Music. Photography. Mumford and Sons. These are three of my favorite things. And on a warm night on October 5th, I relished in the opportunity to combine them all.
Mumford and Sons, the band that successfully brought folk-rock to mainstream radio in 2009 with its debut album Sigh No More, treated a sold-out audience to a night that none of us will soon forget. Band members Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall and Ted Dwane casually walked onto a dimly lit stage and opened the show with Snake Eyes, from their most recent album Wilder Mind. Mumford’s voice immediately captivated us, singing the first half of the song softly, gently leading us up to the roaring chorus of all four men belting out their beautiful lyrics while passionately playing their musical instruments. It’s this formula that has made Mumford and Sons the legendary band that they have become.
Wilder Mind, the band’s third album released in 2015, featured a change in sound that Lovett described as a “natural departure” from the “standard line-up of instruments for the last six years.” Some questioned the introduction of the heavier instruments (such as a full drum kit and electric guitars) but on the second song of the night Mumford picked up his acoustic guitar, held it high in the air, strapped it across his chest and the band jammed as they played one of their biggest hits, I Will Wait. The crowd of swooning fans went wild, singing and dancing along, as they went
on to play a mixture of songs from all three albums such as Babel, White Blank Page and Believe.
After a beautiful performance of Ghosts That We Knew, Mumford jumped up on top of the speaker getting the crowd to clap along and then treated us to a new, never released song, Forever. They then slowed it down with an intimate performance of Below My Feet followed by such hits as The Cave and Ditmas, which included Mumford running through the cheering audience of adoring fans. Afterwards, he took a seat at the drums as the band played the story-like song, Dust Bowl Dance. At its end, pyrotechnics fell from the sky and Mumford knocked over the drum set before making his way back down to center stage with his bandmates. The lights turned down and a spotlight was placed on all four men as they circled around one microphone and sang their final song of the set; a stunning, acoustic version of Cold Arms.
Thankfully, they didn’t keep the cheering audience waiting for their encore, as they quickly took back to the stage. The encore included another new song, Blind Leading the Blind, and Mumford stated that it had only been played live once before. The night wouldn’t have been complete without the next song, Little Lion Man, which absolutely brought the house down. Mumford once again jumped on top of the speaker and genuinely seemed appreciative as he thanked the audience, in his endearing English accent, for being there. The band gave an electrifying performance of The Wolf, followed by Mumford humbly placing his hand over his heart and waving to the audience once last time as he walked off stage.
Mumford and Sons took us on a beautiful journey through three albums full off poignant lyrics, played by four immensely talented musicians. Regardless of what instruments they play, their ability to captivate an audience, build up an emotional crescendo and then rock out a catchy song, is simply undeniable. I, for one, can’t wait to see what they surprise us with next!
Review and photos by Robbie Flores
All photos © Robbie Flores 2016
The setlist included:
- Snake Eyes
- I Will Wait
- White Blank Page
- Lover of the Light
- Tompkins Square Park
- Ghosts That We Knew
- Below My Feet
- The Cave
- Roll Away Your Stone
- Dust Bowl Dance
- Cold Arms
- Hot Gates
- Blind Leading the Blind
- Little Lion Man
- The Wolf