Review: The Lumineers Light Up Santa Barbara Bowl With Their Elegant Style

Photo by Abe Noorzay Lumineers- Jeremiah Fraites, Wesley Schultz, Byron Isaacs, Ben Wahamaki
The Lumineers - Photo © 2016 Abe Noorzay
Lumineers Photo © 2016 Abe Noorzay
Lumineers play the Santa Barbara Bowl (May 28, 2016) – Photo © 2016 Abe Noorzay


On a cool Saturday night, during a much-needed three-day weekend, The Lumineers lit up the entire city of Santa Barbara.

The band that had been at No. 1 on the Billboard charts for 18 non-consecutive weeks with their hit single “Ho Hey,” was able to showcase their newest album, Cleopatra. The openers put on a stellar show for everyone and the sold out crowd was ready.

The night started early with a 6:30 p.m. performance from the first opener, Sleepwalkers.  The group hails from Richmond, Va., and had their own brand of California beach goth that I’m sure most of the crowd wasn’t expecting. Between the countless animated faces of guitarist/bassist Austin York and just the overall local-sounding tunes they had, the band was incredibly enjoyable to watch.

Lumineers by Abe Noorzay
Lumineers – Jeremiah Fraites (bass, drum, tambourine), Wesley Schultz (guitar) – Photo © 2016 Abe Noorzay

SOAK: Amazing Treat

The skies started to change colors and up next was SOAK. She got on stage with her band and she just looked like this awkward kid on stage with her guitar and bright, buttoned shirt, then she started playing. The entire crowd stopped what they were doing and they just listened. Her music sounded like what the ocean feels like and her voice had a dark undertone that led perfectly into the new sound The Lumineers went for in Cleopatra. 

After that riveting performance, the crowd was beyond ready to see the main event. Couples were swing dancing in the pit to The Plank by The Devil Makes Three and everyone was just having fun.

As the night faded to black, the curtains fell and the stage lit up.

The Lumineers

First to come on stage was drummer Jeremiah Fraites with his signature white T-shirt and suspenders along with the fedora.

As the crowd roars, he walked to his kit, set his drink down, and hit the bass drum rhythmically as the others walked on the stage as well. The crowd got even louder. Frontman Wesley Schultz picked up his guitar and they opened with the intro to their new album, Sleep on the Floor.

Halfway through the show, the Lumineers picked up their instruments and made their way to the middle of the crowd and played a couple of songs with all their fans surrounding them.

Opener SOAK - Photo © 2016 Abe Noorzay
Opener SOAK – Photo © 2016 Abe Noorzay

While there, they also covered the famous Bob Dylan track, “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” and did it in a way where they turned it into a Lumineers song. They absolutely owned it.

They finished off the night with “Stubborn Love” and the crowd sang along so beautifully. You could look around and see people crying their eyes out, singing along and just staring at the sky.

The Lumineers put on a different kind of show. They take the simplicity of their original folk sound and add a certain elegance with their making of Cleopatra that just can’t be obtained by their contemporaries.