Sunday, January 8, 2017

Lord Huron at The Independent in SF – A Concert Review

     Lord Huron completed a three-night stay at The Independent on Saturday. The venue had pockets of fans who were partial to different albums by the band. To our left was a group that sang each word of songs on the sophomore album (“Strange Trails”). Also adjacent to us was a large group that emphatically danced to songs from the debut album (“Lonesome Dreams“). That group was particularly energized during the final song of the pre-encore setlist – “Time to Run.” Each pocket appreciated tracks from both albums, but favored one album over the other. It was curious, because the band did not change its basic sound after the first album.
     Lord Huron is based in Los Angeles, but has roots in Michigan. During a visit to The Independent in 2012, frontman Ben Schneider announced that he was saddened by the Panda-led San Francisco Giant’s ability to defeat his Detroit Tigers in a World Series game. Pedro Sandoval hit three homeruns in the hours before the band’s performance. Still, the performance was stellar. The same was true of the 2017 appearance.
     On Saturday, Schneider was joined on stage by Mark Barry (percussion, vocals), Miguel Briseño (bass, keys, percussion), Tom Renaud (guitar, vocals), and Brandon Walters (guitar, vocals). Walters is “only” a touring member of the band, but played key roles with his backing vocals and strong guitar skills. Despite being in front of Walters on the left side of stage, Renaud stayed in the background, musically, until the night was coming to a close. Toward the end, Renaud used his slide guitar skills to add another pleasing element to the music.
     On the other hand, Briseño and Barry were dynamic from start to end. Briseño bounced among instruments, which included three keyboards, the bass, the guitar, and percussion. Barry’s drumming was often electronically processed. The processing went well with some of the sound effects that were used during the performance.

     “Fool for Love"

     “Time to Run”

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