I made a very careful decision when choosing my outfit for the Lumineers concert at the Great Saltair on Tuesday night. I didn’t want to be too hot or too cold; I didn’t want confining clothes, but I wanted to be comfortable. So, I decided to wear a denim shirt and don my black Ray-Bans. And, as it turns out, so did every other hipster there.
Doppelganger? Check. But besides having a million look-alikes (not an exaggeration), the concert was exceptional—until it was cut short, that is.
On an outdoor stage as the sun was setting over the Great Salt Lake, the night started out with Nathaniel Rateliff, who made me fall in love with indie rock all over again. His voice so well suits the genre.
Then, Dr. Dog came along with their blue beanies, skinny jeans, and yellow cardigans to woo me even further—it seems like they, too, had carefully considered their get-ups for the show, although it wasn’t clear from my notes that there was, in fact, a yellow-cardigan-clad man onstage. I realized it’s rather difficult to write in the flashing red, blue and magenta lights of a concert; what should have said “yellow cardigan” in my notes looks more like “yellow cardgar”—whatever that is.
Dr. Dog energetically made it through about five songs— including “Do the Trick,” “Stranger,” and my personal favorite, “That Old Black Hole”—before the weather threw a wrench into the works. What had started out as a light, flirty breeze turned into a monstrous gale (also not an exaggeration), which caused the 200-pound speakers to sway from their suspensions, so security stopped the show mid-song to create a makeshift stage on the upper balcony.
During this unexpected intermission, I was able to use the restroom, buy a T-shirt, watch two guys play pattycake, learn to play the didgeridoo, redirect Breaking Bad and resolve the Syria crisis. After the five-hour, 54-minute, 13-second wait period ended and the makeshift stage was completed, The Lumineers appeared in a stylish splendor of suspenders. And their performance, while short, was worth the wait.
Clustering around the balcony, the crowd morphed into a sea of clapping hands and camera phones as the band busted out “Flowers in Your Hair,” “Classy Girls,” “Ho Hey” and half of a new song. Since it was getting late by that point, security stopped the performance yet again—this time for good—causing the crowd to counter back with some woeful obscenities (people sure are creative in their word choices). But those few melodies were high-energy, great entertainment and well-sung. During the set, Jeremiah Fraites, the percussionist for The Lumineers, even leaned over the balcony and beat his drumsticks against the green wrought-iron rails.
Once the music was really over, everyone filed out to sit in the parking lot for two hours due to the traffic jam (people sure have some creative driving techniques). If I’m being honest, the end was a little anti-climatic. It was a great show with a stellar lineup, but I just wanted to see more. After all, I got really dressed up.
Photos by Alan Taylor Smith.