“No banjos?!” That seemed to have been the repeated reaction cry of many Mumford & Sons enthusiasts ever since the announcement that the band’s third album, Wilder Mind (dropped May 4th), was releasing without them. In a statement prepared for the fans, the band confirmed the fact that both banjos & kick drums didn’t make the cut when creating the new record. But thanks to fast typing & sheer luck, I’m here to tell you that the lack of these instruments does not mean a lackluster album. Far from it.
*NO PHOTOS PLEASE!
The band had been posting tons of pics on social media teasing secret shows they’d been holding at small venues around the country when I got the email for one being held in NYC, saying that tickets would go on sale Monday at 9am sharp, with the show being held 12 hours later. Ready and waiting to purchase at 9am… Sold out. Another email came that same night for one more show which would be held the very next day, Tuesday April 7th. 9am again…Success!
The only caveat was that due to unreleased material being played – all phones/cameras/recording devices were prohibited and would need to be checked at the door. Me, not be able to take photos at a concert?! How would I get by? Stay tuned.
I arrived at (le) poisson rouge (my new favorite venue name) an hour before the show and it was already full of excited fans and hopefuls looking for a spare ticket. After assuring my phone I’d be back for it, I left it at coat check and headed in to people watch & twiddle my thumbs till the show started.
When the lights went down and the band took the stage the place exploded. Marcus Mumford & his talented companions wove their way thru their new album with an air of excitement, mixed with good ole pride. Marcus told the crowd he knew we would have no idea what they were playing, but we were their guinea pigs for new material. However that did not deter the crowd in the least, as they happily danced around to the unknown beats and when the album’s first single “Believe” came up, people latched on to the chance to sing along to every word.
Other highlights included the slower, “Broad-Shouldered Beasts,” & their newest single, “The Wolf,” which they debuted to the public on Saturday Night Live that weekend.
The band engaged the crowd in some self proclaimed “rusty” banter between songs. One girl assured their guitarist, Winston, that he was forgiven because he has nice hair (he so does).
The encore comprised of just the song “Only Love,” which began with a slow and hauntingly beautiful first half, then kicked up out of nowhere with roaring guitars and left the crowd yelling for more! Of their new material only one song, “Cold Arms,” was left unplayed.
To get to see a band that sells out thousand seat stadiums perform in a venue of only a few hundred was an amazing experience. Their energy filled the room and the 45 minute set felt like five. Although it’s always different seeing a band live than listening to the album, I’d recommend giving the new record a chance. It’s the same talented lyricists, with a slightly different focus of instruments.
Now if live music is your preferred listening method, the band is going on road this summer. Tour dates can be found here.
As for the technology free night? Well I kept twitching for a camera that wasn’t available, but there is something to be said for getting to watch a concert without 100 screens up in the air. And as a consolation present we all received our phones back safe & sound in a little velvet pouch that read Mumford & Sons name on it. Great live music + free swag is my recipe for a good night.
iTunes – https://itun.es/us/EQS85
Tour dates – http://www.mumfordandsons.com/tour/
SNL “the Wolf” performance – http://youtu.be/-wu6uVrtJ8I