Last Sunday night I had to head over to my brother’s place for my Mom’s birthday dinner. Now, I love my Mom and love spending time with her but I had been at a keg party the night before and was still feeling a little listless, lazy, and generally sour. But it was okay because I had an early exit strategy, a concert I had bought tickets too a few months before – Mumford & Sons with Guests. But as I sat down for a little greek salad with the fam, I had no clue that in my pocket I held tickets to one of the best concerts/performances I had ever seen.
It’s not like I was an easy sell that night either – hungover, Sunday night, tired, grumpy. So it was a rough start when I lined up with about 200 other people waiting to get in the door at 8 when it opened, thinking well the opener will probably start at 8:30, it is Sunday night after all right? It was an hour later when we finally learned the opening band would go on at 9:30 and Mumford & Sons would take the stage 10:45!!!! Grumble, grumble, grumpy me. But in the back of my mind I knew it would be worth waiting, even though tickets were a ridiculously low $20 each with taxes, fees, and everything else in.
The opening act took the stage at 9:30 and slowly people began to move toward the raised stage as the lead singer attempted to introduce the band but did so in such a garbled manner no one could make sense of it. My friend would later find out from the pianist of the band that they are called The Middle East. They started off rather sleepy, albeit melodic, before getting the crowd full force into it with some of their more upbeat tracks like Hunger. They saved the best for last, closing their set with the hauntingly beautiful Blood which begins soft and works its way up to a fantastic ending using xylophones, whistling, and trumpets along the way. Simply amazing to listen to in person, I look forward to seeing what this band can produce in the future and can’t wait to catch them next time they are in town.
That was just the opener though, the best was yet to come.
Mumford & Sons took the stage to a roar from the jammed dance floor of the club and quickly made people forget it was 10:45 on a Sunday night by starting off their set with the title track from their current album, Sigh No More. Their energy on stage never wavered as they berated and attacked their instruments with such fervor it was impossible to not be engrossed by their celtic rock sound. The unique sound of Markus Mumford’s voice accompanied by an acoustic guitar, cello, banjo, and piano is truly uplifting as you listen to their songs that often start slow before building into an all out furour by the last chord. All band members took time to interact with the crowd to give the show a more intimate feel and I would guess that not one person at the club would not have loved to have a beer with these genuine, nice-seeming guys. Everything came to an apex when the band played Roll Away Your Stone and The Middle East reappeared on stage halfway through to make as much noise as possible in conjunction with Mumford & Sons which only enhanced the song. The night wrapped up with an encore of Feel the Tide, which left everyone in the club wanting more and waiting for the next time this amazing band comes to town.
If Mumford & Sons are coming to your town I encourage you to buy as many tickets as you can and take as many friends as you can rustle up, because anyone that misses the chance to see these guys on this tour will be paying a lot more and not seeing them in as intimate a setting next time they are on the road. This band will be worth seeing for many years down the road.