Live review: Lord Huron at O2 ABC

As part of Glasgow’s Celtic Connections music festival, U.S band Lord Huron made a pit stop at the O2 ABC on Saturday 27th January, supported by folk band The Weather Station, and current ambassadors of London’s indie scene, Flyte. Even amongst the numerous gems within the Celtic Connections programme, this promised to be a real highlight.

Flyte, up first on the bill, proved themselves to be a band firmly on track to establishing their own unique brand of alt-rock; one which, at its heart, is unashamedly vocal-centric. Their harmonies, bold and daring, interlock with confidence and power; eurhythmic, sans-instrument ballad ‘Marry Me Archie’ was a real standout for this reason alone.

The Weather Station, fronted by Canadian singer-songwriter Tamara Lindeman, are one of the most exciting artists around when it comes to sparky, intelligent lyrical talent. A quieter and more introspective performance compared to the one showcased by Flyte, there were serious smiles to be had in a tongue-in-cheek set, featuring stunning vocals and richly textured instrumentals.

Then it was time for Lord Huron, donning black suit jackets and floppy-fringed haircuts, to come sprinting out the gate with universally-adored ‘Meet Me in the Woods’, a song truly representative of everything they stand for. Pulsating green and red lights on a woodland backdrop worked alongside natural, earthy sound effects to serve as the perfect accompaniment to a band who have made their name with their captivating, ethereal sound. Their set, characterised by an almost absurdly positive aura, incorporated lots of interaction between vocalist Ben and bassist Miguel (who has a wonderful solo on a strange electronic instrument called a ‘theremin’ during a rendition of ‘Way Out There’).

Midway through the set, Lord Huron announced that – finally – they have a new record out. They proceeded to play ‘Ancient Names’, one of its new tracks. Despite taking a while for the song to fall into its stride, it was great to see the band are try something different. When it kicks, their new music offers a few minutes of aggressive, head-banging fun, and steers the performance into some great new territory.

Every audience member was waiting with bated breath for fan-favourite ‘The Night We Met’. When the melody swayed in, at the start of their encore set, the cheers in the crowds were deafening. A giant disco ball glittered overhead, and arms were in the air as fans old and new came together to celebrate the pained, beautiful melodies of a band who will surely be warming hearts for years to come.

By Maisie McGregor