The Lumineers graced Ottawa with their presence for the second time within a year promoting their latest album Cleopatra, this time in freezing cold March weather compared to last summer’s rainy and sweaty Bluesfest show, and brought along two fantastic bands to open with.
The Canadian Tire place was already packed to its limits when South Carolina band Susto started the evening with their gospel-y Americana tunes.
Almost as much anticipated as the evening’s headliner, was the second act of the night, Iceland’s Kaleo, who rose to fame after the super popular HBO show ‘Vinyl’ included their son ‘No Good’ into one of their episodes.
Kaleo started the evening with the heart wrenching ‘Can’t Go On Without You’, followed by bunch of their mellower tunes. For the people who were there to hear their faster rock material, got their wish when the band broke into their huge hit ‘No Good’, followed by ‘Hot Blood’, and closed their short set with ‘Rock n’ Roller’.
Although Kaleo’s first Ottawa appearance was left a bit one dimensional, the singer Jökull Júlíusson’s amazing voice and killer looks were sure to gain more Ottawa fans after the performance.
It is apparent that The Lumineers have completely wrapped the world around their finger as they opened their show with ‘Submarines’ followed by ‘Flowers in Her Hair’ and the mega hit ‘Ho Hey’, which got the whole arena to get up on their seats and chant every single lyric with the band.
Followed by ‘Gun Song’ about singer Wesley Schultz’s father, and the dreamy ‘Dead Sea’, the band moved onto the smaller satellite stage that rose in the middle of the arena, and made the venue seem a lot smaller and intimate than it actually was.
The four song set in the center stage that included ‘Classy Girls’, ‘Where the Skies Are Blue’ and ‘Charlie Boy’, and ended with Schultz and percussionist Jeremiah Fraites performing ‘Slow it Down’ before running back to the main stage.
The band returned on the main stage only to play a hit after hit from their latest album, and got Schultz talking in between songs about strong women that had inspired him to write to lyrics for the songs.
During Ophelia, Schultz grabbed his mic, ran to the crowd all the way to the back row and back high-fiving all his fans.
What many thought was their last song of the set, The Lumineers performed their wonderfully upbeat song ‘Big Parade’ and covered the crowd with confetti blast, only to return on stage with Tom Petty ‘Walls’ cover followed by Fraites piano solo ‘Patience’ leaving the audience asking for more.
The encore consisted with Schultz solo ‘Long Way From Home’, and squeezed in a Bob Dylan cover ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’, before finishing their show with another mega hit ‘Stubborn Love’.
Ottawa welcomes The Lumineers back with open arms, any time.
Photos by Dave DiUbaldo of Worn Leather Media.