Photos by Paige K. Parsons
Once in a while, certain songs really grip me—Wild Cub’s “Thunder Clatter” or The Middle East’s “Blood” for example—and Lord Huron’s “The Stranger” is one of them. I don’t know exactly why, but that song, like many others on Lonesome Dreams and 2010’s Mighty EP, is enveloping and wholly detaches me from where I am. It creates its own emotional context and places me within it.
It’s not rare, though, for Lord Huron to invent a theme for the listener to get lost inside for the sake of their music’s reception. Lord Huron’s Lonesome Dreams (released in 2012) is a full concept album. The quintet, fronted by Michigan-native Ben Schneider soundtracks the pretend book series by the mythological author George Ranger Johnson (which they actually created a site for). Because Lonesome Dreams was their last full length album, and it was so dreamy already, I expected their show last night at the Fillmore to stitch together a gold-threaded saga of epic adventure and wild balladry.
The paneled backdrop behind them was a mountainous landscape saturated in a cerulean glow for most of the night, and fog effects rolled in and out with the atmospheric changes in their sound. After the fourth song, “I Will Be Back One Day”, Schneider embraced the percussion instruments nearby.
Then, Schneider put on a classic brimmed Western hat for “She Lit a Fire” and flagship track “Lonesome Dreams”, before softening up for “Lullaby” under a rich violet shade.
For set closer “Born to Run” (and again for finale “The Stranger”), he swung around his guitar and thumped around the stage, fully embodying the vagabond he so clearly aims to portray. It’s easy enough these days to slap your knee on syncopation and call it Americana, but the intricate imagery the group has created around the storyline of the adventures of an itinerant roamer draws a clearer path towards that end. They might be travelers, but Schneider is one of those wanderers who isn’t lost