“It’s like Glastonbury on Coney Island,” Marcus Mumford quipped as Mumford and Sons emerged to kick off their Wilder Mind tour on a dreary, rainy evening at Brooklyn’s MCU Park.
The fans at the sold-out gig didn’t seem to mind at all. After going electric for their new record, the British rockers dove into new material, opening their performance with “Snake Eyes” and “Ditmas”. After, the crowd went wild for “The Cave”, with Mumford providing extra gusto on his delivery of the track’s anthemic lines: “And I’ll find strength in pain/ And I will change my ways/ I’ll know my name as it’s called again.”
On “Lover of the Light”, Mumford shifted over to the drums, and keyboardist Ben Lovett implored the crowd, “Let me see your hands New York!” The fans gladly obliged, clapping in unison. The instrumentation seemed slowed down just a fraction from the studio version, allowing the track to build even more steadily (and powerfully) to its euphoric climax.
In our feature on the band’s process of creating Wilder Mind, Mumford noted he didn’t envision too much crossover between the band’s first two albums and their most recent effort in terms of instrumentation (i.e. electric on Sigh No More and Babel or acoustic on Wilder Mind). However, on “Thistle & Weeds”, Mumford played the electric guitar, giving the dark track an even more ominous feel. Similarly, guitarist Winston Marshall emphatically headbanged during his brief, droning electric guitar solo at the conclusion of “Dust Bowl Dance” as pyrotechnics blazed in the background.
Mumford and Sons briefly departed the stage at this moment, but quickly returned. The end of the regular set hit a bit of a lull among the cold and drenched crowd during more subdued tracks like “Ghosts That We Knew” and “Tompkins Square Park”. But the fans got a serious second wind during “Little Lion Man”. The band closed with “The Wolf”, which has the potential to go toe-to-toe with any of the hits on Sigh No More or Babel in terms of raw, visceral power. The track surged forward on its propulsive drumbeat, which gave way to Mumford’s cathartic croon: “Hold my gaze love, you know I want to let it go/ We will stare down at the wonder of it all.”
Before the encore started, Lovett voiced his appreciation for the crowd and New York, where the band recorded Wilder Mind: “We’re massively grateful to this wonderful city.”
The fans responded to the praise by bouncing, clapping, and enthusiastically belting out the words to close out the set.
I Will Wait
Lover of the Light
Thistle & Weeds
Awake My Soul
Tompkins Square Park
Ghosts That We Knew
Dust Bowl Dance
Little Lion Man