The Lumineers @ The Hotel Cafe

The Lumineers | The Hotel Cafe (Los Angeles, CA) | January 6, 2012 | lumineers

Folksters, The Lumineers, are starting to make a name for themselves in Los Angeles. “We’ve never sold out anything in LA before” marveled frontman Wesley Schultz in front of the packed house at The Hotel Cafe. Not only did the band max out the capacity in the room, they converted the famed singer-songwriter haven into a boisterous dance party. Tables were ignored as the animated crowd wedged their way up front to clap and sing with revelry at the foot of the stage.

The Denver based band seemed to take the melee in stride. Despite some pre-show instrument malfunctions, The Lumineers delivered their patented folksy fun performance, shuffling about the stage, taking turns with a variety of flavorful instruments (mandolin, piano, cello, accordion, etc.), and singing a range of songs that ring with a sincerity and wisdom that compel the listener to pay attention and engage. Set highlights included the playful “Flowers In Your Hair,” the more somber yet inspiring “Slow It Down,” and the crowd inciting “Ho Hey.” The band was granted a somewhat rare encore opportunity and came down into the audience to perform a rousing, unplugged version of “Darlene.” The circle of fans packed tightly around band were so genuinely excited, they produced a highly contagious energy. Even the sound guy was bobbing his head.

If the audience at The Hotel Cafe is any indication (and they generally are), The Lumineers are a band on the rise. Fans of groups like Mumford & Sons, The Head and The Heart, and Truth & Salvage Co (or anyone who appreciates an interactive, foot stomping show) should especially take note. And stay tuned for The Lumineers debut album which is due out in March.

– Kristen Coveleskie