As advertised, last night I went to the Mumford & Sons concert at the 560 (five sixty) Club in Vancouver. Mumford & Sons has got to be one of the most coveted concerts currently in rotation; rumor has it, this one sold out in under 8 minutes. The accolades for this band are numerous and growing; they are in demand all over the world; and it is not at all hard to figure out why. Take one listen to one song (might I suggest Little Lion Man or The Cave) and I bet my firstborn that you’ll find yourself pressing repeat. Tip: best played loud.
I’ve made no recent secret of my love for all things Mumford, and if you’ve spoken to me within the past three months you’ve likely heard me talk about the group about as passionately as one might normally speak of the Second Coming. Yes. They are that good. In trying to define exactly what it is that pulls me to their music I can only conclude that every part of it sets a new standard; the lyrics, the melodies, the rich harmonies, the instrumentation, the honest depth and raw power of it all. Mumford is my adrenaline inducing music, my sunny afternoon happy music, my rainy day whimiscal and overly poetic music, my soul searching, soul finding, hear-God-speak prayer inducing music; essentially, they’ve managed to create a sound that meets the listener exactly where they are, every time.
Music has always understood me in a way no human being ever will. Music, plain and simply put, knows me better. It would be impossible to explain how deeply I feel a song that I love, or how much easier it is to stomach the world to the tune of a fabulous soundtrack. So when I say that I have fallen in love with the music of Mumford and his Sons, I mean it. In a time of life that has taken me through more emotional changes and paradigm shifts than I ever thought was possible, the music of Mumford has been my go-to. They've accompanied every recent segment (and there've been a lot lately) of this amusingly awkward, sometimes painful, and always beautiful mid-20’s-ness. The prospect of seeing them live built an anticipation in me that finally, as of 11pm last night, came to a front: when the boys all walked on stage.
Keeners that we are, my friends and I lined up outside 2 hours before the doors opened and as such, were in the first 10 people inside. Beelining to the front & staying there meant that for the entire concert, I was one arm’s length away from the main man himself. That’s right ladies: I could see the sweat beads on Marcus Mumford’s brow. And I’m near sighted.
The concert proved to not only live up to but exceed my expectations. Musically, they were perfect. Performance wise, they were perfectly engaging and a thrill to watch. There is nothing more appealing than a man who’s passionate about, and passionately good at, his music – and here there were four of them, all in a row. Each band member brings an irreplaceable dynamic to each song, and watching them interact with each other and with the audience showed how genuinely they carry themselves. And as if they weren’t attractive enough, they’ve all got English (or is it British?) accents, and they're funny and charming and so. damn. talented. (or did I mention that already).
They opened the show with Sigh No More, the title track off their latest album, and closed it with one of their earlier tunes: Feel the Tide. In between those two we were graced with a few new tracks (the names of which I can’t remember, but will be buying as soon as humanly possible), and a plethora of familiar favorites. They even segued briefly into a tribute to Canadian artistry, by playing their own rendition of “Dance Dance Dance” by Neil Young (which, by the way, I pretended they were singing to me). From beginning to end, they were unbelievable.
I spent the entire concert in a complete state of Euphoria, giggling and sighing and pinching myself that I was actually hearing this music live. I was barely able to sing along for most of it, though I know all the words, because I was so beside myself with glee. That is Marcus Mumford. That is Mumford & Sons. This is my most favorite song ever…and here they are, playing it live, three feet in front of my face. I’m sure I looked somewhat rediculous, leaning on the guardrail and staring up in a dreamlike manner at the band (ahem. the lead singer), or dancing with my mouth in a perma grin, retreating for moments at a time into that blissful state only their music can put me in, or pretending that during Marcus’ turn at the drums, he was looking right at me (and falling in love, no doubt). Yes, I definitely looked a little silly. But I could hardly care. Best night of my life thus far (rivaled only by this one), and, I wager best night of my life for a long time to come.
I am so tempted to write a whole paragraph about Marcus and how much I want to hear him tell his story and know what makes up his heart (not to mention, a whole other paragraph about how damn handsome he is). But I figure that would be kind of stalkerish, so I won’t. Just know that I have become one of those women with a hopeless crush on a celebrity, and some small fraction of my head is planning out our future. Don’t tell him that though, I’m pretty sure he’d have me arrested (either that, or his girlfriend would).
really though, can you blame me?
When they come to town next, you must go. Be a keener, watch the minutes change until the tickets go on sale, show up early. Do what you need to do, so long as it gets you in the building where they play.
Marcus, Ted, Marshall, or Ben: if you’re reading this (which I am currently pretending you are), consider it a personal invitation to come back to Vancouver whenever you want, as often as you want. Vancouver loves Mumford & Sons. But, I’m guessing, not as much as I do.
*as a sidenote, there is only one radio station in Vancouver that is ‘with it’ enough to play Mumford (and other good music). 100.5 The Peak (the absolute best radio station in Vancouver) announced they would be hosting a free, secretly located Mumford & Sons pre-concert concert for yesterday afternoon. My girls & I went downtown early, the minute they announced it, to catch the show. In a crowd of hundreds, the four of us and maybe three other people had tickets to last night’s concert. When they asked those of us with tickets to cheer, we did, which is how we know we were the only ones. We may have gotten boo’d by a few bitter onlookers. Regardless, the pre-show was absolutely worth the anxious “will we make it!?” drive downtown, and a nice way to bookend a day: Mumford show in the afternoon, Mumford show at night. All this to say, if you live in the lower mainland you should probably change the first spot on your radio dial to 100.5 FM. It’s a good idea. Just sayin.