I took a break from seeing movies 24/7 and finally got to my first Portland concert. I just made it under the two-year mark, which is absolutely ridiculous. I had tickets to The Stars and Ben Folds in Portland, but those shows didn't work out. For Ben Folds I instead had to go to The Hangover press junket in Vegas. Feel sorry for me? In Chicago, I would say I saw a concert every two months. Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Josh Ritter, Ben Folds, Franz Ferdinand, Rilo Kiley ... that gives you and idea of the shows I've seen and the musical taste I am inclined to. Monday, May 31 at the Aladdin Theater I saw Mumford & Sons for only $12. Marcus Mumford, Country Winston, Ben Lovett, and Ted Dwane. Mumford is the lead vocalist.
I like to think of them as "angry English folk." But really, I decided to stop trying to label music genres too much once alternative music became the norm.
Aladdin Theater is a seated theater, holds 620 and it was sold out. My friend and I (wife works early, so decided not to go) got there for the end of the opening band's set (The Middle East). Not too shabby. A little slow.
Then we decided to stand against the wall instead of take seats. Everyone in the theater chose to stand for Mumford & Sons, except for the one woman who said, "You got to be kidding me," and stormed off, when every stood in front of her.
The crowd was immediately into it. Here's the set list.
1. Sigh No More - Great song to open with. Builds slowly. At this point I feel like I am close to getting my money's worth. Yes, that's a little premature. 2. Winter Winds 3. The Cave 4. New song - Dear god, even their new stuff is sounding good. Normally the time people would rush to get a beer, but not now. At this point I start to make a note of the set list. So I am not 100 percent on the order of the first three songs. If you are crushed by this, I apologize. 5. Timshell 6. I Gave You All 7. Little Lion Man - Wait, what? This is your most popular song. I was a little worried they were out of material at this point. 8. New song - Mumford switches over to drums. When they were on Letterman, they played "Little Lion Man," and after Letterman said that maybe with the money they made doing the show, they could get a drummer. Apparently they don't need to. 9. Dustbowl Dance 10. Thistle & Weeds 11. After the Storm 12. Roll Away Your Stone - I believe they said, "This is a little dance song," before they started. Absolutely great song to leave on. At this point my brain cannot think about what they can do for an encore. I feel like they are spent.
They leave. Then come back fairly quick for the encore. 13. White Page Blank - Hmm... This is the only thing that doesn't really work for me. It's a good song, but I needed more when they were done. They should have switched it with No. 11. Plus, they only did a one song encore. Bold. I would have loved a cover song. Especially after I heard this.
Bottom line, Mumford & Sons "gets it." Not only that, the show was less than $1 a song! They already have an amazing stage presence. They already know how to make their songs bigger. This is something Coldplay didn't have right away. At least not on their first tour through Chicago. I will easily add them to my "must see every chance I get" list. That list has Arcade Fire and Josh Ritter on it. So by my calculations, Mumford & Sons can easily become the biggest band to ever walk the Earth. Or something like that.