Last night I joined 1,000 plus 20somethings (who actually got in) for The Lumineers at the Upstate Concert Hall, formally Northern Lights. It was a free show presented by The EQX and Miller Lite concert series.
Doors were at 7 and the show began at 8.
I showed up to the Clifton Park venue at 5:45, immediately following work, because I knew there was going to be quite the line. Boy was I right. At that point 3 lines had already formed (1 at the door and 2 up the parking lot median) of what had to have been at least 250 people a piece and a 4th line was forming at the far end of the parking lot.
It was spitting rain and rather cold but could easily have been much worse considering it was December 17th and there wasn’t, and still isn’t, any sign of snow. At exactly 7pm the doors opened and the lines started moving.
The Upstate Concert Hall filled up, completely up “selling out” (not sure you can say that for a free show) at just over 1,000 people. It is unconfirmed how many people were turned away but from what I’ve gathered there were quite a few who didn’t make it in. The Lumineers even went as far as to tweet about it after the show.
They also wrote on their Facebook page: “We just got shut down by the Sheriff here in Clifton Park after we attempted to play a few songs in the parking lot to the line that was turned away because the club reached capacity – sorry to the folks who didn’t make it in, wish there was room and hope we see you next time.”
The show opened with a local act, The Parlor consisting of Eric Krans, Jen O’Connor and friends. The highlight of that set was when members of Sgt. Dunbar and the Hobo Banned joined them on stage to spice things up a bit.
Hitting the stage just before The Lumineers was Swear and Shake currently hailing from New York City. I, and what seemed like most of the crowd, was pleasantly surprised by this act. Swear and Shake is made up of Kari Spieler (vocals, lyrics, guitar), Adam McHeffey (vocals, lyrics, guitar, banjo, piano), Shaun Savage (electric bass), and Tom Elefante (percussion).
New York’s The Deli described front lady Kari’s pipes as “gorgeously full,” and Brooklyn Belles compared her to “a young June Carter Cash.” I couldn’t agree more with both of those statements. I was not expecting for that full and smooth of voice to come out of that petite frame. From the moment they started the audience was captivated. I overheard a member of the audience say “I would have come to this show just to hear them.” Now that’s a good opening act.
Around 10pm the American folk rock band based in Denver, Colorado stepped on stage and the crowd erupted. There wasn’t a silent soul in the room. The Lumineers made up by Wesley Schultz, vocals and guitar, Jeremiah Fraites, drums, percussion, mandolin and vocals and Neyla Pekarek, cello, mandolin, piano and vocals is one of the most dynamic bands I’ve seen perform. Each member can be transitioned in and out of each performance, all bringing amazing talent to the stage in that given moment. As Amber of EQX said last night their album is just that, an album from start to finish, you won’t find yourself skipping through even one song.
They played a FULL show, playing just about, if not, every song from their debut album “The Lumineers” and adding in a new untitled song, which I’ll title ”Falling”, an absolutely perfect duet between Wesley and Neyla. “Falling” showcases the powerhouse vocals of Neyla Pekarek, something we haven’t yet heard alone too often.
It was an absolutely stacked and amazing show, it was my pleasure to have waited in the rain and cold to witness that, I’d do it again without hesitation. Special thanks to all the performing acts, Upstate Concert Hall, EQX, the real alternative and miller lite for hosting such an amazing event.