LIVE PREVIEW: Lord Huron at Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater – April 25

Ben Schneider is not a household name, but his band, Lord Huron are well on their way to being thrust in to the spotlight.

Stardom is not necessarily something Schneider wants for himself, but rather for the characters and storylines he creates. With his first full length album, Lonesome Dreams, Schneider wrote songs based off of an author – George Ranger Johnson‘s works. The kicker? George Ranger Johnson doesn’t exist; his novels aren’t “real” but merely the stories that Lord Huron sang on that fantastic debut LP.

The band’s sophomore LP, Strange Trails, was one of the most highly anticipated independent albums of 2015, and it showed with its first week’s sales, debuting at #10 on Billboard’s Top Albums chart, including the #1 Folk album and #2 Rock album on the charts. Schneider’s background o f visual arts helps him paint lyrical pictures as he weaves stories of fictional characters together on each song off Strange Trails: “The World Ender” an origin story about a motorcycle gang; “Until The Night Turns” and “Hurricane (Johnnie’s Theme)” are sung through the eyes of a member of that gang, Johnnie; Buck Vernon, a washed-up rockabilly singer, narrates the single, “Fool For Love;” and female lounge singer Frankie Lou serenades on “Love Like Ghosts.”

Lord Huron Performs Live at The Pabst (photo credit: Erik Ljung/Pabst Theater)
Lord Huron Performs Live at The Pabst (photo credit: Erik Ljung/Pabst Theater)

It’s easy to think that Lord Huron has an issue involving multiple personalities, but like any great auteur, Schneider places himself in his storylines and relates heavily to his characters, changing his frame of mind with each song’s narrative.

But Schneider’s characters won’t be taking the stage on Saturday, April 25 at Milwaukee’s Riverside Theater. Instead, Schneider and his band mates (Mark Barry, Miguel Briseño, and Tom Renaud) will be singing the stories laid out in their albums, captivating audience members in a series of highs and lows; some songs eliciting rousing foot-stomping and bar room dancing, others begging for gentle sways and harmonious sing-alongs.

When the band performed at Milwaukee’s Pabst Theater in January of last year, the band had only an EP and one full-length to draw material from. The release of Strange Trails can only help Lord Huron’s live shows, providing much more material and experience to draw from, and perhaps added depth to the adventure laid out through a setlist.

In an interview with NPR’s All Things Considered, Schneider discusses Lord Huron’s song, “Until The Night Turns” and its story, a song about the end of the earth. He provided a quote that should provide a fantastic preview of what Lord Huron’s show on Saturday night will provide:

If the end of the world is coming, we’re gonna party before it happens.


Reasons to show up early: 

  • Soulful crooner Leon Bridges will be there in support. Bridges has been gaining heavy attention lately in anticipation of his first full-length album, due out this summer, drawing comparisons to Otis Redding and Sam Cooke
  • The show was moved from The Pabst Theater to The Riverside, suggesting the general admission show will be well-attended… space on the “dance floor” will go quickly
  • Never underestimate a merch stand selling goods from a visual artist

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