Mumford & Sons @ Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle

Newcastle is renowned for a lot of things. Unfortunately its weather at times outranks its positives, 4 December being no different.

As I entered the convivial doors of Metro Radio Arena, perched on the banks of the Tyne, the atmosphere was immediately apparent. The concessions were abuzz with excitement of the fast approaching headline act, Mumford & Sons.

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Fresh on the back of their second studio album release (Babel, 21 September 2012), the band industriously take to the stage and it’s clear they’ve lost no love for their art.
The performance consisted of everything I was hoping for. The frantic, finger busting tracks like The Cave, were executed with precision and it wasn’t until the bitter end that Markus snapped a string – this of course didn’t hamper the track’s continuance or the awestricken crowd’s exhilaration.

Over the course of the performance the quartet were flanked by up to seven other musicians (string family and horn section) at a time – really delivering the overall sound toward studio quality.

Dust Bowl Dance was a personal highlight. The dark track opens with a melancholic narrative aided by a simple and sluggish chord progression. I’d been looking forward to Dust Bowl in particular because I’ve learned (from the music video, not a secret journalism source) that our frontman lends a leaf from Don Henley’s book (Eagles) and takes to the drums whilst still fronting the vocals.
The track swiftly evolves from its humble and slightly ominous beginnings, to a frenzied free-for-all. The arsenal of onstage musicians exploded, the crowd erupted, the entire room was amassed with energy and it’s for that exact reason I was looking forward to Dust Bowl Dance. Bravo, more like this please gents.

As the warm fervent atmosphere burned from the stage, engulfing the young crowd, I feel comfortable in confirming it was incomparable to any performance I’ve attended at the venue in the past.

The band praised their near 11,000 supporters and treated them to an up close and personal performance on an audience-centre stage (below). This was of course met by rapturous applause and the evening was put to bed shortly after the short encore.

Thoroughly recommend the group for a live setting, with absolutely nothing lost even in the aircraft hangar sized arena.

Soon to be published at I Are Yeti

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