Lord Huron @ The Lexington, London - 08/02/2013

by AlexJackson
AlexJackson
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on 11 February 2013 in Live
Rating 8/10

With a fervent, almost intense crowd waiting, American-five piece Lord Huron has a lot to play for this evening. To say anticipation is running high is an understatement, best represented in the two successive sold out shows and the dash for any remaining tickets for tonight’s intimate and understated performance. The mystery in the minds of most music aficionados this evening was in the venue choice and size. The Lexington is an exemplary music spot and has played to many up and coming bands in the past, yet Lord Huron, still fresh and emerging this side of the Atlantic, could have easily filled this out twice over.

Yet, arguably for those lucky enough to have come good on a ticket, this was a memorable evening. Playing a tight and very fluid set, the five-piece led by Michigan-born songwriting prodigy Ben Schneider look confident way beyond their years and experience. Their sound is a melting pot of styles and experimentalism that has won over fans in America by the millions. Whether it is the sounds of a tender Ryan Adams ballad or Vampire Weekend at their most playful, Lord Huron have a knack of blending sumptuous harmonies, rustic guitars and Appalachian percussion in an effortless manner. Their stratospheric rise Stateside which has already seen them debut on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is evidence enough that the cinematic widescreen qualities of debut album ‘Lonesome Dreams’, still only a few weeks old in the UK, is set for mass audiences and festivals.

They have joviality this evening that is affable, real and something to be championed in all new bands. There are notable highlights tonight that will no doubt (and rightly so) knock the likes of Mumford et al off the radios for some time. The music is notably inspired by the Wild West’s rustic coloured canyons and larger than life characters, and is deeply rooted in often mesmeric Americana. There are arguable traces of the Felice Brothers, Fleet Foxes and even Springsteen in their charismatic melodies, but they remain a talent in their own individual right. Their ambition is unerring in the likes of the thumping spaghetti western ‘Time To Run’ which slowly builds before breaking into a euphoric chorus and chanting harmonies. It is set to be a frontrunner for one of the finest festival sing-a-longs of the summer, in the most tasteful sense of the word. ‘She Lit A Fire’ is another slice of soaring folk-rock that yearns for the wide open country with wonderment. ‘The Man Who Lives Forever’ shows another side to them with effervescent layered guitars and a wistful quality, there’s an immaculate countrified version of the Kink’s ‘Strangers’ and the sky-scraping brilliance of the sepia-tinged ‘Brother’.

The undoubted highlight this evening comes surprisingly mid set with arguably their finest song ‘Lonesome Dreams.’ It is a staggeringly melodious beauty that charms from the first note onwards and receives a rapturous reception from both first time listeners and those already under their spell. Unfairly, the band suffers from a few sound problems a couple of songs in, but charismatically are unnerved and continue with vigour. Lord Huron has come a long way since beginning as a solo endeavour by Schneider in 2010, and that commitment and dedication has paid massive dividends. Tonight they cement their place as the most likely contenders to win the hearts and minds of music fans across the world and it won’t be long before their meteoric rise in the US is deservedly replicated in Europe.

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