Mumford & Sons Concert Review

Before they only got to the 2013 Lollapalooza stage on the Hutchinson Field, at the south end of Chicago Grant Park, there already was a strong feeling that something very powerful was going to be performed. A thousand people gathered to be a part of a big live Mumford & Sons’ concert. The live performance of a British folk-rock band, Mumford & Sons, was admirable on the festival. That was a mix of folk festival motives and Arcade Fire shows, where every emotion is directed to the public.

English band, Mumford & Sons, headed by Marcus Mumford, a lead singer, guitarist and drummer, and his “sons”, keyboardist Ben Lovett (also playing accordion and drums), banjo player Winston Marshall (also playing guitar and resonator guitar) and Ted Dwane, who plays string bass, guitar and drums, are performing a brilliant and enchanting folk-rock. Their first album “Sigh No More” proved to be an excellent work. What is more important, such a unique, original and very emotional acoustic folk, probably, has not been performed since the beginning of the 70th. The band was awarded different sorts of prizes, but the main thing they gained is love and devotion of public of America and the United Kingdom. Thus, after the release of their second album “Babel” and on the request of the famous Lollapalooza music festival fans, the band became the festival headliners. Lollapalooza is one of the greatest festivals in the USA; therefore, the public’s energy produced so much power and inspiration by itself. Nevertheless, when the concert started, the amount of energy has even doubled. The reasons are quite simple. It was enough to hear the first song “Babel” so the desired mood was set: an upbeat acoustic guitar strum, clawhammer banjo, reverberating drum sounds filled the rousing songs like heartbeats with blood and vigor. Marcus Mumford’s vocal could serve as an additional inspiration to write a separate essay because, in fact, it was quite impressive. The timbre of his voice ideally suits the music that the band plays; it is strong and punchy. Furthermore, the necessary folk hoarseness is also present. That is exactly the type of the leading vocal which is the final essential element due to which Mumford & Sons’ music sounds so charismatic and cheering.

The band consists of multi-instrumentalists. The members of Mumford & Sons did not receive a special musical education. Nevertheless, all of them are proficient in playing various instruments. They play not only keyboard instruments, guitar (acoustic and bass) and drums, but also some traditional folk instruments such as mandolin and banjo. The recipe of success of Mumford & Sons songs is quite simple - the acoustic guitar and banjo strumming, pleasant choirboy polyphony and brass accompaniment. However, thanks to the talents of musicians, each song sounds interesting in its own way. From the musical standpoint, their performance was quite entrancing because of the raucous and entertaining tendencies. Moreover, the lyrics of the performed songs was very hearty and full of meaning. Thus, the melodies and the way they sounded made the band very appealing to public. In addition, a set list of songs presented on the concert included such well-known hymns as “Little Lion Man”, “I Will Wait”, “Hopeless Wanderer”, and, of course, a famous and incredible “The Cave” which finished the concert. However, there were many other songs from both albums, which kept the public’s spirit high. Although feet were constantly asking for a dance, it was impossible to keep the audience tensed. Therefore, the band made such slow acoustic breaks as “Ghosts That We Knew”,” Bellow My Feet”, “Timshel”, and an amazing cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire”. That song was performed in the silence on the request sent to the audience by Marcus.

Thus, Mumford & Sons’ performance at the Lollapalooza festival proved that this is a very talented folk-rock band. Their songs are meaningful; their performance is soulful and very emotional. Mumford & Sons’ live concert performance was even better than their recorded songs, which is quite phenomenal. Being part of such music festival as Lollapalooza is great, but being part of Mumford & Sons’ concert at Lollapalooza is even better, because their music makes people feel alive and eager to create. I will definitely recommend this band to others.