Sitting on the Strawberry Swing

Every moment was so precious.

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My Mumford & Sons Experience
Bright Lights

On Tuesday night of this week, I had the great pleasure of witnessing musical genius and perfection in action. I really should have written about this earlier, but I figured late is better than never. I saw Mumford & Sons perform live and no exaggeration, I have not a single bad thing to say about it. It was life-changing, moving, beautiful. The instrumentation, the vocals, the energy, the show, everything was perfect. They played all their biggest hits: I Will Wait, The Cave, etc., as well as some quiet jems such as Timshel and Ghosts That We Knew, which were two personal highlights for me. One of my all-time favourite songs, Below My Feet, was also a highlight. The ending to that song is just so grandiose that I can't help but smile in awe and close my eyes. Close to the end of the show, they played a B-stage set, which was absolutely incredible. A Springsteen cover, and an old track called Sister, a capella. Those four men have accomplished so much, and their music is so much more than a lot of the (in my opinion) garbage taking over the charts lately. The commercialization of music today is absolutely ridiculous to me, and not to say that Mumford & Sons isn't greatly affected by this because they are, but they seem so much more genuine in their work. Their music is a craft, more than just a career. All this talk reminds me of something Ben said during an interview recently:

"There's so much music about just going out and going to a club and meeting a girl and going back home. I think it’d be good if people, kind of, just listened to more music about everything else that happens on a day to day basis. A lot of things happen between like, 9 am and 10 pm before you go to the club and meet your girl and get drunk and go home. It’s like, you know there’s other stuff."

I recognize that everyone has their own opinions and tastes when it comes to music, but so much of what I'm hearing these days just makes me sad. This quotes speaks a lot to how I feel about music and my relationship with it. So many things can be said through music and very few take advantage of this. After the show, my sister and I went outside the venue in hopes of meeting the band. We had to leave to catch a train and so were unsuccessful, but did manage to get Ted to wave to us outside. There were quite a few other people outside, and some were asking me what the names of the band members were. This saddened me a little to know that the four of them were not really recognized individually for their talents, but I was still happy to share some knowledge. Marcus Mumford is extremely talented, much more so than I realized. His vocals were spot-on all night long, and it still amazes me that he plays guitar, kick drum, and tambourine, all while singing melody as well. And then he goes and plays kit. Seriously multi-talented. Ben Lovett and his flawless harmony, as well as his impressive piano and keyboard skills were also amazing to see. And then he pulls out an accordion. During Dust Bowl Dance (viewable on the tour DVD) he plays a beautiful intro that I have listened to far too many times to admit. The banjo is one of the most fascinating instruments to me, and Winston Marshall is definitely a highly skilled musician, both on the banjo and the guitar. And then the flawless harmonies again. And last but not least, Ted Dwane was one of the most dynamic for sure, playing the bass and the kit at one point. The four of these men are all incredible, and I am so happy to have seen them live. I have considered myself a Mumford & Sons fan for several years now, long before their Grammy breakthrough, and I was so floored that they finally chose Calgary to play a show, especially to open up a tour of that magnitude. It was easily the best show I have ever been to (and I've been to quite a few) and I highly recommend going to see them if given the opportunity. Man, I'm such a fan girl.

Many people say that the golden ages of music, likely the 60s and 70s, are gone and that quality music such as that by groups and artists such as Simon & Garfunkel and The Beatles, is never to be found again. Which may be fair to say; however, there are so many incredible bands being smothered by the industry that no one knows about. I have gotten completely off topic here because obviously Mumford & Sons has done extremely well commercially, but there are so many other bands that are lost in obscurity. I will post again soon more about music and what I listen to, because it is something that I am extremely passionate about. I keep reading all these articles about how Mumford & Sons is just another popfolk band of today. They won't last, they're just cashing in on the current market. They're mixed in with bands the likes of The Lumineers, The Head and the Heart, and others, but I really have to disagree. Bands are rightfully taking advantage of the fact that people are largely listening to this style of music. Each has their own sound, their own fans, and their own story and I think Mumford & Sons is one of few genuine bands that have achieved mainstream success. I'm excited to see where else they go with their music, and I hope to see them again in the as near as possible future.



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