Savannah GA events: The Lumineers Brightside Tour at Enmarket Arena

2022-08-21 11:38:26 By : Ms. Emily Wu

The Lumineers, one of the biggest acts in folk rock and Americana, are making a stop at Enmarket Arena on their nine-week Brightside World Tour.

“It’s like we’re making up for lost time,” singer Wesley Schultz said of the Lumineers’ return to stages. “We’re finally back at it and it’s good to be busy. Not to sound cliché, but it’s really true, the shows have never felt better, to actually play music again. The outpouring of tears and laughter and shouting. There’s all these emotions that I think have been stored up and they’re coming out in these shows.”

The Lumineers are the duo of Wesley Schultz (vocals, guitar) and Jeremiah Fraites (drums, percussion), who spent years in the open mic circuit until their breakout sing-a-long hit, “Ho, Hey” launched them to the front of the Americana explosion of the 2010’s.

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Their 2012 self-titled debut album went multi-platinum and was nominated for Best New Artist and Best Americana Grammys.

The Lumineers are known for emotionally rousing live shows, and a lot of their success stems from how they are able to translate their songs from album to the stage with the help of a six-piece touring band.

“We definitely work on dynamics, but we think a lot of that is true of our albums,’ said Schultz. “Hopefully, on the record it’s dynamic as hell and then you can really expose that at a live show. Sometimes the voids, the silences, the quieter moments make the louder moments that much more satisfying.

“Something that surprised me about certain shows is that you can create a whole universe. For us we always joked that our fastest song is most people’s medium song, but in the context of the show something can feel fast. When we set the tone and they’re used to it being a certain way and then we change it, in that way I think dynamics are everything.”

The follow up to The Lumineers’ smash debut album was the chart-topping “Cleopatra” (2016) which had a more melancholic, cinematic scope and featured the hit single “Ophelia.” Their third album, “III” (2019), was a beautiful, but moody concept album that ruminated on addiction and its ramifications — much different from the floor-stomping crowd-pleasers early fans were used to.

Their latest album, “Brightside” (2022) is the product of writing and recording during the uncertain times of the pandemic. As a result, “Brightside” allowed The Lumineers to take a looser, low-stakes approach to crafting a record.

“It was more relaxed than the other albums,” said Schultz. “When we were going into the studio basically trying to record one or two songs, my wife was about to have our second child, a baby girl that was born in the middle of all this. We recorded for a few weeks right before that and then the approach was, ‘Hey, we still don’t know what’s happening. We don’t know what’s going on with touring. Let’s just see if we can a head start on the next record.’ The expectations were really low, which was a good thing. It made us feel really free instead of ‘Time to make a record. Let’s do this thing.’ It is almost pressing and trying a little too hard.

“For lack of a better word, it became more fun. To sit there like kids and explore these ideas and have it turn it into a record. I never experienced that, so it was very different than the previous three.”

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The joy Schultz and Fraites felt making “Brightside” is palpable on the record. Even on slower, more somber songs like “ROLLERCOASTER” there is an uplifting quality that hasn’t been this prominent on a Lumineers album since their debut. Because of the more natural approach to recording, Schultz’s voice effortlessly evokes the feelings he is trying convey to his listeners.

“Everything felt like warp speed,” recalled Schultz. “It was fast and loose, and it was curious. A lot of the performances, because of the decision to not overly scrutinize each song and each part, the result was you had much more lively performances because it wasn’t memorized, it wasn’t rote to memory. You weren’t even sure what the next lyric was or if you had the melody right. That kind of stuff, you get a certain electricity from that kind of performance. For example, on our first album we had played those songs hundreds of times by the time we recorded it. Naturally, you’re going to get a different kind of performance than if you had just come up with the idea that day or the night before and then you’re trying it out on the microphone.”

Despite their massive success, The Lumineers remain as humble as when they were playing open-mic nights in New York City and Denver, Colorado years ago. Oddly enough, “The Lumineers” was not even their name to begin with. Schultz and Fraites used to perform using their own names, but a strange occurrence at one of their shows inadvertently bestowed the name The Lumineers on them.

“To this day, I’ve been to a lot of open mics over the years and I’ve never experienced an open mic like this,” said Schultz.

While performing at an open-mic at the Lucky 7 Tavern in Jersey City, the venue’s MC had his schedule wrong and introduced Schultz and Fraites as the Lumineers, a different band that was booked to perform the following week. The duo later found out the original Lumineers had disbanded, so they took the name for themselves. The new name inspired Schultz and Fraites to reach for an ambitious sound that was bigger than just the two of them.

“We always liked the idea of it being a band bigger than ourselves, than the name of one of us,” explained Schultz. “That was when if felt like we were trying to make something unrecognizable to if just one of us did something. We were really trying to capture that spirit.”

Even with a big touring band and millions of album sales, The Lumineers are still just two guys writing songs together.

“I wear it as a badge of honor, because I think a lot of people outsource their writing,” said Schultz. “I like that we keep it in house and whatever you’re hearing is us and not somebody you hired to write a hit for you.

“We joke that we’re like the food cart that got a Michelin star. It doesn’t really make sense, but we’re two guys that somehow ended up playing Wrigley Field, places we never dreamed we would end up playing because we started off playing in people’s living rooms, coffee shops, and bars.”

Schultz wrote “Ho, Hey” in 2008 in an apartment in Brooklyn. By 2012, bands like Mumford & Sons, Avett Brothers, and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros were bringing revivalist folk rock to the top of the charts, stoking listener tastes for the type of songs The Lumineers had been writing. Fortunately, The Lumineers were ready to weather the turbulence that comes with sudden success.

“We were feeling like visitors in the Top 40 world,” said Schultz. “It didn’t really feel reliable or real. It was just a flavor of the month where you’re weirdly objectified for that thing. You can harness that to get people to listen to your whole record, or you can forever be known as that band who did that thing that one time, and that’s the part where some people get chewed up and spit out. It was helpful to have some age on me.

“We didn’t get signed until I was thirty. I always took it as nothing was happening for ten years. I took that as an indictment. It turned out it was pretty helpful because we got to make a lot of mediocre or bad music behind closed doors. By the time we had a spotlight on us we knew a little bit more about what our music was going to sound like and who we were a people, and we had performed more than when were twenty. In that way, what seemed like a bad thing was actually our biggest advantage because we had been grinding.

“Here we are ten years later and it’s a good feeling that we’re playing ‘Ho, Hey’ third in the setlist and no one is leaving or heading for the exit after that part of the set.”

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When: Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

Where: Enmarket Arena, 620 Stiles Ave.