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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Monday, September 25

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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.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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