5 thoughts from Lord Huron’s Beauty Bar show

Thursday, July 18

Ben Schneider and Lord Huron perform July 18 at Beauty Bar.
Photo: Spencer Burton

1. If restraint and subtlety are what make Lord Huron’s 2012 debut, Lonesome Dreams, such a strong album, it’s the opposite that made them such a great live act Thursday night. The five-piece brought an unexpected amount of chutzpah to its languid indie-folk tunes, with frontman Ben Schneider taking out the lonesome heartbreak of his lyrics on a spare tom drum and strumming his guitar so hard that his hat flew off.

Never sloppy or overblown, the band did also good job of balancing its energy with the layered instrumentation and emotional nuance at the heart of its tracks, suggesting that Lord Huron is more than just another on-the-rise indie act passing through.

2. Though folks complained that the band took an excessive amount of time to set up and soundcheck, the wait resulted in one of the most professional, top-quality sound mixes we’ve heard at Beauty Bar. And when your set includes everything from drum mallets to sleigh bells to three-part harmonies, that can make all the difference.

3. Despite the near-perfect sound, the packed crowd seemed to have no problem talking over the band’s ballads and up-tempo tunes, hitting that sweet spot of rude and annoying that all too often plagues Beauty Bar gigs.

4. The blue mountainscape the band uses as its backdrop at shows and on its album cover lent some nice atmosphere and aesthetic to the music, but we couldn’t help noticing an unmistakable similarity to the blue-mountain graphic that comes as a default image on Apple products.

5. Maybe we’re just spoiled here in Vegas with the way bands usually linger and mingle by the stage after the show, but the crowd was visibly disappointed and confused when Lord Huron beelined for the back alley the moment its members put their instruments down. Were the bathrooms broken?

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