I have to admit that until a good friend of mine turned me onto them a few years ago, Lord Huron wasn’t on my radar. But one spin of Strange Tails and I was hooked. I hadn’t been able to catch them on stage however — that is until Monday night at the MECU Pavilion in Baltimore.
There’s something to the music of Lord Huron that flows from aesthetics of great fiction, whether it be pulp novels of the turn of the last century in Strange Trails; idealized visions of the future in Vide Noir; or the imagined world of early variety television that inhabits Long Lost, the most recent release from this LA-by-way-of-Lansing quartet. There’s a mystic quality that takes the listener along for a ride and keeps them coming back. So, on a hot afternoon overlooking the Baltimore Harbor, I had the great fortune to witness Lord Huron as they took the stage on their first tour since music touring stopped due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
After a beautiful set by singer-songwriter Allison Ponthier, Lord Huron took the stage to the slow rise of lights at the back of the stage like a blooming sunrise beyond the Western horizon to the opening strums of “The Moon Doesn’t Mind” and into the single “Mine Forever” and the danceable groove of “Meet Me in the Woods.”
After a quick breather, Ben Schneider (vocals / guitar) announced that the band was glad to be back on the road, having just started their first tour in two years just a handful of days before. Ben, along with Mark Barry on drums, Miguel Briseño on bass, and Tom Renaud on guitar — with Misty Boyce on piano and keyboards and Brandon Walters on guitar — were set up along tiers of the stage amidst the desert backdrop. I hear the word “cinematic” thrown around a lot when it comes to the music of Lord Huron, but there really is an expansive quality to it. The music builds and builds to envelop your ears, and with the brilliant stage set up you get drawn into the story.
The band played to the crowd, sometimes rocking out and sometimes, like with one of their earlier tunes, “The Ghost on the Shore” with its washing strokes of harmonium, played by Miguel, to “Wait by the River,” as Ben crooned, sauntering from one tier to the next, as the spotlight illuminated each flick of the hands. And then the next moment, like a neon Mojave replete with flashing bolts of lightening across rolling tiered plains, the stage mirrored the music like on songs like “The World Ender” and the explosive “Ancient Names, Pt. II” that got everyone up and shaking in the aisles.
And after a brief intermission, Ben brought out Allison Ponthier, the fantastic singer who opened the evening to duet on “I Lied,” which she sings on Long Lost, and as she reached the lines I read your letter in the morning by the lake and I cried/ They were tears of joy, my chains are finally broken/ I made a vow to stand beside you ‘til the day that I die/ Told you I could never live without your love but I lied the crowd reacted with applause.
Watch the official music video for “I Lied” by Lord Huron featuring Allison Ponthier on YouTube:
As the night drew on, the band pulled from Strange Trails with “La Belle Fleur Sauvage” and “Fool for Love” and ending with the newer traveling groove of “Not Dead Yet” before a great encore starting off with the steady thump of “Never Ever” while the beauty of “The Night We Met” left everyone swooning while the last song of the encore, “The Birds Are Singing at Night” brought it all back. An amazing ride from beginning to end.
Lord Huron continues their tour through the Summer and definitely check them out here.
The setlist included:
The Moon Doesn’t Mind
Meet Me in the Woods
Dead Man’s Hand
Ancient Names, Pt. I
The Ghost on the Shore
She Lit a Fire
Wait by the River
Secret of Life
When the Night Is Over
Love Me Like You Used To
The World Ender
Ancient Names, Pt. II
La Belle Fleur Sauvage
Fool for Love
Where Did the Time Go
Not Dead Yet
Ends of the Earth
The Night We Met
The Birds Are Singing at Night
Here are some more photos of Lord Huron performing at the MECU Pavilion on Sept. 13, 2021. All images courtesy of and copyright David LaMason.