Lord Huron WonderRoad Festival Indianapolis June 12, 2022. Review By Alex Drake Photos By Laura Fox
Lord Huron, headliner on the second day of Indianapolis’s WonderRoad music festival, came whirling on stage with the whimsical essence of a tumbleweed bounding over the desertamidst the cheers of the zealous crowd late Sunday evening. The all-American band, which is famous for their western-inspired, indie folk-rock tunes, enchanted the audience with a wide variety of songs ranging from their most recent album to their early hits.
Taking full advantage of the space provided at the Music Elevates main stage, Lord Huron’s multi-level set resembled a desert scene with rolling hills and cacti, including a huge half-circle doubling as a setting sun or moon depending on the lighting and song choice. The stage wasn’t the only thing dressing up for the night however, as lead singer and guitarist Ben Schneider donned a skull mask during parts of the band’s performance. Throughout the show, founding member Schneider strode up and down both levels of the stage, seeming to favor the higher vantage point for a good portion of the performance. He connected with the fans in a free-spirited yet grounded manner, using his poetic, lyrical music to remind crowd-goers that the present easily slips into the past, and our experiences are once-in-a-lifetime happenings to be treasured as they ultimately are woven into our futures.
The four-piece band from Los Angeles, which consists of Ben Schneider, Mark Barry, Miguel Briseño, and Tom Renaud, were joined on stage by touring musicians Brandon Walters and Misty Boyce. Using a wide range of instruments, Lord Huron took special care to include the harmonica in many songs, using it as an effective tool to either bolster excitement and movement from the audience or harness that iconic, melancholy sound akin to the cowboy blues. They did a spectacular job balancing the two moods and recreating the feeling every concertgoer was feeling; appreciating the merriment of the festival, intertwined with the bittersweet realization that it’ll soon be done once the last song is sung.
As the summer’s heat started to dissipate and the nearly full moon started to rise into the dark evening sky, Lord Huron wrapped up their set with their finale song, “The Night We Met.” Festival-goers could be seen in various settings across the venue, lounging in lawn chairs, treasuring each other's company, dancing and singing to the final tune, and even rocking their sleepy-eyed children. When all was said and done, there really couldn’t have been a more fitting band choice to end the tiring but fulfilling two-day festival at Garfield Park near the heart of Indianapolis.