Review by Heather Lloyd
From the opening strums of Wesley Shultz’s guitar, the old-timey crowd that had packed out the Tivoli was mesmerized. The stage was scattered with instruments – folksy staples like the mandolin, cello, glockenspiel, accordion, kick drum – with a large black and orange piano sitting front and center. The Lumineers sauntered onstage to thunderous applause, opening the night with a mildly popular, but incredibly catchy song, “Submarines”. This was quickly followed by “Ain’t Nobody’s Problem”, which, like most of the setlist, was unfamiliar to the audience but had a chorus that was repetitive enough for the audience to sing along with mild direction from Schulz. From there, the band was a seamless delight of instrument swapping suspender snapping and fedora twirling. Halfway through the set, Schultz requested that the audience “put away your cellphones”, trying to evoke a feeling of “all-togetherness” as they prepared to play their signature tune “Ho Hey!” As Schultz crooned the first verse, the audience, eyes closed, sang along. Couples held each other, rocking together, cell phones stowed away.
From there, Shultz took advantage of the attentiveness in the crowd by introducing their beautiful cellist and vocalist, Neyla. In an untitled duet, Shultz and Neyla simulated the easy banter of two lovers, showcasing her incredible vocals. This was a highlight of the night, but over quickly, with Neyla soon returning to her cello. The band then alternated between rowdy songs that got the crowd up dancing, and bluesy ballads – even coming off the stage and into the audience for a particularly haunting number that featured tinkling glockenspiel solos. The band ended the night with an enchanting rendition of “Morning Song”. As the lights dimmed for the final time, the audience that streamed out of the Tivoli and into the streets of Brisbane left without their usual copious amounts of pictures and band footage to post on social media, but having experienced the band intimately. “That was magical,” I heard one of my neighbours say, as she pulled her friend away from the crowd. Magical, indeed.
Photos by Charlyn Cameron for Life Music Media