Concert Review: Lord Huron

Beauty Bar, July 18

For an hourlong set of songs culled almost entirely from last year’s full-length Lonesome Dreams, L.A. indie-folk outfit Lord Huron mostly ruled Beauty Bar. The venue’s too-modest outdoor sound system was just enough to trumpet the band’s CinemaScope sound. Huron opened with the majestic “Ends of the Earth,” singer Ben Schneider’s canyon-yodeling at once spot-on and spectral. (A misty-mountain photo banner, stretched and illuminated behind the band, improved the otherwise gnarly Fremont-alley atmosphere.) Pledge of romantic fealty “Man Who Lives Forever” followed, with guitarist Tom Renaud’s Afro-pop fret-board runs inspiring people to move their asses. When Huron presented its best tune, “I Will Be Back One Day,” I could have died a happy man hearing Schneider reminisce about love’s fiery ignition point: I remember that bright spring day/When you sparked that flame/And a fire continues to burn. Renaud and second guitarist Karl Kerfoot got their Epiphone hollow-body guitars working in tandem, achieving an ebullient pastorality. Gripes? Huron’s insistence on using tropical rhythms. At times the effect evokes a Jimmy Buffett B-side. Huron closed with “The Stranger,” off the Mighty EP (2010), and during its drum kit-hitting, four-on-the-floor outro, Schneider repeated a lyric: Now that I’ve seen your face/I’m haunted by the letters of your name. Should’ve ended there, as Huron encored with a Paul Simon-aping pop ditty. Still, a memorable, impressive Downtown summer show for Beauty Bar. ★★★★✩

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