Artist: Mumford & Sons
Location: (Le) Poisson Rouge
As has been floating around the internet, Mumford AND His Sons have been popping up in random cities to give fans a first listen of their upcoming album, “Wilder Mind.” Luckily, RunTheMill was lucky enough to receive two tickets to the show at the small venue, Le Poisson Rouge, on Monday night. The crowd was what you’d expect from a M&S concert, speckled with a few celebrities including Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis. (What does that have to do with the concert, you ask. Nothing, except that Jason Sudeikis is a cool guy.)
The sons arrived shortly after 9 P.M. and forewarned the audience that they would be playing all new tracks…and that there would be no banjos. The whole set had a collective feeling of moving forward and the excitement associated with discovery. Fame is a double-edged sword, and I felt that by going back to a smaller setting, Mumford and Sons were going back to the basics: learning how to cope with a completely new sound. Acoustic guitars can only give so much feedback through a speaker, and the group had no trouble reaching peak volume. Some of the songs had the familiar slow-building, meditative verses followed by massive and break-free choruses (“The Wolf” ), but others dug slightly deeper into grooves, letting the spaces in between the notes, breathe (songs like “Monster” and “Just Smoke”). Working with The National‘s Aaron Desner definitely has perks.
Overall, the concert was more of an experience, than just a show. The general reception when the album debuts next month will likely be mixed, but my belief is that this is the only direction they could have gone, and I am entirely for it. See above for the entire set list.