Even if the host wasn't too familiar, the trio has little to worry about these days. The critics are going absolutely bananas right now for the outfit, whom, similar to another lauded local act, got its start playing more intimate shows at places like the Meadowlark.
As for the performance, the group played with a casual assuredness, without even the slightest hint that they were nervous (assuming they even were). The presentation seemed a little awkward aesthetically, with the presence of the bassist, given the rustic nature of the music: The core threesome (Wesley Schultz, Jeremiah Fraites and Neyla Peckarek) played acoustic instruments up front, while the unnamed four-stringer played off to the side, slightly behind them, on an electric bass plugged into a combo. A standup bass would've probably been more congruous visually.
Another interesting note: Either the band had coached the audience beforehand to join in on the "hos" and "heys" in the appropriate sections of the fittingly titled tune "Ho Hey," or there was some pre-recorded backing vocals bolstering the lead. Either way, there was a distinctive choral vibe. All in all, the band was charming and played with considerable aplomb, and the appearance certainly served as a fitting introduction to the group. It's always gratifying to see a hometown act getting this kind of exposure.
The Lumineers are due at a sold-out date tomorrow night at Mishawaka and an in-store at Independent Records on Saturday at 3 p.m.
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