The Lumineers

The Lumineers
"Wesley Schultz, 9, who wants to be an artist, said, 'I spend a lot of time on my drawings and it turns out good 'cause I've been practicing a lot.'" -The New York Times, 3/15/92
Twenty years ago, Wesley Schultz saw the future.
Back then, growing up in the New York City suburb of Ramsey, New Jersey, Wesley spent his days drawing side by side with his best friend, Josh Fraites. Today, as bandleader of The Lumineers, Wesley's replaced his pencil with a guitar, his drawings with songs, and plays side by side with Joshua's younger brother Jeremiah. He still practices a lot, and it still turns out good.
But The Lumineers' story didn't come so easily.
It begins in 2002, the year Jeremiah's brother, Josh, died from a drug overdose at 19. Amidst the loss and grief, Wes and Jer found solace in music, writing songs and playing gigs around New York. After battling the city's cutthroat music scene and impossibly high cost of living, the two decided to expand their horizons. They packed everything they owned—nothing more than a couple suitcases of clothes and a trailer full of musical instruments—and headed for Denver, Colorado. It was less a pilgrimage than act of stubborn hopefulness.
The first thing they did in Denver was place a Craigslist ad for a cellist, and the first person to respond was Neyla Pekarek, a classically trained Denver native. As a trio, they began playing at the Meadowlark, a gritty basement club where the city's most talented songwriters gathered every Tuesday for an open mic and dollar PBRs. Neyla softened Wes and Jer's rough edges while expanding her skills to mandolin and piano. And so The Lumineers sound took shape; an amalgam of heart-swelling stomp-and-clap acoustic rock, classic pop, and front-porch folk.
In 2011, an eponymous, self-recorded EP led to a self-booked tour, and before long The Lumineers started attracting devout fans, first across the Western US, then back in their old East Coast stamping grounds. Young, old and in-between, they're drawn by songs like "Ho Hey" and "Stubborn Love," Americana-inflected barnburners in the vein of the Avett Brothers and Mumford & Sons. They're drawn by songs like "Slow it Down" and "Dead Sea," slow, sultry ballads that suggest the raw revelations of Jeff Buckley and Ryan Adams. They're drawn by the live Lumineers experience—a coming-together in musical solidarity against isolation, adversity, and despair.
The roots revival of the last few yeas has primed listeners for a new generation of rustic, heart-on-the-sleeve music—the kind that nods to tradition while setting off into uncharted territory. The Lumineers walk that line with an unerring gift for timeless melodies and soul-stirring lyrics. It will all be on display soon, on the band's first full-length album, due in March.
Born out of sorrow, powered by passion, ripened by hard work, The Lumineers have found their sound when the world needs it most.

Pug packed up his belongings and drove the longest route possible to Chicago. Working as a carpenter by day, the 23 year-old Pug spent nights playing the guitar he hadn't picked up since his teenage years. Using ideas originally slated for a play he was writing called "Austin Fish," Pug began creating the sublime lyrical masterpiece that would become the Nation of Heat EP.

The songs were recorded fast and fervently at a Chicago studio where a friend snuck him in to late night slots other musicians had canceled. He was short on money, but his bare-boned sincerity didn't require much more than a microphone and it dripped off of each note he sang.

In May of 2008, Pug played the first headlining slot of his young career to a sold out crowd at Chicago's storied Schubas Tavern. Two weeks later he released the Nation of Heat EP, which has garnered near-universal critical acclaim and established him as one of the most respected songwriters of his generation. Pug has since played shows with Todd Snider, Susan Tedeschi, Kasey Chambers, and James Hunter. He plans to release his debut full length record in 2009.

The Dig's sound has been developing ever since the band's two singers Emile Mosseri and David Baldwin started making music together when they were eleven years old. After meeting California native Erick Eiser, the three songwriters have been writing tunes and playing in different bands since they were 16 years old. Anchored by sharp guitars, a woozy synth backdrop and airtight vocal harmonies, the new album Midnight Flowers which is produced by Bryce Goggin (Pavement, The Apples In Stereo, Swans, Antony & The Johnsons) came out on May 29, 2012 on Buffalo Jump Records. It recalls styles ranging from T. Rex to Brian Eno to The Everly Brothers.

Following their acclaimed 2010 debut, "Electric Toys," The Dig amassed a passionate national fan base with magnetic live performances, and have since shared the stage with bands such as Portugal. The Man, The Antlers, and The Walkmen. The band began writing new songs while on the road and between tours. "When we were writing 'I Already Forgot Everything You Said,'" Baldwin recalls, "we had just gotten off the road with The Antlers and we were listening to a lot of Bob Dylan's 'Time Out of Mind.' I think those influences found their way into that song particularly. But really the songs on this album are personal."

The chemistry is palpable on this long-awaited sophomore album. Mosseri and Baldwin quickly discovered that trading lead vocal duties added a new dimension to the music. "We've always wanted our songs to be distinct, but when making a record we also want them to resonate with each other, like a dialogue," says Eiser. "Having two lead singers always made sense." Mark Demiglio (drums) moved to New York from Texas to join the band following the recording of "Midnight Flowers.

To celebrate the release of "Midnight Flowers," The Dig has created a limited number of cassette tapes containing the album's first two singles: "Red Rose In The Cold Winter Ground" and "I Already Forgot Everything You Said." "Even though it takes us about fifteen minutes to make each individual cassette, which is done using an old boom box in the back of our van between shows," says Mosseri, "we like the idea of having the songs that we recorded using analog tape machines available on cassette. For our fans who have moved on from 1995, each cassette also comes with a digital download."

$35.00 - $45.00

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The Lumineers with Joe Pug, The Dig, No Lawn Chairs!

Friday, July 26 · 5:30 PM at Merriweather Post Pavilion