Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mumford & Sons - Live at Ryman Auditorium

The British folk rock band Mumford & Sons performed their first headlining show of the year last night in Nashville at the famous Ryman Auditorium. I was fortunate enough to be in attendance to see this band perform the music that made it's mark on American radio airwaves in 2011. Being only a casual fan of their music, I was looking forward to seeing this group perform instrumentally and to also experience the folk rock energy they're known to bring to the stage. If I were to comment only on those two criteria alone, I would say that I was quite impressed.

Mumford certainly did the Ryman justice instrumentally since they predominantly play acoustic guitar, stand-up bass, and banjo, which is why they have staked their claim in the folk genre. But they play the hell out of those instruments, and bring a strong backing of vocals, which really gives the group their rock undertones.

The show didn't play out quite as planned however as the group stated their nervousness for performing on the Ryman stage several times. It certainly had some affect on the groups lead singer Marcus Mumford as he struggled with the lyrics as well as a bout of coughs on a few of the songs performed which resulted in the songs ending prematurely. I've never been to a live show before where the artists had to take a 5 minute break off stage to regroup during the middle of a set. Some fans were critical of this (And who wouldn't be on Music City's biggest stage) but for me personally it did not noticeably degrade the performance. I'm sure it would have had a larger effect on me if I was more of a follower of Mumford's music or I had a keen liking to some of the shortened songs. However, I personally thought the missteps made for a better connection with the crowd on hand as the group shared their personal thoughts on what its like performing live and dealing with a nervous mind.

The final misstep came on the band's final song "The Cave" but it made for a nice scene as Marcus asked the crowd for assistance singing the song and the Auditorium came alive with the voices of the crowd. I was fortunate enough to record the moment and have loaded the video below. I did cut out the beginning of the song where the group stops mid-song out of respect for Mumford. The Brits voiced a lot of respect to our country as well as Nashville itself which they consider a second home so respect is deserved in return. Enjoy the sounds, and leave your comments.

NOTE: Mumford played two new unreleased songs. I really enjoyed both. Look for a great second album as summer nears. The release date has not yet been announced.

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