Concert Reviews

Mumford & Sons at Red Rocks, 8/28/12

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Mumford & Sons video for "I'll Wait" (Road to Red Rocks)

Singer/guitarist/mandolinist/drummer Marcus Mumford and his colleagues took the stage just after 9 p.m. with a nearly full moon and slow-moving clouds adding to the introspective, earthy vibe that Mumford & Sons is best known for. The band kicked off its set with "Lover's Eyes," with Marcus singing, backlit by deep blue stage lights and accompanied by what sounded like a barrage of acoustic guitars. Despite the fact that Babel won't be released for another three weeks, a healthy number of people sang along with every word.

That sort of response comes with the territory. Following a tradition of British '60s and '70s folk acts, Mumford & Sons invites mass sing-alongs. They're a pub act writ incredibly large. The big difference is that lyrics like "Your boldness stands alone among the wreck/Now learn from your mother or else spend your days biting your own neck" (from the band's second song of the night, "Little Lion Man") don't have the same flavor as Irish drinking songs about whiskey, women and homesickness.

For the full slide show: Mumford & Sons at Red Rocks.

The night continued like this for the bulk of the band's set: Mumford would pick an instrument (acoustic guitar earlier in the evening and the drumkit later), and the band would join in singing peerless harmonies that would hit damn near everyone listening right in the solar plexus.

Perhaps more impressive than the group's harmonies was the intimacy the group created in such a massive space. Fans standing what seemed a couple miles away in the top rows were just as much a part of this as those in the VIP section. Anyone who's spent time in a ratty college apartment knows the best way to create a vibe like this is with Christmas lights. Mumford & Sons had those, too.

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Mark Sanders
Contact: Mark Sanders