Arts

Mumford and Sons radiate positivity for packed Madison crowd

Mumford and Sons graced the Kohl Center stage this past Saturday night, gifting the attendees with a performance they won’t forget. 

Image By: Michael Makowski

Mumford and Sons’ Delta tour dominated the Kohl Center last Saturday, radiating nostalgic gratitude and a whole lotta love. 

Opening for M&S was Cat Power. Chan Marshall and her band provided a laid-back intro as the Kohl Center crowd grew in size. Mumford lead singer Marcus joined the band for their last two songs to the joy of spectators. 

M&S hopped on stage with huge grins and visible anticipation for the performance they were about to give. Their cool confidence and sweet banter between songs created a welcoming and warm space for those in attendance, regardless of how large the venue was. 

Kicking off their set with pulsating and comforting “Guiding Light,” M&S quickly showed how adorably collected they were, working as one up on the stage, which was in the middle of the venue. They didn't seem distracted by these moving parts, including continuous instrument changes and the frequent shifting of positions. It made the audience feel like they were just jamming out in a coffee shop alongside them. 

This was followed by “Little Lion Man,” which was effectively strong and quick, and just made your feet WANT to move. Next came the gritty and raw rendition of  “Holland Road” and their OG bop “The Cave,” that was expectedly fantastic.

“Beloved” was a nearly religious experience, swaying the crowd in unison and awe. The soulful and reflective “Lover of the Light” came next. 

“Tompkins Square Park” was summery while smoke tediously filled the pit, and was almost undoubtedly the most pure piece I could have anticipated from them. Lead guitarist and banjoist ripped through the middle of the song with a classic riff. Marshall continued his command in the slow, meditative “Believe.”

“Ditmas” followed with Marcus running into the crowd and up into the 100 level of the Kohl Center, belting lyrics with a smile on his face.  

The fervent “Slip Away” and vibe-worthy “Picture You” were superseded by the highlight of the night: a tediously planned “Darkness Visible,” which can more accurately be described as a cohesive art piece rather than a song. 

The lights for the show were intriguing, appearing as if they were surging and heaving with the speakers’ vibrations. The occasional lowering of the set-up increased the sublime and intimate tone that M&S worked up to until “Darkness Visible,” whereas raising them created a more folksy and bright feel for the arena. 

The aforementioned lights created a canopy for the first two songs of the encore. After a calming, yet powerful rendition of  Sigh No More’s “Timshel,” Marcus charmingly praised the crowd for allowing them the space to perform acoustically under one microphone. 

The reward? A rare acoustic version of “Forever.”

Up next was one of our personal favorite performances of the night, a chilling cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt,” pulling the inner angst out of everyone even mildly paying attention. 

The band then broke out the Steel Guitar and launched into “Awake My Soul” inviting the crowd to join in the chorus with a slow build into the first-album hit. 

“You all ready for a dance?” Mumford asked. 

Suddenly, bassist Ted Dwane began the chart-topping “I Will Wait” with a pick-up note for the ages. This much-anticipated bop was more than we could’ve asked for, and was a great almost-closer to remind folks from all walks of M&S fandom what they congregated to see. 

The night was capped with a performance of “Delta” not soon to be forgotten by Kohl Center attendees. With droves of confetti dropping from the rafters, the driving song took full bloom. 

The band put out a rare personal tweet for fans in attendance saying, “Madison, you caught us by surprise. Not because we weren’t expecting a great time but that was truly special.”

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