It was hot! How hot? Damn hot! Adelaide sweltered under some intense weather conditions creating history for the hottest day in a capital city. So the last thing anyone would have in mind is going to a gig. But how could anyone go past Mumford & Sons at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre with awesome supports in Michael Kiwanuka and Gretta Ray? This was Mumford & Sons at their finest showing how far they have come from playing Laneway Festival back in 2010.
It is great hearing new music from support acts who are that good it gives you a reason to head to a record shop and delve in to their back catalogue. Gretta Ray has a fantastic voice and no doubt the possibilities that lay ahead are endless. Her set focused mostly on her new album Here And Now.
Michael Kiwanuka is an awesome talent and it was a shame he couldn’t play longer than his allotted time but wow! What a voice! Kiwanuka has some awesome songs as part of his weaponry opening with One More Night then rolling in to big powerful songs in Black Man In A White World, Falling and Cold Little Heart which should be recognised as the opening theme song from HBO miniseries Big Little Lies. One of the memorable moments from his set was the Jimi Hendrix cover of May This Be Love.
Mumford & Sons hit the stage to loud applause opening with 42. Main man Marcus Mumford said it’s “fucking hit! We love your city, feel free to stand and dance and don’t worry about the person behind you!” The catwalk from the main stage led to a smaller stage which was used to great affect giving fans the chance to get that much closer to their heroes. Second song in and they pull a big one with Little Lion Man which got the hot and sweaty crowd jumping, dancing and singing along.
It isn’t hard to see how when you see this incredible band play live how much of a prodigious talent Marcus Mumford is and that’s not taking anything away from the rest of the band with Winston Marshall, Ben Lovett and Ted Dwane. Mumford sings, plays guitar, plays the drums and charms the pants off the crowd. The new album Delta featured prominently with the big single from it Guiding Light going down a treat. Lover Of The Light is next and even Mumford himself knows this one’s a ripper acknowledging the crowd with a nod.
Mumford acknowledged that Australia was the first place outside of the UK to embrace them and giving them the idea of touring on a much bigger scale. For me songs such as Tompkins Square Park and Believe were highlights. Mumford asked the crowd to turn on their flash lights on their phones to light up the venue. It was really something to see. Beloved was great and after Mumford cheekily asked the crowd whether they wanted to talk about cricket. Some smart arse yelled out “where’s your sandpaper” to which Mumford replied “that’s a bit fucking weird!”
Gretta Ray returned to the stage to join the band on Forever and in Springsteen style Mumford jumped out in the crowd working his way around the general admission area on Ditmus literally getting mobbed wherever he ventured. Picture You was incredible with plenty of theatrics and fireworks. The Wolf was a great set closer before returning for an encore. The band gathered around the smaller stage with one microphone to play Where Are You, Awake My Soul and the rousing Springsteen cover I’m On Fire in acoustic mode. Wow! Crowd favourites The Cave and I Will Wait were huge finishing on Delta which saw the crowd showered in confetti. Terrific show, can’t wait until they come back.
Live Review by Rob Lyon