Once Marcus Mumford opened his mouth, I melted. That raspy, deep voice is enchanting. I honestly had to stop myself from daydreaming so I could focus on the opening song, “Sigh No More.”
Now, I’m a strong believer that there is almost nothing sexier than four Englishmen who are both vocally and musically talented. I have been working on this thesis for a long time now, and I think Mumford has proved it. Hey, you can’t argue with science.
Mumford & Sons charmed a sold-out Santa Barbara Bowl Monday night, playing a 100-minute set of old and new songs.
Unfortunately, I missed The Tallest Man on Earth — opener and musical genius — play his set. I was able to hear “Love is All” from the will call line and I kicked myself for arriving late. Needless to say, next time Kristian Matsson is playing, I will be early.
After Matsson exited the stage, the mixed crowd of twentysomethings and middle-aged folk lovers headed to the beer station where they anxiously puffed on their cigarettes in anticipation of the headliners. The poor sound check guy must be so sick of people cheering after he strokes the first chord, mistaking him for the band — because I am. Either give the guy some credit — like really, he still wants to make it big — or get it through your head that no band can set up and be ready in five minutes.
Anyway, fast-forward about 20 minutes to the actual start of the show. The band picked up the tempo with songs like “Little Lion Man,” “Winter Winds” and “The Cave,” with banjo, standup bass, guitar, keys, guest brass and vocals colliding to make some of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard.
Not only was their music on key, but their energy could be felt from any seat in the venue. The band just played at Coachella, and by all means, the men should have been exhausted. If they were tired, I definitely couldn’t tell. Winston body rolled with his banjo, Ben danced around his keyboard, Ted looked suave and Marcus even played the drums. Talented is an understatement.
The crowd cheered enthusiastically when the band played new songs, including “Lover’s Eyes.” I typically get nervous when a band plays new material at a concert. I have this fear I’ll look stupid as I stand and digest the music, almost as if I look uninterested and standoffish. But, I didn’t feel that way this time. I felt happy, and I loved every new line, rhythm and key.
A woman in her 60s danced shamelessly. Girls in their teens ran around with their new merch. A couple guys danced awkwardly, trying to look cool. I was too entranced to pay attention to anything but the stage.
Everything about this night was wonderful. The venue was gorgeous; the weather was perfect. I could smell eucalyptus and the stars shone so brightly even the band praised the location. This show was exactly what I needed.