On a mild night in Ottawa, a capacity crowd in Ottawa danced away from our beloved Canadian Tire Centre with sore throats and their monies worth.
Performing the bulk of the material off of their 2015 album Wilder Minds, platinum selling English folks rock band Mumford and Sons held the multi-generational Ottawa audience hostage with a barrage of pop hits, melodramatic fables and awe inspiring passion. Easily one of the best shows of 2016 thus far, I was left wanting more.
In truth, up until now I have been fairly critical of the band’s more mainstream songwriting on their their album Wilder Minds, but they made a believer out of me. Not only were the hook driven rock ballads full sounding and almost rugged, but they meshed surprisingly well with audience favourites from years past.
Debuting new reggae-influenced material, featuring genre crossing special guests, and bringing their show to the centre of the arena with their unplugged encore, the band stretched themselves creatively while maintaining control of an audience that was eating out of the palms of their hands. With subtle humour, a few cuss words, some audience participation, and Markus Mumford’s ability to jump back and forth between guitar and drums, this show left little to be desired.
A stirring rendition of The Ghosts That We Knew from the Babel album ignited the fires of hundreds of lighters and the flashlights of thousands of cellphones which decorated the arena, as we stood in awe of a band with an impressive and growing catalogue that is nowhere near their musical apex or commercial prime just yet. The best is still likely yet to come.
Seeing them in my own backyard at a beautiful arena like the Canadian Tire Centre made the show even more pristine. There is not a bad seat in the house.
I’m not one to blow smoke, but I would encourage you to bring both your daughter and your grandmother to the nearest Mumford and Sons show in your town. There is really something for everyone. Find out tour dates and more at http://www.mumfordandsons.com/ – all photos by Sean Sisk for Sound Check Entertainment