After a week filled with miserable weather, the sun was shining down on May 24th, when people from all around the Lower Mainland flooded Surrey’s Holland Park to see Mumford & Sons on this sold-out third stop of their Gentlemen of the Road tour.
The venue looked like a festival popped up in the middle of this Surrey park. Merch tables were placed inside and outside the venue. Various food trucks lined the edges, along with a beer garden. Handpicked from England, the lively Mystery Jets was the first opening band, followed by the slowed-down and soulful Michael Kiwanuka.
“Vancouver holds a very special place in our hearts.” – Marcus Mumford sweet-talking the crowd.
Right on time, Marcus Mumford, Ben Lovett, Ted Dwayne, and Winston Marshall took the stage at 8:00 PM, kicking off with the title track of their latest album release, “Babel”.
Mumford & Sons has this ability to create a huge and full sound, despite missing a major component of most bands, a drummer. The band’s sound delivers so much energy with every note they hit on their instruments. It’s reflected in their faces, their movements, and in the crowd.
Besides their singles, one of my personal standouts included the uplifting “Winter Winds”, with its lovely lyrics:
“And my head told me heart, ‘Let love grow’. And my heart told my head, ‘This time no, this time no.'” – From “Winter Winds”
Another of my favourites was the beautiful 4-part harmony filled song “Timshel”. I also thoroughly enjoyed when Marcus moved to the drums and they played “Lover of the Light”. I had seen many versions online and was excitedly looking forward to hearing it in person!
“Winter Winds” by Mumford & Sons (Video by Sarah Owens)
I was left in awe by the talent on stage. Each member of the band is a multi-instrumentalist, and they use their skills fully in concert. Another fact about this band is that they all sing, which I always find extremely impressive and rare.
These men are extremely humble and thankful for their fans getting them where they are. There was an injured fan in the crowd, and they didn’t continue on with the set until they got the thumbs up that the fan was getting the help from the paramedics on hand. Another great moment is when you see the smiles stretch across their faces after looking out into the crowd.
Check out this rad time-lapse of the event by James Cowan!
Other fun things that happened:
- Ben seemed to have injured his right thumb, but still played the piano just as skillfully as a person with full use of their fingers.
- Ted has the best “groove-face” I have ever seen. Not to mention I love a bass player who can play the upright.
- A woman named was proposed to after an airplane flew by with a banner that read “Natalie Helm look behind you”. She said yes!
- Being in Canada, they decided to end the concert by inviting their opening acts back on stage and playing “The Weight (Take a Load Off Annie)” by The Band, even though they had never practiced it together! They featured trumpet, fiddle, piano, guitar, and lap steel guitar solos, and had the whole crowd happily singing along!
Mumford & Sons, Mystery Jets, and Michael Kiwanuka cover “The Weight” by The Band. (Video by Sarah Owens)
The concert experience was a very full and complete production. Besides the band, the lighting design was beautiful. Real effort was put into the camera work for the three screens above the stage, it was high quality tour DVD-worthy video. The production value of the concert hugely surpassed my expectations!
Overall, this was the best concert I’ve ever been to. That live quality you get in their recorded albums is the same sound you’ll get at a concert but with the added unique magic of live music. And with the authenticity of Mumford & Sons, it’s even more special.
I can only hope the concert turned some attending bandwagon fans into real fans! Maybe local social media has been over-saturated with posts about Mumford & Sons, but the attention is well deserved! If you like the band at all, don’t miss them next time! Don’t risk missing out on a band you might actually enjoy for the sake of going against what’s “trendy”. When musicians have their heart and soul poured into their work, it makes the experience unforgettable.
“Where you invest your love, you invest your life.” – From ‘Awake My Soul’
Favourite Moments: “Winter Winds”, “Timshel”, “Lover of the Light”, and “The Weight (Take a Load Off Annie)”
Little Lion Man
White Blank Page
I Gave You All
Below My Feet
I Will Wait
Lover of the Light
Thistle & Weeds
Ghosts That We Knew
Awake My Soul
Dust Bowl Dance
The Weight (The Band cover)
What are your thoughts on Mumford & Sons? Did you see them in Holland Park, or will you be checking out one of their other concerts? Speak your mind in the comments below!
(All photos taken by Dulce Rosales)