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LIVE: Mumford & Sons – Perth, 27 Jan 2019

| 29 January 2019 | Reply

LIVE: Mumford & Sons – Perth, 27 Jan 2019
RAC Arena, Perth, Sunday 27 January, 2019
Review & photography by Michael Farnell

On a balmy night in Perth a strong crowd of around 10,000 revellers gathered at RAC Arena, many probably arriving straight from their Hottest 100 parties to catch London folk-rock juggernauts Mumford & Sons.

After arriving on-stage in modest fashion, band members Ben Lovett, Winston Marshall and Ted Dwane launched into 42, the opening track from latest album Delta and they were soon joined by front man Marcus Mumford, to a much deserved ovation from the crowd.

Running down the walkway to the centre of the Arena, Marcus had the crowd in the palm of his hands from the start. His fellow band mates then joined him in the centre as they kicked things up a notch with Hottest 100 of 2009 winner Little Lion Man, followed by Babel, two crowd favourites that had the crowd on their feet and singing along. We were only three songs in but it was already clear we were in for a treat tonight.

As they returned to the main stage Guiding Light was followed, the lead single from Delta, a much more tempered tune to their epic 3 song intro, but a welcome mood change, with all four band members delivering anthemic vocals throughout.

A concert today wouldn’t be the same without the crowd providing their own light show with their phone torches, and Believe was the perfect soundtrack for this. A few songs later another new song in Forever had the crowd swaying side to side, only to reach its peak when support act Gretta Ray walked to Marcus’ side to close out the song. Gretta was hypnotic with her stage presence and it was evident she had developed quite a bond with the band throughout the tour.

Marcus addressed the crowd after a wardrobe malfunction that required a change of shoes, at which point he jokingly labelled Australian folk as ‘meat-heads’ and dropping a cheeky insult at our beloved national cricket team. Worried he may have offended us he was soon met with cheers as he took a stab at crowds from America being unable to understand the dry humour so often used by the Brits and us Aussies.

The band then kicked into Ditmas, which saw Marcus leave the stage to get up close and personal with the crowd. Running around the outer-rim of the floor, he then climbed to the first level of seating and much to my joy was soon singing within arms reach of yours truly. He then made his way back to the floor and joined his faithful fans in the moshpit, a brave venture that he pulled off seamlessly. Special mention must be made however to the security guard, armed with a torch to light Marcus’ way, he managed to keep up with him the entire time, through the thousands of screaming and touchy-feely Perth fans, a solid effort.

The combo of Picture You and Darkness Visible delivered maybe the biggest surprise of the night for myself, both new tracks that I was not familiar with but had me slapping my thigh vigorously through the outro, with the help of a fireworks display almost as spectacular as the one seen on the foreshore the night prior.

Closing the first set with The Wolf from the 2015 release Wilder Mind the crowd were on their feet and applauding a solid performance from start to finish, but knowing the band would soon return to deliver a memorable encore.

A solitary microphone appeared at the end of the walkway, and all four band members gathered around it with an acoustic guitar and banjo in tow. Marcus asked the crowd to (politely) “shut the fuck up” for the next song Timshell, but in the only disappointing moment of the night the crowd was frustratingly unable to deliver on this request, ruining the mood the band was trying to set with the unplugged moment of the night. Perhaps Marcus has a point earlier when referring to us as meat-heads…

Thankfully this was soon forgotten as the second support artist of the night Michel Kiwanuka joined the band on the main stage for a stirring rendition of Bruce Springsteen’s I’m On Fire, with Kiwanuka’s vocals accompanying the song like a fine red wine with a vintage cheddar. But the best was yet to come as the opening chords of The Cave from Mumford’s debut album sent the crowd into a frenzy, and before we could catch a breath I Will Wait offered the biggest crowd sing-along of the evening.

The night came to a close with the title track from Delta, a somewhat surprising choice as it was clear a fair chunk of the crowd was unfamiliar with the song as they headed for the exits. But this reviewer stuck around and just like every song before it I was hooked and am eager to give the new album a good listen.

The crowd was littered with white confetti as the band closed up shop, and a much-deserved standing ovation was given. Marcus was unstoppable all night, delivering a powerful and emotionally driven vocal performance and an energetic stage presence that would put many frontmen to shame. His trio of bandmates were immaculate too, true musicians that were emotionally attached to every song they delivered.

For this reviewer it was a much needed mood booster after a somewhat sombre weekend after the loss of his beloved budgie Cedric, proof that music continues to be such an important aspect of our lives. Mumford & Sons closed out their Australian tour in emphatic fashion, living up to their reputation as a band that will leave their fans wanting more after every performance.

Setlist:
42
Little Lion Man
Babel
Guiding Light
Lover of the Light
If I Say
Tompkins Square Park
Believe
Beloved
White Blank Page
Forever (w/Gretta Ray)
Ditmas
Picture You/Darkness Visible
The Wolf

Timshell
I’m On Fire (w/Michael Kiwanuka)
The Cave
I Will Wait
Delta

Shane

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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