Despite The Storm, The Lumineers Show Crystal Palace Park The Brightside

There’s no dampening this crowd’s spirits as the rains came down on a muggy summer’s evening in London, even after a somewhat false start where a short pause between songs over the speakers led the crowd to believe The Lumineers were about to don the stage but didn’t. Eventually lead man Wesley Schultz and the band bound onto stage to a somewhat soggy, but exuberant crowd and started straight into hit Brightside without skipping a beat.

The Lumineers @ Crystal Palace Park

The Lumineers @ Crystal Palace Park (Lauren Patel)
The Lumineers @ Crystal Palace Park (Lauren Patel)

After watching these guys for even just a couple of songs you have to question; do these Colorado based multi-instrumentalists know no bounds? Is there an instrument this band can’t play? With tools of the trade ranging from, but not limited to, cello, bass, accordion, tambourine, percussion, violin, piano, and even a mandolin. If anything it makes you feel sympathy for their roadies, who are certainly given a run for their money, moving equipment across this Crystal Palace stage with long walk way platform, because the band members spent almost half their time to and froing between main stage and the walkway amidst the enchanted concert goers. At one stage this even included a string section being performed, mid walkway, for the track from the self-titled album Charlie Boy. One thing is for sure this band know how to perform, no matter the medium.

For all the musical equipment tonight, and I’ll admit I lost count of Schultz’s guitar changes, what didn’t go amiss was the charm of just how well loved some of his guitars were, with the wear and tear of well-played instruments. No matter the guitar, the frontman hits the right chord with his spectators.

This foot stomping, alternative folk, 6-piece powerhouse seem to not only have a boundless energy but also give off an endlessly positive effervescent vibe. From Lauren Jacobson skipping onto the stage, to our barefoot pianist, Stelth Ulvang, rocking the piano with such velocity as he plays it, and on more than one occasion this debauched shoeless wonder used his foot to play, instead of his fingers. Later still he is seen posing a headstand atop said piano, during the performance of Big Parade whilst the other band members posed perfectly stock still. I don’t know why he bothers with a stool; it was one of the least used pieces of equipment on the stage this evening. 

Encore demands come in the form of chants of “one more song” and the masses didn’t have to wait long for our folk rockers to reappear and to not only 1 more song, instead they got 5 and a short birthday homage to their long term guitar tech.

After said return to stage Wesley perches on the piano to sing Donna from their concept album III, whilst drummer and founding member, Jeremiah Fraites, plays the keys. At this stage of the evening what little light we had has left the sky and the crowd, now mellowed out, light up the park by swaying their mobile phone lights setting quite the atmosphere.

Fast forward to Jeremiah returning to drums and Wesley back on guitar for Submarine, a surprise treat for fans at the main stage as the singer walks down the stage steps and walks the line reaching out to the elated crowd as he passes.

The night comes to a close with one final hit from the self-titled album and this time it’s Stubborn Love. Even after their music finishes and Protocol Harum’s A Whiter Shade of Pale comes on over the PA these entertainers don’t stop performing, Lauren does a cartwheel onto Stelth’s shoulders and with her still on his back he runs on to main stage and with that the night was over.

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Review of The Lumineers @ Crystal Palace Park on 8th July 2023 by Bernadette O’Malley. Photos by Lauren Patel.

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