The Lumineers Say Adapting Songs for Arenas Has “Been Awesome”

ABC/Lorenzo BevilaquaThe Lumineers are currently on tour and bringing their folk-rock sound to arenas for the first time in their career. Surprisingly, even to the band members themselves, they're feeling right at home.

"We know that it's not where our music, on paper, is meant to be," percussionist Jeremiah Fraites tells Billboard. "If you named 25 bands you think would sound good in an arena, we wouldn't be on anybody's list. But it's been awesome."

"What's been cool is we haven't had to change the songs all that much," he continues. "The secret touch tends to be maybe add a little more drums or a little more percussion and backbeat. But beyond that we don't feel like the songs have to change too much just for the sake of fitting the arenas."

The Lumineers are touring in support of their sophomore album Cleopatra. While the album debuted at number-one at the Billboard 200 and featured the single "Ophelia," which reached number one on the Alternative Songs chart, it didn't spawn a gigantic hit like the band's Grammy-nominated debut record did with "Ho Hey."

"Y'know, we've got no Grammy nominations this year. We don't have that much going on on the radio, but yet here we are," Fraites says. "We've got thousands of people coming out to see us each night. We play 'Ho Hey' third or fourth in the set list every night -- and nobody leaves the show. They stay and sing almost all the words to all the other songs."

"How can you ask for anything more than, like, two nights at Madison Square Garden," he adds. "The proof is in the pudding. Any touring band would kill for this situation."

The Lumineers' tour continues Thursday, January 26 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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