Lollapalooza UPDATE: The below poster is indeed the real lineup for…
- Posted on Nov 1st 2010 2:20PM by Charley Rogulewski
Frank Hoensch, Getty Images
Mumford and Sons didn't dress up for their sold-out Halloween stint at Chicago's Riviera Theater, something banjo player Winston Marshall would apologize for after noticing how seriously audience members had taken the holiday. "Seeing you all dressed up, we should've paid more attention," he noted. The show, originally booked at the more intimate Vic Theater, was the English folk-rock quartet's second time in the Windy City in a year that has seen heavy radio play of their tracks 'The Cave' and 'Little Lion Man,' a sold-out North American tour and a Mercury Prize nomination in their native England.
"We're sorry for the Revolutionary War!" someone in the audience called out. "The question is, 'How sorry?'" joked namesake Marcus Mumford, who also confessed that band had warmed up for the gig listening to 'Star Wars,' 'Indiana Jones' and 'The Lion King' theme songs.
Opening with the quiet harmonies of their debut's title-track, the band wouldn't stay this mellow for long. After all, a trademark of a Mumford and Sons track is reaching its boiling point at the two-minute mark. At first their music sounds straight off a log cabin porch in Appalachia, but midway transforms into a rock 'n' roll headbanger that has people dancing to it like they're listening to their favorite Prince song. A two-man horn section would come out during the following 'Roll Away Your Stone,' while the band's guitar tech would add crashing cymbals to the waltz 'Winter Winds.' By the end of the show, the band had plugged in and added drums to otherwise acoustic songs. Some tunes remained mellow, like 'Timshel,' where the group nailed harmonies with the same bone-chilling precision of a modern day Crosby, Stills and Nash. 'I Gave You All' and 'White Blank Page' sound like Mumford is purging the emotions of 15 broken hearts.
The crowd channeled it too, chiming in on the choruses of the energetic 'Little Lion Man' and 'Awake My Soul,' the latter of which featured Cadillac Sky's David Mayfield on slide guitar. 'Lover of the Light' was by far the standout of the new upbeat tunes and saw Mumford ditch his guitar for the drum kit like the Band's Levon Helm. 'Broken Crown' was only written in Denver last week and the band confessed it might be "rough around the edges."
For the encore, the band came out with their caravan to perform King Charles' 'Lady in the Water.' "Anyone know the Avett Brothers?" asked Mumford to a response of hoots and hollers from the black abyss in front of him. "Next to King Charles, Cadillac Sky, they're one of our favorite bands." He then urged the crowd to sing along on 'Go to Sleep,' which saw them playing their instruments on the ground in a sleepy state to jumping around between mics. After that, the foursome came back out to perform their breakout 'The Cave.' The audience still stood there staring at the empty stage at the end, wanting more even though the venue had turned on the house music.