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Sunday December 17th 2017

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The Lumineers Perform Benefit Concert at the Sioux City Orpheum Theatre

(4.3.17) By Jaclyn Arens – The Lumineers made a surprise stop in Sioux City to conclude their Cleopatra tour. They performed a benefit concert at the Orpheum Theatre on March 26 and donated all the proceeds to the Native American tribes protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.

More specifically, the concert benefited the water protectors at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in Fort Yates, North Dakota, who oppose the $3.8 billion pipeline. The concert was also used to benefit Unicorn Riot, which is an alternative news channel that covered the protests blocking construction across Lake Oahe.

Even though much of the movement has receded, many activists are still facing arrest and legal fees. The Lumineers were joined at the Orpheum by their tour mates, Susto.

The Lumineers are an American folk band from Denver, CO. Their first big hit was “Ho Hey” in 2012 from their self-titled album. With their first album, they made it to the Grammys, the presidential iPod, the top of the charts, and onto the Hunger Games. After a four-year break, the Lumineers are back with their second album titled Cleopatra.

Susto, the opening band, had a wide variety of music. I didn’t recognize any of their songs, but I did enjoy them. Their sound ranged from country to heavy metal, which was quite the variety. I didn’t expect something like that before the Lumineers, but overall, I enjoyed it.

I’ve seen the Lumineers live before, but they still amazed me by how great they sound live. The band is comprised of Wesley Schultz (vocals, guitar), Jeremiah Fraites (drums, piano), and Neyla Pekarek (cellist and backing vocals). I felt like they gave an authentic, joyful performance. There were no costume changes or backup dancers. It was just an incredibly talented band with their instruments on the stage, and I could tell that everyone in the crowd felt the joy of listening to live music.

Schultz spoke about many of his songs, and it was incredible to hear about the real people who inspired the lyrics. The song “Charlie Boy” was written about Schultz’s uncle who died in Vietnam, and “The Gun Song” was written about Schultz finding a gun in his father’s sock drawer after he passed away. I felt a deeper connection with the music when I realized they were real songs about real people.

One unique aspect of the show was that they decided to sing a few songs without microphones. They wanted to test of the Orpheum’s acoustics; I was able to hear every word.

My favorite moment was when recent Morningside graduate Jesus Iniguez was pulled up on stage. He said, “A few security guards were pointing at me, and I didn’t know what was going on. I thought I was being kicked out!” Jesus held an instrument while Jeremiah Fraites played it, and he gave lead singer Wesley Schultz a hug before he left the stage.