On a Tuesday night, KCRW hosted a packed yet intimate session with Lord Huron at the Apogee Studios in Santa Monica. This invitation-only session included light refreshments and beverages at 7:30, with the performance starting promptly at 8:00 p.m. This time, Lord Huron’s set was broken into two parts with an interview with singer Ben Schneider by KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley nestled in between.
Jason Bentley introduced the band and thanked all the KCRW donors and Apogee first-timers in the house, along with the owner of Apogee Studios, Bob Clearmountain, sharing that this would be the 100th show at the studios. Lord Huron, who are currently in the middle of a headlining tour in support of their latest album Vide Noir, took the stage, and Schneider addressed the crowd, “Good evening, thanks for coming. Let’s have some fun!” before diving into the first part of their set. The six-piece band opened with a series of upbeat songs off Vide Noir, and the crowd started moving along with the twangy guitars right away, clapping along to the rhythm in “Secret of Life.” Schneider danced a little two-step during “Never Ever,” and the crowd nodded their heads along to the driving beat. “I like this place, but they put my friend Mark in a cage,” Schneider joked, referring to the plastic barrier placed in from of their drummer.
“Thanks to Betty and Bob for having us, ” Schneider said between songs. “This one’s called “Back from the Edge,” he shared before going into a slower, heavier more psych-rock sound for this particular song that had everyone headbanging. “Thanks to KCRW who have been our buddies since we started… this is an old one about being up in the woods, doing weird…stuff,” he shared before going into “Meet Me in the Woods,” an upbeat catchy song from their previous album Strange Trails. “This was written while roaming around Los Angeles,” he shared before going into “Lost in Time and Space,” which had a slower, more folk/country feel about it and sets the tone for Vide Noir as the first song on the album.
There was a brief break after the first part of their set, as two seats were brought to the stage for Jason Bentley and Ben Schneider. The two embarked on an attention-grabbing interview, as Schneider and Bentley conversed about the visual and theme of Vide Noir compared to the prior albums, and reminisced on the beginnings of Lord Huron. The audience hung on to every word as they learned that several of the Lord Huron members had been playing music together since their middle school days in Michigan. Schneider also shared about his process of making music as, “trying to describe visuals sonically,” explaining that, most of the time, he writes a song from a scene or vibe, referring to Vide Noir as a sort-of ode to Los Angeles. Bentley asked about the significance of the emerald star used on the cover of Vide Noir, to which Schneider described the image as an “unattainable beacon you’re heading towards through the void,” referring to the symbol’s simplicity and spaciousness.
The conversation delved even deeper when Bentley referred to Lonesome Dreams as his favorite album of theirs, commenting on how spontaneous and romantic the album came across was so unlike his (Bentley’s) personality. Schneider responded insightfully, sharing that, while he’d made several “mistakes” in life, “you only get one go around on this rocket.” They also discussed the song, “The Night We Met,” which was featured on Netflix original 13 Reasons Why, garnering the band some new fans as the song was also picked up by major radio stations. “Ben, you’ve got a hit!” Bentley laughed, and Schneider’s response, “gotta get you a celebrity girlfriend… and some new clothes,” had the audience cracking up even more.
The second half of the set ensued with even more songs off Vide Noir, with an older track nestled in between. “This one’s about loneliness… but you can dance to it,” Schneider shared before going into the slow, swooning “Wait By the River.” He then shared about the band’s experience first hearing “The World Ender” played on KCRW, describing it as a “that thing you do” moment. Everyone harmonized along to the surf-rock inspired song and the crowd grooved along and cheered loudly after it was over. But the most hair-raising performance was of “When the Night Is Over,” which featured a gliding, hi-hat heavy 6/8 rhythm and simple but stunning countermelodies. Although Schneider opted to re-start the song after hearing too much delay, the crowd didn’t seem to mind. Bentley took the stage one final time before they performed their now-famous “The Night We Met” as an encore to thank Bob Clearmountain and Betty Bennet of Apogee and the KCRW crew that night.
- Secret of Life*
- Never Ever*
- Back From the Edge*
- Meet Me in the Woods
- Lost in Time and Space*
- The Balancer’s Eye*
- Wait By the River*
- The World Ender
- When the Night is Over*
- Ancient Names (Part II)*
- The Night We Met
*off the new album Vide Noir