The Lumineers – O2 Academy Glasgow, 18/02/13

The Lumineers BowIt was on Sunday night that I realised my tickets for tomorrow night’s The Lumineers gig had not arrived. In all the gigs I’ve ever gone to, this has never happened. They were bought in November, shortly after seeing the band support The Civil Wars at the O2 Academy Glasgow so should definitely have turned up by now.

Now three months later – after a series of venue upgrades – the band were due to headline the very same venue I saw them in previously. Only my tickets hadn’t arrived. In fairness to Ticketweb they were extremely quick to respond to a panicked Tweet and told me to collect my tickets at the Box Office. I honestly didn’t think it would be that simple; “treat your tickets like cash” we have always been told, “they won’t be replaced.” I hadn’t lost them, they hadn’t arrived but even still I expected a little bit of push-back.

Too good to be true it seems. Even though they had three months to send them it seems that nobody received their tickets. At least, not anyone who had bought a ticket after the original (tiny) venue had sold out. The queue to collect tickets was wrapped around the building! Talking to Security who had policed the queue of disgruntled (and freezing) attendees for the past few hours it did seem like almost everybody hadn’t received their tickets!

Queueing for over an hour.

Queueing to pick up tickets.

We stood there for 75 minutes before getting in. We were informed that the band were delaying the start to make sure everyone got in. But when we got through the door at 9:23 they were finishing their first song! I felt sorry for those who were still standing outside as the Box Office wasn’t exactly speeding through the ticket collections. A real PR disaster for a tour which has sold out throughout Europe and upsized many times to way bigger venues.

Apart from the few still outside, the O2 Academy Glasgow was rammed! The excitement from the crowd was fervent and The Lumineers were not disappointing. The sound was superb tonight and the band sounded excellent. A few songs including ‘Classy Girls’, ‘Flowers in Your Hair’ all passed before singer Wesley Schulz told us he was coming in to the middle of the crowd.

As he made his way, Jeremiah Fraites told one half of the crowd we were the “Hey”s and the other that they were the “Ho”s. Thanks in no small part to an e-on advert everybody knew the next song as it was played acoustically, a capella (and for the most part sung by the crowd) from the middle of the venue. It is moments like this that make standing outside in the freezing cold for over an hour worth it. There are only a handful of things in my mind which tops these times when a band have an audience in the palm of their hand, and those in the venue feel special, knowing that what they are witnessing was one of those “I was there” moments. Tonight was one of those.

We were treated to a couple of new songs including one with rousing applause for a (duet) lead vocal from cellist Neyla Pekarek before the band played ‘Ho Hey’ again, this time from the stage and with full amplification. ‘Flapper Girl’ completed the main set.

The stamping of the feet and loud cheers were soon responded to by the band returning for a few more tracks. One of which was the rather brilliant ‘Stubborn Love’. I remember this song in particular from The Civil Wars support slot where they managed to get the entire crowd to sing along with them in call and response. Tonight was only different by the volume of the venue singing back; much LOUDER!

In the end the set lasted about as long as standing in the queue to pick up tickets, but what a show. A show originally booked in Stereo – whilst that would’ve been good – an excited and full to the brim 2000-plus Glasgow crowd watching a band rocketing on their way to major fame made for a gig tonight which was most likely way more. Less intimate, and yet tricks such as singing interactions and walking into the middle of the crowd, made you feel as if the venue was way smaller than it is.

I said in November that I thought this band would be massive, I honestly didn’t think it would happen this quickly though!

Gareth Fraser
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