The Hollywood Bowl was in for a delicious treat Wednesday evening with Denver, Colorado’s The Lumineers on the bill. Fans of all ages poured in with their dancing shoes and close company in tact. Getting the crowd warmed up was Michigan singer/songwriter BØRNS. I actually saw this guy open up for The War on Drugs a few years ago at The Glass House in Pomona. I predicted his rise to fame then, and here we were at the grand Hollywood Bowl. Being recognized by mainstream publications such as Rolling Stone and all the prominent music blogs, BØRNS came into the spotlight as a must-listen artist.
Garrett “Borns” has the stage presence to immediately capture his audience. With his casual stroll and silk button up that he claims to be his “favorite pajama shirt,” he brings the dream-pop essence to life. Performing plenty of mood tracks from his debut album Dopamine as well as some sparkly covers of Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” and Bowie’s “Heroes,” the 24-year old did in fact get the evening rolling at the Hollywood Bowl
Intermission in tow, The Lumineers were next! Organ pipes gorgeously lit the stage and without further ado, the beloved folk-band took the stage with the warmest welcoming from one of the biggest venues they’ve had the pleasure of playing. Ready for an incredible night of music, lead vocalist, Wesley Shultz greeted the audience and informed them of their intentions to share music with each other. Opening the night with the first two tracks off their 2016 sophomore record Cleopatra, The Lumineers made way to their headlining debut at the Bowl.
Not too far into the set, Shultz had a little heart to heart with the crowd, informing us of their close relationship to house shows and all that go with an intimate setting. He said that the Hollywood Bowl told them they’re supposed to do something special, so they decided to bring the show to the very center of the amphitheater. With that anticipation built, the band made their way to a little pop up stage directly in the center of the house for about three songs. I’ve never experienced such an intimate energy from a band as we did on this night at the Hollywood Bowl. It was enchanting to watch the beautiful Neyla Pekarek on cello, making her Bowl solo during their slowed down ballad “Where The Skies Are Blue.” Together, The Lumineers nailed the cozy and intimate factors for sure. It doesn’t hurt that there’s also such a visible bond between the bandmates. The passion for their storytelling is so beautifully expressed in their music. Then back on stage, Wesley sang a few, later rejoined by suspender and bowler hat-sporting, Jeremiah, tambourine in tow and super smooth echoing vocals. As the two founding members of the group, the boys were stellar. You didn’t think you’d get by without a presidential reference did you? Wesley so boldly changed the wording in their hit “The Big Parade” to “Vote for her — the candidate.” Finally rejoined by cellist, Neyla, the band finished the night strong with a single burst of confetti.
Words & Photography: Danielle Gornbein