Record For Tears Of Joy Shed At A Show BROKEN By The Lumineers


A lot of us were hoping to see The Lumineers in concert about 2 years ago before the “Big Sick” started, but then – well – the Big Sick. For the bands that managed to make it through those dark months of shutdowns and tour-less weeks on end, the fortunate remain intact and back on the road. So as I made my way to the Xcel for the big show, I was introspective. In a way, for me, this show was another chime from Father Time saying “2020 is behind you.” 

Knock the heck on wood.  

So, we finally had it – a Friday night at the “X” to catch The Lumineers and company. To start things off that night we had Daniel Rodriguez. Daniel came out sporting a bright white coat which stood out like an angelic beacon alongside his bandmates, and the holy vibes continued once we got to hear his music. A former pillar of the band, Elephant Revival, Daniel wasted no time converting into a solo artist to fill the space left by the lacking band dynamic. After our night with him, we can confirm that he is a splendid individual artist, as well. Hits like “Colorado” or his 2022 release “Mixtape” are where I’d point you if you want to sample more of their stuff! 

Gregory Alan Isakov was the next act and the crowd had us fooled that he was the main act – it was that packed. South African born, US-raised Isakov has been making music since a lot of the Lumineers fans were in elementary or pre-school (’03) and he has been a staple of the folk scene for years. I can even personally attest to this – when I was first discovering the Lumineers about ten years ago, Greg’s name was already a regular on my streaming services. Isakov came out with a cowboy-era hat on, alongside a band that was spaced out and lit up like they were each on their own little stage. 

Isakov is known primarily as a indie-folk artist, with hits including “Words,” “Big Black Car,” and so many more over his lengthy and impressive career. We got to hear a lot from him that evening, which is great – because by the time he wrapped up his gig, we were pretty sure a lot of the crowd (if they already weren’t) were now huge fans. The place was nearly filled up as Isakov bowed off and gave us a few moments to prepare for the final act. 

My second time getting to see them, The Lumineers are legitimately one of my favorite bands of the modern era; and I can’t be alone in this because the Xcel Energy Center, a place usually only filled up for state high school hockey tournaments, was packed. The Lumineers came out with a full band and (primarily focused on songs from their covid-era (Brightside and III) but made sure to throw in their classics from the past decade as well, reminding everyone of how many great songs they’ve had but also simultaneously making me realize how much of my life they’ve been the soundtrack for at times. 

Whether people were here for the band’s indie-folk origins, current folk-rock sound, or just 2012 hit “Ho Hey,” one thing was true: the most common driver of following, listening to, and seeing The Lumineers is passion. When we heard the happy songs, we clapped and sang along. When we heard the slower, harder songs – we cried. When your lyrics are as emotionally charged and passionate as this band’s, you attract the same sorts it seems. At a lot of the shows I go to, the crowd is singing along to the chorus or catchy refrains, but with The Lumineers I got goosebumps hearing fans around me belting EACH word; I couldn’t blame them – I was singing along, too. Passion and folk genre aside, a lot has changed since I first discovered Lumineers. They use drums a lot more than they used to, and some of their band members have come and gone, but as I wrote this piece and reflected on the band and their show – it hit me. 

They haven’t lost their key trait which is being the best when it comes to songs that make you just want to sing and FEEL the human experience. Whether it be tears of joy like we had at the show, smiles on the road while you’re blasting their songs in the car, or real tears as you struggled in the past – their music has you covered. It’s all there. While there’s something beautifully simple about their sound at times, they never let you finish hearing a song of theirs without a heartstring being tugged in some way and THAT is what makes them one of the best of the best. 

Thank you for hanging out with us, Lumineers – we can’t wait to have you back.