April 12, 2012
"There's nothing worse than when you see an artist who thinks the audience is somehow lower than him," says Lumineers drummer Jeremiah Fraites, who cofounded the band on the East Coast a few years ago with singer-guitarist Wesley Schultz. "Our first tour in 2009, we did a whole national tour in 30 days. There were 16- to 18-hour stretches between gigs. We were just four people showing up in Cody, Wyoming, or Missoula, Montana, and we knew the audience didn¿t know who we were, and probably wouldn't remember us when we left. So we thought about how can we fix that without turning into gimmick? We went into the crowd and turned the shows into something a little more participatory. You tread that fine line between gimmicky and sincere. It was terrifying at first. It's easy to feel powerful when you have a band behind you and microphones, but to go into a crowd to instruct people to sing quietly in certain parts and sing along in others, it terrified me at first. Now it's something we really enjoy."
Lumineers: 9 p.m. Friday at Space, 1245 Chicago Av., Evanston, Ill.; $10 and $18 (sold out); evanstonspace.com
Read the full Lumineers interview