Lord Huron captivates crowd at Mr. Smalls

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Listening to Lord Huron through headphones is a relaxing, even regenerative experience. The band's stage presence is anything but.

Packed with an eclectic crowd of mostly 20-somethings, Mr. Smalls Theatre was the perfect venue for the indie folk band's Friday night concert.

Lord Huron opened with characteristic soft vocals and light percussion. Ben Schneider, founding member and lead singer, wore a button-up denim shirt and straw cowboy hat. As they transitioned to their second number, “I Will Be Back Someday,” blue light flooded the stage and the expected crowd-swaying ensued. Mr. Schneider would periodically break out of the lull to dance around the other band members -- the cowboy hat flying off of his head several times throughout the number.

By the third or fourth song, red and white spotlights sprang across the stage and the floor of Mr. Smalls thumped. A suddenly electrified crowd screamed its approval as Lord Huron reached the well-known “Ends of the Earth.” Mr. Schneider had swapped his guitar for a snare drum.

The rest of the evening much more closely resembled a rock concert.

Band members energetically criss-crossed the space. The crowd responded with equal excitement, bobbing and clapping. While Lord Huron retained its remarkable use of instrumentals (a harmonica was almost always present), the feel bore almost no resemblance to that of their recorded sound.

By the last song, “Time to Run,” Lord Huron had captivated its audience. The band returned to play a medley of “Brother” and “Stranger.” The lights went out and the stained glass of Mr. Smalls was illuminated by upheld cell phones as Lord Huron took a final bow.

Emma Brown: ebrown@post-gazette.com; 412-263-2576. First Published July 20, 2014 12:00 AM

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