving Lord Huron’s music a palpable glow.
After a brief intermission, the grinning gentlemen of Alt-J took the fog-filled stage and launched straight into their set without saying a word. When I saw them play a much smaller New York City venue a year ago, they radiated a unique, infectious vibe and their music stayed with me for days afterward. The band’s trademark sound, which is characterized by perplexing arrangements and frequent a cappella harmonies, is somewhat complicated to reproduce in a live setting. Despite the difficulty, Alt-J strive to recreate their songs live in a way that gets the entire crowd to lean forward and sing along. While their repertoire is still relatively small, they make up for the brevity of their performance with sheer clarity in their delivery of the songs. The set was constructed around An Awesome Wave, last year’s debut album that’s garnered the quartet abundant praise, including the 2012 Mercury Prize.
Opening with “Intro,” their LP’s lead track, seemed fitting due to its name, although it was a bold move due to the deeply subdued elements of the instrumental song. When Alt-J launched into an especially beat-heavy version of “Fitzpleasure,” any worries I had that this show would be too quiet went out the window. “Bloodflood” came next and the set began to simulate the ebb and flow of the tide. “Buffalo” and “Something Good” soared with hushed vocals, agile guitar and constrained drum beats. “Tessellate” was an invitation to start dancing and sing along to the sultry lyrics and Jon Newman’s coarse voice. “Matilda” and “Dissolve Me” came next, each telling a story of unconditional love. “Hand-Made” slipped into a fine-drawn a cappella cover of College’s “A Real Hero.” “Taro” rounded out the set, and “Ms” and crowd-favorite “Breezeblocks” provided the encore. While the night of music was short, I’m sure everyone left feeling lucky to have spent one of the last days of summer swaying to music from some of the indie scene’s most talented crooners. —Schuyler Rooth
Lord Huron – Webster Hall – June 21, 2013
Led by Ben Schneider, the Los Angeles–based Lord Huron provide the perfect soundtrack for wanderlust, scaling mountains overlooking lagoons and lakes below. And while recent album Lonesome Dreams evolved from a trip home to Michigan, it could just as easily have been inspired by the trails of Laurel Canyon. Either way, Schneider knows how to spin a tale of adventure. Keeping in character, he sauntered onstage at sold-old Webster Hall on Friday night wearing a modern cowboy hat. Opening with “Ends of the Earth,” Schneider and Co. enchanted fans right off the bat.
The vibe quickly turned up a notch as the frontman began feverishly clacking the rim of his tenor drum on “The Man Who Lives Forever,” and the crowd joined in, clapping along to “I Will Be Back One Day.” Continuing the musical journey, “Mighty” fluctuated between trekking atop mountains back down to a calypso party by the lagoon. Jingling chimes warranted hopping and skipping from Schneider as the song climaxed with a pounding of the skins that caused his hat to fly off—the particularly percussion-heavy song from their EP of the same name bares some sonic resemblances to another L.A. band, Fool’s Gold.
An overly chatty crowd marred what could have been a serene moment as Schneider strapped on his harmonica to croon the ballad-y “The Ghost on the Shore.” Maybe it was his recognition of the first day of summer that riled them preemptively. Or perhaps he should have waited on that exclamation for the next song, the appropriately titled fan favorite “She Lit a Fire.” Putting on his hat again for “Time to Run,” Schneider readied to gallop off into the sunset, but not before offering the country-twanged “Brother,” sans lap steel, and a heavily string-plucky “The Stranger.” For the encore, Schneider came out for “something quiet”: “Lullaby.” But despite shushing from audience members and even from the stage, the crowd’s rambunctiousness remained. After all, summer had just begun. —Sharlene Chiu
Whenever Lord Huron come to town it seems like tickets are tough to come by, which is again the case with Friday’s sold-out show at Webster Hall—which also happens to be the first day of summer. The good news, however, is that despite tickets going fast, The House List is giving away two of them. Want to go? Try to Grow a Pair. It’s easy. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Lord Huron, 6/21) and a brief message explaining your best tip for spending the summer in New York City. Eddie Bruiser, who could always use a few good ideas, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.
Lord Huron – Music Hall of Williamsburg – February 23, 2013
The expansive, hazy mountain range painted on the backdrop that decked the stage for Los Angeles band Lord Huron’s sold-out show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Saturday night perfectly set the tone for the band’s performance. The types of big thoughts that can pass through one’s mind when looking at such a perfect panorama—life, death, love, the wonders of nature—are all themes that pervade the five-piece’s sentimental debut album, last year’s Lonesome Dreams.
Full of jaunty, layered guitars and vocal harmonies, Lord Huron at times evoked the uplifting alt-country of My Morning Jacket or the Afrobeat fusion of Paul Simon’s Graceland, along with slow-building cinematic swells and joyful moments begging to be clapped along to. Although Lord Huron’s recorded music doesn’t shy away from the understated and mellow, the live version of numbers like “She Lit a Fire” and “The Problem with Your Daughter” had a much sharper bite than their album counterparts, while meditative number “The Ghost on the Shore” was wisely left in its minimal state.
The group’s lone cover of the night, “Strangers” by the Kinks, fit in well with the reflective, exploratory theme of the show, and its lyrics “If I feel tomorrow like I feel today/ We’ll take what we want and give the rest away/ Strangers on this road we are on/ We are not two we are one” seem indirectly referenced in the sentiment of Lord Huron’s lyric: “Out there’s a world that calls for me, girl, heading out into the unknown/ Well if there are strangers and all kinds of danger, please don’t say I’m going alone,” which singer Ben Schneider contemplates on “Ends of the Earth.” Lord Huron’s combination of contagious melodies with the lyrical voice of a philosophical and wonder-filled world traveler clearly resonates with crowds, and as everyone sang and danced along, the vibe inside Music Hall of Williamsburg was as positive and life-affirming as it might be around a campfire, if those misty mountain ranges in the background were real. —Alena Kastin
Tags: Ben Schneider, Graceland, Karl Kerfoot, Lonesome Dreams, Lord Huron, Mark Barry, Miguel Briseño, Music Hall of Williamsburg, My Morning Jacket, Paul Simon, Photos, Review, the Kinks, Tom Renaud
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Lord Huron come to town to play two sold-out shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg this weekend, on Saturday and Sunday. The tickets went quickly, but you may still be in luck because The House List is giving away two tickets to see the L.A. five-piece on Saturday. Want ’em to be yours? Try to Grow a Pair. It’s easy. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Lord Huron, 2/23) and a brief message explaining why you deserve a free Saturday night in Brooklyn. Eddie Bruiser, who decides these matters, will notify the winner by Friday.
Lord Huron – Mercury Lounge – April 28, 2011
It was after 11 p.m. at a rapidly filling Mercury Lounge and we were at least three layers down in the world-music permafrost. The first dulcet tones of Lord Huron’s stunning single “Mighty” played over the PA as the band marshaled itself slowly and even a little deliberately to the stage. The sound was post-colonial, of the same type that Paul Simon used so effortlessly on Graceland and Rhythm of the Saints—the same beautiful simulacra of Eastern and Southern Hemispheres that Vampire Weekend used later, although with an admittedly updated set of influences.
Lord Huron, an L.A. band I’m certain a hack music publicist would describe as Silverlake Soweto, proved to be both of and above this venerable cannon of White Guys Playing World Pop. “Mighty” swelled big enough, like many of the band’s compositions, to melt any frosty comparisons to old bands, even if the derivation was obvious and unhidden. The crowd rollicked to the band’s first two songs, the aforementioned “Mighty” and the upstroke “Into the Sun.”
The sound was very nearly too big, given that many of the melodies rely on group vocals of two or more members, in addition to some of the delicacy of the recordings turning into more punched-up electric numbers live. But Lord Huron slowly screwed themselves into tighter and tighter progressions, shedding some of the early muddiness for clarity and crystalline Afrobeat guitar lines. On “Son of a Gun,” vocalist Ben Schneider turned a pedantic cliché into something meaningful, his brand of graciousness and earnestness not necessarily practiced and also entirely intentional. Most important, given the tradition of world music being co-opted by the West, this didn’t feel a bit dishonest, even if the themes were unapologetically neocolonial. —Geoff Nelson