Supported by Maggie Rogers, Mumford & Sons graced Nottingham with their self-confessed ‘ground-breaking’ new tour. Indeed, on the back of their newly released album, Delta, Mumford & Sons’ new tour takes place in the round, with it being ‘by far the most ambitious show we’ve had to put together yet’. With some critics comparing the staging to that of a ship, the central staging enables the band to get ever-closer to the audience in an all-new spectator experience. Accompanied by a giant, mobile lighting rig, the stage itself was a spectacle to behold.
Opening with ‘Guiding Light’, the band were determined to start the night off with a euphoric atmosphere. As Marcus took to the mic, he exclaimed that ‘Just because you have a seat, it doesn’t mean you need to stay sitting down’, causing the crowd to rise to their feet as the intro to ‘Little Lion Man’ began. Suddenly the crowd were immersed into a mass stomping of feet and clapping of hands as Mumford took us back to their folk-infused roots, something which continued through the seamless transition into ‘Lover of the Light’.
“One moment the crowd would be entranced by a banjo-fused harmony whereas the next they would be fist-pumping to electric-guitar led tracks”
Amidst the throwbacks, tracks from their previous album, Wilder Mind such as, ‘The Wolf’ and ‘Tompkins Square Park’ provided a grittier edge to the mass hoedown-esque atmosphere. As Marcus swapped between acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drums, keyboard and piano throughout the night, the pure talent inherent in the band was self-evident for all to see. Indeed, one moment the crowd would be entranced by a banjo-fused harmony whereas the next they would be fist-pumping to electric-guitar led tracks.
“It was evident that the band were more than appreciative to be back on the road again”
Marcus proved to be a more than spectacular front man, with his enthusiasm having the crowd in his hands. In between skipping around the stage and symbolically embracing the crowd, he was sure to engage in ‘foreplay’ with the audience. Discussing how the band saw Nottingham as a ‘party city’ with them having many a night out here, including one where he got knocked out by a bouncer, it was evident that the band were more than appreciative to be back on the road again. With Notts holding a place in their hearts, Mumford & Sons blessed the crowds with the version of ‘Not in Nottingham’, a song that they deem as a tradition to sing whenever they’re in the city.
Sure, to get the crowd as involved with the show as possible, Marcus encouraged the crowd to get out their phone torches as the band played ‘Believe’. As a result, the arena was turned into a pit of lights, something which was tremendously effective in relation to the ambiance created by the overhead lighting rig. In the same way, Marcus further exuded in showmanship as he took it upon himself to come up close and personal with the audience. Much to the dismay of the security, he found himself running through the seated area of the audience, covering half of the arena before entering the standing pit itself. In what must have been a security nightmare, it functioned to emphasise the band’s desire, and ability to, connect with the crowd.
By mixing throwbacks such as ‘The Cave’ with new releases such as ‘Picture You’, Mumford & Sons really made sure to put their four-album discography on display. However, it was explicit that the crowd were most excited by the anthematic earlier hits, a phenomenon which is understandable given that Delta was only released a couple of weeks ago.
“The band transported us miles away from the arena setting, creating an intimate atmosphere”
As the show was filled with extravagant pyrotechnics and fireworks, a point in the night that really stood out was when the band located to one of the smaller, upper stages to sing an acoustic version of ‘Timshel’. Over a single microphone, the band transported us miles away from the arena setting, creating an intimate atmosphere more resembling the smaller pubs and venues that the band originally found themselves playing it.
Ending the show with a sing-along evoking encore including the likes of ‘I Will Wait’ and ‘Delta’, Mumford & Sons executed their two hour long set effortlessly, with the confidence of a band who have cemented their place in the mainstream airways. Having had to reschedule several dates due to the demands of the show itself, it is safe to say that the show is a mesmerising experience that has been accomplished as if fine-art.
Images courtesy of Lucy Robinson.