As I walked into the Capital One area on Feb. 28, I was bombarded with hypocrisy. “III,” the Lumineers’ third full-length album released last September, tells the story of how alcoholism affects an entire family, three generations down. And yet, Bud Lights were in every other hand that I passed by.
The opener, an indie band from Pennsylvania called Mt. Joy, was what I was looking forward to the most. I’ve liked the band for three years, so I was really excited. They played a good selection, but the music was drowned out by everyone else talking and moving around.
As soon as The Lumineers walked on stage, everyone in the audience rose. The enthusiastic fans were dancing in the aisles, executing sharp hand movements and applause, even when there was no music. The band seemed just as, if not more, ecstatic to be here.
They opened with a song from their previous album, one that the entire audience knew. It was incredible to see the entire arena filled with flashlights and lighters, swaying for a band that just opened for U2 at this same venue only two years ago. Here they were in front of all of us, headlining their own world tour. They will continue on their tour, traveling to 62 more cities, through mid-September.
The music continued as they intertwined old and new, known and lesser-known songs, into one comprehensive storyline. Toward the end of the show, J.S. Ondara (the first opener), Mt. Joy, and The Lumineers all stood side by side. They each sung different parts of “Democracy,” originally by Leonard Cohen, but also included on The Lumineers’ newest album. This was our favorite part of the performance because of the rich harmonies, not only between the band, but felt between everyone in the building.
By the end of the night, the band was doing cartwheels all over the stage, sharing positivity with everyone watching. A portion of each ticket, merch item, and snack sold that night was donated to various charities that help people living in homelessness and with addiction in DC.