When they were last in Australia, they had three albums. Now they have four — and Thursday night saw Mumford & Sons bringing the sweet tunes of their newest album Delta into the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, supported by Gretta Ray and Michael Kiwanuka.
Full (and potentially controversial) disclosure: the only Mumford & Sons song I really knew going in was I Will Wait. Spoiler alert: I left the venue listening to Delta all the way home, so let that speak for itself.
Mumford & Sons delivered an amazing variety of songs for the audience’s listening (and grooving) pleasure, and their set featured plenty of strobe lighting in every colour of the rainbow, a blinding light feature in the shape of their logo, and some incredibly well-timed pyrotechnics that made you go, “Woah!” every time. There was always something new to look at, your eyes constantly on the move, just like your feet.
Lead vocalist, Marcus Mumford, was not only a delight to hear sing, but a bit of a jokester as well — throwing around a bit of shade about the Australia National Cricket Team.
The crowd was still wild for him as he jumped down to sing with the people like a husky-voiced god among men. It was the usual performer coming to touch hands and fist bump with their fans, until Marcus dove into the crow and literally got lost among them. His stamina was admirable as he pushed through the hoards swarming him, a long-suffering security guard following him through the crowds. How did he sing through that? How many people accidentally touched his butt? How many people purposely touched his butt? Security had to throw Marcus over the barrier to get him back on stage.
Their show was full of tradition — the song where the crowd is asked to shine their phone torches (and diligently does so until their arms start hurting at the one-and-a-half minute mark) and, of course, the classic “Our Show Is Over, But You Know We’re Coming Back So Keep Cheering For Five Minutes Straight.” You can’t not.
When Mumford & Sons returned, they made their way to the end of the catwalk and huddled around a single microphone for something a little gentler and different. There, lit up by a warm light, they simply looked like four friends gathered around a crackling fire.
It was a poignant and sweet acoustic set, featuring a stripped back version of Where Are You Now? and Awake My Soul. Their voices were quiet enough that you could hear the whole crowd singing along, like one huge choir of strangers united by their love of the music.
The crowd went wild once more when the well-known banjo struck up with the familiar chords of I Will Wait and the whole Entertainment Centre was raised to their feet by some unknown, but magnetic pull to dance.
They wrapped up with Delta from the new album, complete with a surprise of the confetti-type that made it look like it was snowing inside and not still a sweltering 38 degrees outside.
For fans old and new, Mumford & Sons delivered an energetic, passionate performance, making the show enjoyable for those who knew every single word to their new album and those that rocked up just to hear the furious strumming of the banjo in I Will Wait.
They always say the live version is better than the record and Mumford & Sons proved that on Thursday night.