- 15 Jun 19
With their fourth album, Delta, continuing their richly rewarding musical and commercial streak, Mumford & Sons returned to Ireland on a high. And with front-man Marcus Mumford in positively rocking form, the opening night of their Dublin one-two turned into a real, knockout show!
The rain is persistent, but with typical Irish summer determination, the crowd heading for Malahide Castle seems undeterred. There’s a fizzy atmosphere in the grounds, and people are nursing their drinks in anticipation for our favourite folk rockers-cum-popstars, Mumford & Sons.
They have spoilt us with the number of supporting acts for the night but it's all good. Norweigan singer AURORA, whose cover of Oasis’ ‘Half The World Away’ charmed millions in the John Lewis Christmas ad 2015, is phenomenal.
Hot Press January cover stars Wild Youth always put on a good show, and this is no exception. The bottom line is that they know how to entertain and they have big songs. You can imagine them headlining here in two or three years time.
A real radio favourite, Dermot Kennedy is the ultimate opening act for a band like Mumford & Sons. He is a fine songwriter and has an excellent voice, the combination adding up to a set that has a real emotional hit to it. When Kennedy performs ‘Power Over Me’, the reaction from the crowd – singing along with gusto – is overwhelming. With a debut album on the way and a huge following established, his time will likely come even sooner.
After just a 10-minute switchover – these boys are efficient! – Mumford & Sons emerge in dapper going-about-their-business-in-style suits. With a quick greeting, they dive into ‘Guiding Light’, the lead single from their fourth studio album Delta (2019).
‘Little Lion Man’ is next and it electrifies the crowd, many barn-dancing enthusiastically during the epic banjo solo. Afterwords, Mumford & Sons thank the crowd and claim that the Irish are always a brilliant audience. No one in Malahide tonight is likely to disagree, that's for sure!
The show is filled to the brim with interactions with the audience. Marcus Mumford is an excellent and energetic front-man, politely expressing his gratitude after every song and dramatically running up to the barrier to meet fans. Not only that, but he switches instruments throughout Mumford & Sons set, with both acoustic and electric guitars strapped around his neck at times, while he also executes a cracking drum solo whilst singing.
Mumford & Sons better-known, most popular songs are met with mass enthusiasm. Fans slip and slide across the grass while dancing to ‘The Cave’ but their mirth ends up in mud-stained clothes. Who cares?
“Look around, Dublin!” Marcus says, “Aren’t people awesome?”
We holler in agreement.
Their last song before the encore is ‘Darkness Visible’: plumes of smoke and bright lights shoot up and down the stage. Ben Lovett has an excellent piano AND synth solo in this song. It is definitely one of Mumford & Son’s most experimental tracks but it works.
Stepping back out for the encore, Marcus expresses gratitude once again.
“You’ve been fucking wicked, as always,” he says. “... It feels like returning home. Now, lets’ dance!”
With this declaration, the opening notes of ‘I Will Wait’ begin and the crowd leap into an ecstatic response. When Mumford & Sons play their final number, ‘Delta’, there’s a tinge of melancholy in the air as it’s clear no one wants the concert to end. Confetti explodes out into the crowd and the London band are given the royal send-off they deserve.
• Mumford & Sons and their supporting acts play Malahide again tonight with limited tickets available. Form an orderly queue, please!