Mumford & Sons – Adelaide Entertainment Centre – Thursday 24 January 2019
Words Geoff Jenke
Marcus Mumford – “Fark its hot in Adelaide” and he was right. The temperature was still 45 degrees when I pulled up at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre but the Centre had the aircon pumping hard and it was reasonably cool inside. I am guessing this would have been the hottest day the band had ever endured. Mumford and Sons are touring their new album Delta, released about three and a half years after the Wilder Mind album. Its been six years since Mumford were last in Adelaide and judging by the crowd reaction, that has been too long.
First up Gretta Ray got to entertain the people still turning up for the concert. Gretta won the 2016 Triple J Unearthed radio competition and while I am not familiar with her work, it is easy to see why. A wonderful voice with a batch of catchy songs.
Next up was Michael Kiwanuka, an English soul musician who has been compared to Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding. The Four-piece band put out an amazing sound with an extended version of Black Man in a White World being the pick of the evening. Home Again and Cold little Heart has me looking for his albums today. What an amazing voice. The four-piece band put out an amazing sound with an extended version of
Mumford and Sons burst into our lives about 9 years ago when their iconic first single Little Lion Man was played on what seemed like every radio station in the country. Folk Rock was back.
After a selection of classic 1960’s songs over the P.A, Mumford and Sons walked on stage and straight into the song 42 from the new album Delta, with Marcus walking the catwalk to the cheers of the crowd and even playing a small set of drums on the catwalk. The sound was loud but perfect with an array of musicians, who seemingly could play anything, backing the four band members. Keyboards, brass, violins, guitars and drums all got played during the evening.
Next up the band walked to the end of the walk way and bought out the song Little Lion Man early and also Babel with the audience happily singing along. Back to the main stage and Guiding Light and Lover of the Light bought the energy levels up and had the crowd singing, stamping, dancing and waving phones with lights on.
Marcus thanked us for being the second country in the world to take to the band and starting their international career. He asked everyone to light up their phones for Believe and the stadium lit up. Marcus also laughingly asked if we wanted to talk about our cricket team and some wag in the audience asked where his sandpaper was?
We got an electric version of White Blank Pages which was one of the highlights of the evening and then they bought out Gretta Ray to sing Forever from the new Delta album. The song just reinforced how great Gretta’s voice is.
Ditmas had Marcus doing a lap of the stadium, taking hi-5’s and selfies in the crowd. Darkness Visible/ The Wolf had an almost Nine Inch Nail’s industrial sound and lots of pyrotechnics. Loud and powerful it was the definite highlight of the evening.
After a short break the band of four come to the end of the walkway and with only a single microphone, guitar and mandolin and sang Where are They Now and Awake my Soul. You could have heard a pin drop. Awake my Soul was in its simplicity, simply amazing.
Back to the main stage and Michael Kiwanuka joined the band for a version of Springsteen’s, I’m on Fire. Wrong choice of song to show off Michael’s talent as a vocalist and guitarist. After he and Marcus sang a verse each, it was just guitar strumming for about 5 minutes.
The show rounded out with The Cave, I Will Wait and Delta with a barrage of lights, pyrotechnics and confetti.
It may have been 45 degrees outside but the band still wore black jackets on stage. Guess you have to keep up the image. A 21-song set list kept all the fans happy with selections from all four of their albums.
The album Delta takes Mumford and Sons on a slightly darker trip, which has spilled over into their live performance. Let’s hope this continues with the band. Maybe they will eventually get rid of the banjo one day.