Photo by Josh Aberman
When The Lumineers played ‘Ho Hey’ as the third song in their setlist at the O2 Arena, I was shocked. As I’m guessing most were, I had been expecting that this song with well-over 700 million streams on Spotify would close out their show during an encore, instead of start it. However, this unorthodox decision on the part of the band proved that The Lumineers are much more than just their biggest hit, although their setlist was also still certainly full of recognisable songs.
The Lumineers’ particular brand of Americana indie-folk-rock filled the O2 Arena with its loud, booming sound. It was difficult to picture that the Lumineers had ever played venues any smaller than the O2 Arena, as their personas seemed larger than life. Yet, despite the massive size of the O2 arena, it still felt like The Lumineers’ frontman, Wesley Schultz, was able to establish a sense of intimacy with his audience; at one point he joked about his term spent at Goldsmiths and admitted how unreal it now felt to play the O2. During another more vulnerable and open moment in the setlist, he discussed that one of his songs was written about a near fatal car crash he had been in, and compared Covid to a giant, collective car crash. The fans clearly loved these moments, and were enthralled by The Lumineers’ performance overall. Despite the fact that much of the O2 is seated, most people in the audience were up on their feet dancing to the tunes.
It was nice to see this in the audience, as Coronavirus halted the enjoyment of live music for so long. The Lumineers distinctly know this, and their O2 performance comes right on the tail-end of their recent album release, Live From The Last Night Of Tour. The album calls attention to this, as it was recorded on the last night of their last pre-pandemic tour before the band could not tour again for almost two whole years. With a setlist full of crowd favourites like Ophelia, My Cell, Donna, and Gloria, it was a great return to form for the group, and gave the audience more than enough great music to dance and sing along to.
Photo by Josh Aberman
Edited by Talia Andrea, Deputy Music Editor