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Live Review | The Lumineers at Cafe 939

The Lumineers – Ho Hey

If you still don’t know who the Lumineers are, let me catch you up.


A few years back, lead singer Wesley, and friend Jeremiah abandoned New York City and headed west, settling in Denver. HEY! They took out a Craigslist Ad and met Cellist Neyla and formed The Lumineers. HO! Their sound is the perfect incarnation of stomp-and-clap folk that has become popular over the past few years from bands like Mumford and Sons, The Avett Brothers and The Head and The Heart. HEY! I dare you to watch this video and not sing, clap, stomp and shout along. HO!

The threesome’s self-titled debut album came out April 3rd, and the band earned talk-of-the-town accolades at SXSW followed by a string of sold out shows on their current tour. One of those stops was Friday night’s sold out show at Cafe 939 here in Boston. It was clear — from the first song to the last — that the audience was more than excited to see The Lumineers live.

The Lumineers performed almost every song off their debut album in a solid set. But the second the band started playing The Big Parade the atmosphere changed. Lead singer Wesley ditched his hat, and Jeremiah, in his signature white tee and suspenders, threw his hands up in the air to encourage the shouts and claps of the audience. And even when the audience got a bit too excited and missed a cue, it only earned smiles from the group. This is exactly how you should experience The Lumineers: in a small space, with a large, excited crowd that’s more than happy to sing and dance along. Unsurprisingly, Ho Hey and Stubborn Love were crowd favorites as well.

During their encore, the band parted the crowd and stood in the back of the room. With Wesley perched atop a stool, they belted out a tune in the dark, with just a few guitars and a glockenspiel. And in a tribute to the late Levon Helm, the group took the stage one last time to do a loosely rehearsed, but excellent cover of The Band’s The Weight.

If you’ve got the chance to catch The Lumineers soon, we highly recommend it. It’s really just the beginning for these guys, and we can’t wait to see what happens next. The Lumineers are right where they belong.


  1. Caden Caden

    I love their new album. I bought it the day it came out on Amazon which I shouldn’t have done. I live in Seattle and they had a free show this day and you get guaranteed entrance if you buy their album there. So sad I missed it. What I am wondering is what other bands you know of that are similar to The Lumineers, The Avett Brothers, The Head and the Heart, and Mumford and sons. I’ve seen the last two live and I can’t get enough. Any bands I should particularly check out?

  2. Caden,

    How about Of Monsters and Men or the Alabama Shakes? I love the Apache Relay, Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons, Trampled by Turtles or maybe Brown Bird. You can derive a lot of similarities as they are all in the similar vein of folk artist.

  3. Also, I think it’s probably pretty important that you get familiar with Justin Townes Earle (if you haven’t already).

  4. Also, also, it was just announced that The Lumineers will be back in Seattle for the Capitol Hill Block Party this summer, you should definitely catch them then!

  5. Caden: Seattle (and Portland) are two of the centers of this awesome Indie Roots movement that includes THATH, Avetts, and Mumfords. Check out pretty much any band at the Doe Bay Festival or at Pickathon for more sounds like this. And locally be sure to check out Seattle’s Campfire OK! and Portland’s Lost Lander. Also Bryan John Appleby is absolutely amazing. His album is easily one of the best albums I’ve heard in a long time..

  6. Ryan Doyon Ryan Doyon

    Still one of the best shows with the Music Savage gang. The Lumineers have turned into one of the “remember when” bands and we are lucky to have been at Cafe 939 for this show.

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