The Fonda Theatre
Playing their biggest L.A. show to date, Lord Huron was looking to make a strong impression. And so, Friday night at the Fonda, they sent out a mariachi band. The crowd didn't immediately know what to make of things, but after the band played a song, they introduced Lord Huron in Spanish to huge cheers.
Over the past four years, the Echo Park-based quintet fronted by Michigan native Ben Schneider has played all over their adopted hometown, including many of L.A.'s smaller rooms and even free shows. But slowly they've built a strong fan base and, based on the strength of their early EPs, won a deal with local label Iamsound.
“We just got back from a long tour,” said Schneider midway through the set, wearing a sort of ragtime cowboy outfit. “You've been good to us and we hope we've been just as good to you.”
Indeed, behind the release of their debut full-length, 2012's Lonesome Dreams, the group has maintained a relentless tour schedule. They've zigzagged across the country, played Europe and a number of festivals including last year's Coachella. But returning home allowed them to try out a few new things. In was a beefed up stage show, which included a backdrop of their album cover and a fairly elaborate light show.
The band seemed theater-ready, and on Friday night their skills were on display, from the blissful “Ends of The Earth” to the twangy-guitar-filled “Fool For Love.” Schneider's cinematic lyrics conjure images of Big Sky country, and Lord Huron's mythological Americana is almost always compelling.
By the time confetti fell on the crowd during set closer “The Stranger,” the band was hitting its stride. On a night where many Angelenos were huddled on their couches to avoid the inclimate weather, the band that was born on the shores of Lake Huron wouldn't let the elements dampen their coming out party.
The Crowd: So many beards.
Random Notebook Dump: I got down patted on my way into the venue, though no one I was with did. That's what I get for wearing a camouflage down jacket with a hoodie.