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« Windy City Sound Clash Takin' It To The Streets: Urban International Festival @ Marquette Park, 6/19 »

Concert Tue May 25 2010

Review: Mumford and Sons @ Lincoln Hall, 5/24/10

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Marcus Mumford (photos by Kirstie Shanley)

A tall man in short plaid shorts prodded his phone while holding up a peace sign to the passersby. Lincoln Hall was full, and although Mumford and Sons had only released their first album last year, they'd gained enough traction for a sold-out show (even after switching up from Schubas) and people looking for "miracles". The warm tones of Australian openers The Middle East were pumped through the speakers as the bar swarmed with people, and the floor and balcony had people utilizing every possible sightline (even occasionally standing on seats). By the end of the whistling, friendly finale from The Middle East, the crowd was finally lively again, but only a few moved — those at the bar had clearly drawn the short straw for beer-buying from their respective groups.

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A huge swirl of fog was blasted into the room, and it faded just to the point of visibility before the lights were dimmed and Mumford and Sons took the stage. Marcus Mumford's rich, throaty wail set amongst the backdrop of Americana (via London) banjos silenced the crowd for every song, and songs like "Awake Your Heart" and recent single "The Cave" immediate set the band's spell. In between sets, Marcus began to joke a bit, adorably bashful and trying out a few musical shout outs for cheers (Tortoise? Andrew Bird? Wilco?") and some banter about the occasional writer's block he suffers, which caused the title of new song "Nothing Is Written" to accidentally turn into a joke. Luckily for the fans, the song itself was anything but.

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The band used "Little Lion Man" at the show's peak, and used it well — the spot on harmonies and furious banjo backing led to an audience finishing the song full-throated with the band. Marcus then switched over to drums for the rest of the evening, and pulled off a Phil Collins double-duty, never once losing his voice or the beat. They wrapped up the night with a rousing and electric "Dust Bowl Dance," and encore "Whispers In The Dark" had Marcus returning to guitar (a plugged-in cherry red electric to finish with some gusto). Although the audience yelled for more, the house lights and music eventually won out, and the audience trickled out slowly, whether for nursing their beers or reminiscing on an impressive show.

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Matthew / May 25, 2010 10:35 AM

I was there last night and your description is spot on. These guys showed the polish and raw talent that will propel them on to much bigger things. Hands down, this was a great kick-off to my own summer music schedule.

pop music / May 27, 2010 3:02 AM

We should understand that music isn’t just about the sounds, but also about the message that is portrayed by the band or event.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

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