Concert Review: Mumford and Sons at the LC Pavilion (Columbus, OH)by Ryan G on Aug 15, 2012 • 1:55 pm No Comments
A concert of historic proportions just took place in Columbus. A ten-thousand strong crowd descended on a parking lot behind the LC for one of the quickest selling shows in Columbus history. The only bands to outsell Mumford and Sons outside of an arena setting there have been Coldplay, Skid Row, and R.E.M. While many people were understandably irritated at the up(down?)grade to the parking lot from the regular amphitheater to fit more people, the “Festival setting” ended up working out pretty well.
We arrived at the tail end of one of the openers, leaving us time to explore the grounds and get properly situated for the real warm-up act, Dawes. The alt-country/rock act from Nashville put on a good show. The vocals were spot-on and the playing was tight. Undoubtedly the highlight of the set was when Marcus Mumford joined the guys onstage to help out with a song. While many people chose to socialize during the set a good number of people were engaged. Later on, Mumford and Sons endorsed Dawes as “one of the best bands in America” and given their performance I will be sure to keep an eye out for them.
Now on to the real reason for this review, the incredible performance put on by our brothers from across the pond that make up Mumford and Sons. I don’t think anyone there will disagree with my evaluation of the show as incredible, though they might prefer a different choice adjective for it. The stage set up alone was quite elaborate – large banner, stringed lights going out over the audience, dozens of spotlights, etc. And the sound mix was great. It was very loud, but great! No problem making out the words over guitars turned up too loud. Just right. That’s saying something for an outdoor show.
The band chose to open the set quietly with the quiet, contemplative new track “Lover’s Eyes.” When the kick drum came in in the following “Little Lion Man” a big surge of energy rippled through the crowd. The anthemic first single from the forthcoming Babel “I Will Wait” rallied the crowd even more, and the emotional “White Blank Page” had everyone singing along. One of the highlights of the set for me was finally hearing “Roll Away Your Stone” live for the first time, a song with some of my favorite lyrics of all time. The band’s invitation of Dawes (and the aforementioned endorsement) back onstage for “Awake My Soul” was another powerful moment, with a deafening refrain of “in these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die, where you invest your love, you invest your life!” echoing from all the mouths around. The new stuff all sounded great too – tracks with interesting titles like “Whispers in the Dark” and “Ghosts That We Knew.” The main set ended with the huge, crescendo-ing “Dustbowl Dance” that had Marcus Mumford away from the kick drum and on a full set, becoming a madman to the point of making the audience simultaneously impressed at his ability to sing lead and drum at the same time and make us nearly forget we were at a folk concert. The three song encore began with the quiet “Where Are You Now?”, continued with the horn-laden “Winter Winds” and ended with their most famous “The Cave.” When the set finally ended all I could say was “Wow.”
That’s all I will say right now, rather than try to write out an eloquent conclusion. Wow. See these guys.