It was almost impossible not to smile during the Lord Huron concert that took place in Jacksonville, Fla. on June 14. The band gave a mystic performance to a handful of restless souls at Mavericks Live, a local honky tonk within the Jacksonville Landing venue.
Lord Huron’s live performance is a sacred experience for many reasons, one of the biggest being the vivid storylines that breathe within their albums. In one concert, you feel like you’ve been led through a pine-filled woodland, a dusty Western fiction, and the streets of India.
That experience is the product of vocal frontman Ben Schneider’s fiery passion for storytelling through music. Schneider grew up on Lake Huron and drew much of his inspiration from the forests of Michigan. He embodies the spirit of a wanderer, with many of his songs about exploring the unknown and embracing the spontaneity of traveling to unknown lands.
Schneider opened the show with “World Ender,” a hip-shaking tune that immediately lit the crowd ablaze with excitement. From then, songs from both Lonesome Dreams and Strange Trails alternated, dancing and weaving themselves into an intricate tapestry of old and new favorites. Even though Schneider and his band transitioned back and forth from electric and acoustic guitars, the change was seamless, giving both albums the opportunity to complement each other as they were performed live.
Schneider’s stage presence amplifies the effect of Lord Huron’s music on the audience. As he sang “Way Out There,” he stretched his arms to the horizon, his eyes fixed on a point beyond the crowd, as if he were in an alternate reality. Without notice, he’d break away from the microphone and execute a perfect guitar solo while mindlessly spinning in his old-fashioned suit.
However, Lord Huron’s music is not always about light-hearted fantasy and fictional escapism. Many of the tracks ponder life, death and whatever comes after. For example, Lord Huron performed “Ghost On the Shore,” a song about a man willing his soul to live forever on a lake, even after his body perishes. It’s a beautifully morbid song that evokes a powerfully emotional response from audience members when performed live.
You don’t need to know every lyric of Lord Huron’s music to enjoy the band. Their live performance is an escape from the mundaneness of everyday life and offers the temptation of leaving everything behind to embark on a wild journey. All of their music can be purchased on their website at http://www.strangetrails.com/.