Written by Michael Pittman
Sep 17, 2013 at 08:00 PM
Image“We know we were supposed to be here earlier” says Ben Lovett (keys, vocals), “but Ted (Dwane, bass, vocals) had a headache and couldn’t make it. But that’s all behind us now and we’re glad to be in Texas”. To which Marcus Mumford (lead singer, guitar) added his agreement with violinist Michael Siddell waving the Texas flag not once but twice.

For those who don’t know, Dwane had to have brain surgery in March and the shows for the next few months had to be cancelled. I’m glad to report that by all appearances, he’s made a complete recovery.

Even after having announced an extended break from touring, the band totally rocked the sold-out (15,500) Pavilion more than making up for the missed date. I’ve never seen Mumford live before so I don’t know for sure, but I’m going to think that hiring a Chicago lighting company with a light show second to none was a special gesture to the shows they had to unavoidably cancel earlier in the year. I was back where the busses are parked and there were 3 18 wheelers dedicated to lights if that gives you any idea. And the lighting cues were just about dead on perfect by the way.

The bulk of the setlist came from two records. Of these, Babel (released a year ago on vinyl and CD) seemed to garner the most attention, but the first record (also vinyl and CD in 2009) Sigh No More was well represented especially by Dust Bowl Dance. This was an audience participation song in which the audience was invited to dance, not sing. At levels of over 106DB, you couldn’t have heard it anyway!

With their characteristic innocent energy, Mumford and Sons carried us through what might be described as an Indie Folk Rock/Bluegrass call to arms with Mumford’s bass drum leading the charge in the style of a John Steinbeck novel. (Mumford admits to Steinbeck’s influence on his writing)

ImageYou wanted to join the pounding, jumping celebration of Ben Lovett on keys and the almost desperate musicianship of Winston Marshall (banjo, vocals) as they whipped the already enthusiastic audience into a frenzy.

Ted Dwane obviously…sooo obviously was glad to be here and the smile never left his face as he gritted his teeth and pounded out the bass lines when the music whipped up faster and faster.

The show started off in the dark for about the first half of Lover’s Eyes and I thought for a moment this might make getting decent photos a little difficult, but the lights came up and the band hit it hard and by the 2nd song came up, the beat was on. I Will Wait took the excited crowd to another level and kept it there for the next hour and a half.

The encore started out with some very angelic lighting with the band centered on one mic doing a Springsteen cover of I’m On Fire. I wondered aloud if they were going to sprout wings and fly away..but they tore straight into Babel from there.

Mumford and Sons are taking a much needed hiatus from touring for an undisclosed time so I was glad to have made this show. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how I was going to like this group, but they impressed me. Awesome show LiveNation!

Lover’s Eyes
I Will Wait
Whispers in the Dark
Holland Road
White Blank Page
For Those Below
Little Lion Man
Lover of the Light
Thistle & Weeds
Ghosts That We Knew
Below My Feet
Awake My Soul
Roll Away
Dust Bowl Dance

I’m On Fire (Springsteen cover)