Live: Mumford and Sons in Indy

Originally scheduled to be held on Saturday, April 23 , the Mumford and Sons concert in Indianapolis drew quite a crowd to Banker’s Life Fieldhouse last Sunday. Receiving huge promotion from the local radio stations, the concert welcomed hordes upon hordes of people, both from in and out of town. The show was rescheduled due to the Pacers game, and although a few tickets were freed up after the switch, the show nearly sold out… Twice. Those who bought their tickets in time must have heard the hype: Mumford and Sons know how to put on a good show. With their extensive experience with live performances and headlining festivals, Indy proved to be just another crowd to please—and please they did. Blake Mills started off the night with a set so intimate that it should have been a sharp contrast with such a massive venue. Somehow, however, it worked. Mills has been on tour with Mumford for around three weeks, so he knows exactly how to relate to their fans. Many members of the audience were obviously Mills fans, and gave him a rousing backup chorus, along with a wave of dance moves. When you think about Mumford and Sons’ sound, the first thing that comes to your mind is certainly not sold-out stadiums, but that’s why they keep selling them out. Obviously, they’re incredibly talented, but more than that, they’re able to bring their unique brand of folk to massive stages without any sense of disconnect. Their tracks sound like love songs a simple country boy wrote and strummed out on his humble banjo and their name sounds like a mechanic shop in my hometown, yet they dominate a stage and play with passion. There’s a reason why these guys draw festival crowds: Everyone wants to see how exactly these guys pull it off. Mumford tracks are miraculously sophisticated. All the members are multi-instrumentalists, meaning their songwriting brings about new levels of complexity as each musician understands the intricacies of playing. So to see the exact breakdown of the tracks, each tiny piece coming together, every note in their fast paced choruses played by the hands in front of you, is breathtaking. This is a band where musicianship really shines through. These aren’t kids who played out of their garage and got lucky; these are weathered and talented performers who treat their shows like their craft. One of the advantages of stadium shows is the creative control over the stage itself. After the first song, “Snake Eyes,” the massive banner behind them suddenly dropped, revealing huge lights that proceeded to move for the rest of the show. I’d like to say the banner with massive angel wings shedding to the floor was a metaphor for something, but I don’t think I’m qualified to make that call. After being around for nine years, you would expect Mumford and Sons to have more than three albums. Yet when you see them live, it becomes clear that they just don’t need a huge variety of songs to choose from. The setlist flowed as easily as they come, making for a groovy yet heartfelt show. Indy was pumped for this show, and with good reason. Mumford is fantastic live, and their show at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse was no exception. -Kelly Fox Click here for exclusive photos of the show