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The Lumineers energize

Allstate Arena, Rosemont, Ill., January 20, 2017

Reviewed by Andie Burjek

The Lumineers continued their Cleopatra World Tour with an energetic performance.

For some attendees, the only wet-blanket moment were the political references. Some were more subtle, like in middle act Andrew Bird's "Table and Chairs," but others were more overt. The Lumineers singer Wesley Schultz switched up the lyrics in the second verse of "Big Parade" from "Vote for him/ The candidate" to "I didn't vote for him/ The candidate." This as met mostly with woos and applause from the audience, but also several angry jeers.

Even this moment did not ruin he enthusiasm in the arena though. Crowd pleasers such as "Ho Hey" and encore "Stubborn Love" brought an air of excitement as people danced and stomped and sang along. There were some quiet, sentimental moments that really resonated as well, especially when Schultz introduced the music inspired by his late father. The only times he interrupted the flow of the concert to explain the inspiration behind a song were "Gun Song" and "Long Way From Home." This could have come off as corny or overly-nostalgic, but he managed to make it sweet.

A highlight was when a small, circular platform appeared in the center of the floor seat section. The Lumineers left the stage and performed a set here, starting with a very happy version of "Classy Girls." The intro lasted as a little longer, and they played around with the tempo in an interesting way. A change of scenery provided a refreshing interruption in the flow of the concert, which counting opener Margaret Glaspy and Bird, lasted four hours. It also allowed The Lumineers to work with the audience a little more. They were closer to the ground, and they had to entertain the crowd 360 degrees around them and did so successfully.

The Lumineers also collaborated with the Andrew Bird toward the end of the night. In his own set, Chicago-born Bird performed expertly, choosing a medley of songs ranging from 2016's "Are You Serious?" to 2005's "Table and Chairs" and "A Nervous Tic Motion of the Head to the Left." Bird's style is very eclectic, and not every song individually fit in with The Lumineer's folk rock dynamic. But as a set, Bird's music complemented the headlining band, with a mix of folk, experimental and indie rock.

He also appealed the Chicago crowd. Born and raised in the city, some of this music such as "Pulaski at Night" was inspired by Chicago, and the crowd responded very well to his references to the city.

Bird, who played his violin much like a guitar earlier in his own set, took out his bow and played it the traditional way with The Lumineers in their collaboration. The artists performed Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" together. The violin player and the folk band brought a unique vibe to the Dylan classic.

Left out of this collaboration was indie-rock singer Glaspy. This is not to say anything negative about her performance. She would not have fit in as seamlessly with The Lumineers as Bird did. Independently, though, her set was a success. Her sound was more raw and occasionally angry. Her raspy voice had real power to it.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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