Having not played Colorado since January of 2015 I personally began to wonder what had happened to the Denver’s favorite indie folk band. But then, with the release of their sophomore album, Cleopatra earlier this year, it became obvious that the band would be returning to Colorado very soon. Needless to say, The Lumineers were welcomed back by fans who missed them dearly with two sold out shows at the legendary red rocks.
When Virginia-based band, Sleepwalkers took the stage on Wednesday night, fans had just begun slowly trickling in. With the threat of evening showers headed for the venue, there seemed to be a hint of a somber mood in the atmosphere. However, as Sleepwalkers began to play one upbeat song after another, the atmosphere began to warm up even with the wind chill. Within a couple of tracks, the band had grown into the venue and captivated the audience's attention with catchy melodies and groovy guitars. It wouldn’t be show at Red Rocks without at least one band on the bill acknowledging the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, either. Lead singer Michael York prefaced their song “Cocaine” by saying “This song is about something that’s not so legal.” The song was easily a crowd favorite due to its upbeat nature. As their set came to a close, Sleepwalkers invited members of J. Roddy Walston and the Business, a fellow Virginian band, onto the stage to sing along to their last song. Audience members that braved the gloomy weather and got to Red Rocks early enough to catch Sleepwalkers were in for treat.
Taking the stage next was Irish singer-songwriter, Soak. As the sun began to set behind the rocks, Soak’s voice transported the audience into a dream. Their hypnotic and captivating set made me wonder on multiple occasions, “Why have I never listened to them before?” Soak was able to satisfy the crowd as the venue filled up, providing the perfect transition from Sleepwalkers to the highly anticipated headliners, The Lumineers.
Colorado loves The Lumineers, that’s for sure. The second night of their two night stint at Red Rocks couldn’t have gone any better. Not even the chilly weather could phase fans. If attendees weren’t singing along at their set, they were dancing on the stairs. Yes, there were a few couples swing dancing on the steps of the amphitheater. The Lumineers’ set was a balanced mix of tracks off both their albums, The Lumineers and Cleopatra. The excitement of the return of The Lumineers to Colorado manifested the massive crowd. Midway into their set, the band even chose to play a couple songs from atop the soundboard, acknowledging that Red Rocks is by no means an intimate venue. However, there was definitely a homey atmosphere as the crowd sang along to old favorites like “Submarines” and “Flowers in Your Hair.” The sense of community amongst the band and their fans was truly something special. I can’t think of a better way to say “Welcome Home.”