[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Mumford and Sons[/lastfm] delivered one of the most spectacular, (mostly) acoustic shows I’ve ever witnessed at the Riviera last night to a devoted and very happy crowd.
First of all who would have thought just a few years ago the the “youth of today” in 2010 would be drawn to a band made up of banjo, dobro, keyboard, acoustic guitar, stand up bass and horn to the point of making them one of the hottest bands of the year. The show was originally booked for The Vic, a somewhat smaller hall, but had to be moved to the Riv to accommodate ticket demand. Though not really accommodate as the extra tickets sold out in minutes and, in fact, their whole American tour has sold out.
The show started subtly, with the band playing softly on a rather bare, basically lit stage. The energy quickly built, the lights added excitement, the music grew louder and these English guys with their folk instruments rocked.
[photogallerylink id=43821 align=left]Yes, their album is good (only one so far, 2009’s Sigh No More) their songs are good, and their playing is good, but their live show, as I said, was spectacular. Their singing was excellent, loud and pure, with beautifully blending harmonies. The lighting was terrific, magnifying the dynamic range of the songs perfectly, bare, brightly lit stage one minute, swirling, bright lights the next. The arrangements were exciting, with largely acoustic instrumentation that still thumped and pounded enough to have the crowd jumping. While band leader Marcus Mumford sang and played acoustic guitar he also tapped his foot, not on the floor but on a bass drum pedal.
[photogallerylink id=43788 align=left]On top of all of this the band was charming. Talkative, in the moment, joking around, relaxed, telling stories, at one point banjo and dobro player Winston Marshall didn’t just show he knew where he was by acknowledging the city he was playing in, (“Hello Chicago!”) but by asking people how many were from Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
On just before Mumford and sons was [lastfm link_type=””]Cadillac Sky[/lastfm]. Similar instrumentation to the headliners but add a terrific fiddle player and a southern twang. Made up of guys from Tennessee and Texas, this acoustic band also rocked out. Long haired, long bearded musicians running around, and rolling around, the stage while never dropping the groove. They’re on the entire Mumford and Sons tour, but watch for a club date with [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Cadillac Sky[/lastfm] in Chicago when the tour is done.
Earlier in the day Mumford and Sons played a “Live from Studio X” show. Watch this site or, better yet, listen to 93XRT for word on when you’ll be able to hear that. (Past in-studio video posted below and this Halloween performance will be posted this week!)
(By the way, I think I deserve a little credit for referring to this Halloween show as spectacular rather than spooktacular. tm)
Free Download: “Little Lion Man”