Review — Lord Huron Brought All the Elements to Sold Out Show at Red Rocks

Wednesday was the first of two sold-out shows featuring Lord Huron and Allie Crow Buckley at Red Rocks. Dark clouds hovered over Morrison as Buckley set the tone for the evening with her powerful and silky vocals. She swayed through her set dressed head to toe in a white flowy ensemble that moved with the wind and sang with her silhouette. Folk artist is a simplified version of how to define Buckley — her sound and lyrics take you to places far beyond folk. Some songs were bright and simple, while her closing song “Moonlit and Devious,” filled the amphitheater with dark tones that contrasted her light and airy voice. Buckley is known to excel in this type of divergence that takes listeners down windy roads with unexpected turns, which can be heard well in her new LP Utopian Fantasy that dropped in late May.

Rain turned from a steady drizzle to an all-out pour as fans waited for Lord Huron to take the stage. If there was a soundtrack to a rainy and mellow mountain evening, it would beLord Huron’s music. The evening held components that were both melancholy and bright, complimented by profound lyrics and stylistic melodies around every corner.

The four-piece indie folk band includes vocalist Ben Schneider, Mark Barry, Miguel Briseño and Tom Renaud. While touring, they are also joined by Misty Boyce and Brandon Walters. Lord Huron fans are often referred to as either World Enders or Travelers, and they all graciously braved the wind and the rain in exchange for the show. The set started and ended with parts from “Time’s Blur,” the dark and ominous instrumental track from the album Long Lost. This transitioned into “La Belle Fleur Sauvage,” a bright and blissful track laced with the sound of Schnieder’s signature hums. This song immediately lifted the spirits of the cold and wet crowd. Warm energy spread through smiles, and couples danced romantically in rain ponchos.

The stage was set with multiple levels of large gray stones outlined with lights. Schneider later joked that the set was a recreation of his childhood home. “Complete with the leaky roof, I used to sleep right beneath that tombstone over there,” he joked.

Themes of stones, graves and ghosts are always recurring in the band’s discography, allowing the mood to match the set with any song from any era. Although each player on stage was seemingly on an island of their own amongst the rocks, the separation only highlighted the synchronicity of their performance. Despite chaotic weather, delays and a few technical difficulties, the entire band played with passion and evident joy all evening.

If there is one song that embodies the soul of Lord Huron’s music, it’s got to be “Ghost on the Shore.” In this four-minute moment, everything was either earth and bones, coasts and ghosts or land and sand. Schnieder’s words mean so much to his travelers because he’s singing about both body and earth; he’s connecting the dots between bones and dust, while singing us a path from birth to death. This song is both body and nature standing face to face. The dissonant ending that faded into the sunny intro of ‘‘She Lit a Fire” was a spiritual experience amongst the crowd.

A glowing emerald emerged hanging in the air as “Ancient Names, Pt. 1” began. The emerald star had crucial symbolism in the marketing of the album Vide Noir, and the story behind it, representing a male protagonist searching for his lover in a black void. This void, which is felt when you cannot live without someone you love, was both displayed and felt as Schnieder climbed the stage rocks while singing the lyrics “I will wait by the river.” His voice filled the amphitheater with a beautiful longing for love as his body gave an animated performance. Throughout the evening, there were times when Schnieder’s voice felt intimate and fine-tuned, and there were many other moments where it was bold and full, echoing off the furthest rocks.

At some point during “When the Night is Over” the massive star began to fall. The next song was delayed but luckily no one was hurt. Towards the end of the night Schneider praised fans for their perseverance, stating, “You braved the cold, you braved the rain, you braved the fallen chain.”

While performing “The World Ender” and “Ancient Names, Pt. II”  Schneider wore an incredibly realistic skeleton mask, complimented by blurred ethereal effects from the video crew. Instruments rotated throughout the evening. A stand-up bass and a steel guitar captivated the audience every time they appeared. One of the most memorable moments of the evening was the performance of ‘Moon Song’ a song that hasn’t been in performed since 2016, and had only been performed live twice before. The lyrics change every time because the song remains unfinished. When “Moon Song” began, the moon was only slightly shining through heavy clouds, but by the end it was fully visible as the clouds moved away.

The duet between Misty and Schnieder deeply moved fans in “I Lied.” The lap steel was a lovely accompaniment to Boyce’s sweet resonant tones. The set closed with “Not Dead Yet” followed by an outro of “Time’s Blur.” The crowd didn’t have to wait long for the anticipated encore from Lord Huron. “The Night We Met” is Lord Huron’s most recognizable song for a good reason. It will rip your heart in half in the first minute and stitch it back up before the song ends. This is a song that fans have said “sings to their bones and changes the chemistry of their brains.” The evening ended with “Meet Me in the Woods,” and fans were left savoring one of the main messages from the band “May you live until you die.”

All photography by Kiddest Metaferia