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Lord Huron makes darkness sound good

Paradise Rock Club, Boston, May 2, 2015

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Once upon a time, Lord Huron was the nom de guerre of Ben Schneider, who put out a few EPs entirely left to his own devices.

But these days, there is far more to this outfit mixing indie folk, rock and more than just Schneider in a concert that was invigorating, at times intense and filled with the knowhow for what makes for quality music.

Lord Huron led off the sold-out show with the moody "Love Like Ghosts," where the melancholy of "If you're leaving, I got to know why" pierced the heart with Schneider's sad, somewhat mournful delivery. He sort of recalls a softer version of The National's equally fine lead Matt Berninger in terms of tone and intensity. Matter of fact dress as well because Schneider wore a suit as does Berninger.

Lord Huron pushed its just released soph effort, "Strange Trails," with the first three songs played from the disc offered at the outset, which put the show off to a good start with similarly styled songs.

Schneider, in command throughout, tended to rock more than he went rootsy, but the latter was part of his musical mix along with a slight bit of country.

Where Schneider and band stood out most, though, was in the quality of the material. Lord Huron did not cover a wide musical swath, but there was always enough diversity of sound from song to song just when you might think the sonics were starting to mesh.

The songs were given a lot of room to breathe also as they reached their natural conclusion.

Lord Huron also made good use of lighting to further create the mood. The "Strange Trails" slogan hung on a curtain behind the band with different colors lighting the letters at varying points and a bright light often shining from the floor upwards at band members' faces.

There may be a darkness surrounding Lord Huron from songs, but they sure made it sound good.

Hamilton Leithauser is out on his own while his regular full-time gig, The Walkmen may be on hiatus. Leithauser has a limited vocal range with his voice a bit grating at times.

He failed to show any of the dynamism of the headliners and lost points when he claimed the big event of the night - the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao - was going on "right now." Maybe Leithauser meant that his set was about as exciting as the fight would later prove to be.

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