Lord Huron at Whelan’s – Review
Lord Huron at Whelan’s – Sunday, 18th August 2013
Dusk was settling on the skies over Dublin, while American indie-folk act Lord Huron from L.A. prepared to hit the stage in Whelan’s last Sunday night. Conor Linnie was “the chosen one”; he played perfectly in support with his finely crafted folk-blues numbers. To my surprise the room was completely silenced and mesmerized, the audience was taken down, one by one. Notably, Conor blew us away with “The Fire I’m Kindling” and “Crash Bandicoot Blues” all of which hung wonderfully like paintings across the lining of my ear drum.
A sandstorm blew into the speakers and one by one the band walked out on stage. Ben Schneider in a cream “Ernest Hemingway” style hat opened with “End of the Earth”. We swayed and rocked alongside all sorts of lovely people from bearded folk types to die hard music types.
Lord Huron formed by Schneider in 2010 after some time on the shores of Lake Huron, it wasn’t long before Mark Barry on percussion, Miguel Briseño on bass, Tom Renaud and Karl Kerrfoot on guitar gradually joined. It’s worth mentioning that the backdrop over the stage reminded me of the videos for “Lonesome Dreams” 2012 album of songs. Every song has a unique film, like a weekly adventure episode from wild parts of the world all starring the band, with original cinematography and typography. These videos reminded me of “Smashing Pumpkins” or “Arcade Fire” artwork and visuals, and are a “must see” at their website.
Winds delivered us towards “End of the Earth” an epic, old time piece. Thumping their feet in rhythm, the crowd hollered and clapped to the beat. “The Man Who Lived Forever” was led by lovely, melodic guitar strings while Briseño on bass often played with his eyes closed. Harmonies between Mark Barry and Schneider were unexpectedly strong, quiet similar to ”Fleet Foxes”.
All the songs from “Lonesome Dreams” played live are much better than the recorded versions, which was brilliant. So authentic, all of the band can fly solo with their sounds transporting us into their canyons of inspiration. “We Went West” has some Afro beat elements within the scores.
“The Ghost on the Shore”, “She Lit a Fire are timeless classics and so was “Time to Run” which had the crowding crying out “Ohhhh”, swaying and singing along. Ending on “The Stranger” the band exited stage, our cheers practically lifted the roof off Whelan’s; however the microphone sound inference signaled that all was not over. Returning alone Schneider played “Lullaby”, while gradually the rest of the band returned to end powerfully on “Mighty” to a tremendous roar that nearly sent the roof off the house.
Lord Huron and also their support from Conor Linnie were wonderful and unexpected, all playing outstanding performances.
“No time to rest. I’m gonna find me a life, baby, way out west.” Now go watch those videos! 5/5
Review by Áine Byrne