In the midst of an epic world tour supporting their second album Cleopatra, The Lumineers returned to Sydney for their Opera House debut. And what a reception they found.

The six-piece band delivered to one of the most euphoric audiences this town has ever seen, with everyone on their feet by the second song. The Concert Hall felt like a stadium, and in those rare moments you could tear your gaze away from the stage and admire the crowd, the sight was incredible: thousands of people singing along to every word, swaying to every strum and jumping out of their seats.

When the band’s 2012 hit ‘Ho Hey’ arrived just three songs in, the crowd simply lost it. While many of The Lumineers’ songs have a certain anthemic quality, what was most astounding – on ‘Ho Hey’ in particular – what how big they can sound with the barest ingredients. The core band members took to the front of stage, and with nothing more than a kick drum for percussion, brought that song to soaring life.

But the ball kept rolling. They played exactly what the audience wanted to hear, with hits plucked from their debut album (‘Big Parade’, ‘Dead Sea’ and ‘Submarines’) through to recent standouts like the album title track and singles ‘Ophelia’ and ‘Angela’. There was also a sublime rendition of Tom Petty’s ‘Walls’, a nice surprise.

Throughout the show, the band showed incredible stamina, just days after a big Bluesfest set. Frontman Wesley Schultz could be found leaping off stage mid-song, running throughout the audience. Elsewhere, there was piano-diving, drum-mounting and confetti.

Schultz took an extremely personal approach to playing here, and really spoke to the audience, telling stories of his father (leading up to ‘Gun Song’), and giving insights into the beginnings of The Lumineers back when they would perform in people’s living rooms.

It was clear the entire band was excited to be here, and you flatter yourself into thinking this was more than just a standard concert for the Colorado folksters. With inventive percussion, energised deliveries and a bubbling audience, The Lumineers put on a huge and dynamic show for their diehard fans that definitely won’t be forgotten.

The Lumineers played the Sydney Opera House on Monday April 17.

Write a Letter to the Editor