On Wednesday I caught the first night of Mumford and Sons two night stint at the Patriot Center in Fairfax. I forget why I missed their concert in DC last summer at Merriweather, probably travel, but after hearing rave reviews from friends who went, I'd been eagerly anticipating this concert for a while. Also, props to former Yeah Right blogger Whitney who soldiered through the concert in good spirits despite being preggers and very close to her due date.
The two opening bands couldn't have been more different. I would never have expected a band like Haim to open for M&S. But I loved them. The band is three sisters and a male drummer. They mix genres flawlessly and their songs had a pop sensibility that made them instantly likable. The second opener, Ben Howard, was more mellow -- basically a British singer-songwriter with a surfer vibe. I was fairly ambivalent about his set, though the one song he played on electric guitar instead of acoustic was light years better than the rest of his material.
Fresh off their Grammy win for album of the year, Mumford and Sons kicked off with the opening and title track for Babel, followed by "Little Lion Man." It's shocking how arena-rock appropriate their folk-rock music felt. We're talking four guys on keyboard, acoustic guitar, banjo, and bass. They shouldn't be able to fill an arena with sound like Kiss. Yet they do and it was really special to watch. Their energy was through the roof for a solid hour and a half set, covering pretty much all of Babel and Sigh No More. For a lot of the Babel tracks they busted out brass and string sections. For the encore, they performed an a capella track before returning to their instruments for "The Cave." Just when you think that would be the perfect way to end the show, they invited Haim and Ben Howard to join them on stage to perform The Band's "The Weight," the song they covered at the Grammys. AMAZING!
BYT review and pictures here.