Having postponed several shows across the UK due to logistical reasons, crowds at the O2 waited in anticipation to marvel the venue staging said to recreate the intimacy of London’s Mumford & Sons newly released album Delta.
Placed thinly across the centre lay a stage just wide enough to fit the band and a few key crew members to help project the spectacle on screen either side of the stage. The set up not only allowed a more panoramic view but offered fans a more interactive experience as the London boys paced up and down greeting listeners at every turn.
Guiding Light followed by Little Lion Man, Babel and Lover of the Light is worth the admission alone as fans rose to their feet and roared back the lyrics at every possible moment. It was a strong spectacle that solidifies Mumford & Sons as a band designed to be seen live.
Performing her own headline show earlier in the year, it was a welcome return seeing rising star Maggie Rogers accompany the band on stage to perform Beloved, shining as brightly as a thousand lights being protruded into the air by avid fans.
The only misstep of the night was the jarring performance of Darkness Visible as it’s ethereal sounds and trippy visuals circulated the room and transformed the show suddenly into an ELO concert. The song was accompanied by an array of pyrotechnics that seemed excessive and premature especially as The Wolf was followed swiftly afterwards and would have been the perfect moment to escalate the show to its peak.
However, despite all the grandeur, Mumford & Sons shine best when huddled together and play round a single microphone sat under the twinkling of a few lights. Having the ability to not only silence a room but one of London’s largest venues is true testament to a bands magnetic power and fans weren’t disappointed as the gorgeous harmonies of Timshel floated softly around the venue walls.
In the golden age of distraction, artists are desperate to find new ways to arrest audience attention. Although visually the night was a success, musically Mumford & Sons have plenty to offer that will always surpass the need for a spectacle.