Mumford & Sons Concert

Last week, I wrote about my Concert Bucket List: the artists that I am bound and determined to see live. On that list was Mumford and Sons, one of my absolute favorite bands of all time. Earlier this year, they released a new album, Wilder Mind, and along with the album came a tour schedule for 2015! Being obsessed with their music for years and having some vacation time on my hands, I decided to mark them off my Concert Bucket List this year.

At first, I had tickets to see them in Chicago, a city I'd not yet visited (what a chance to kill two birds with one stone?!?). My tickets, due to a ridiculous error and unwillingness to cooperate on the part of the ticket vendor, were revoked. FYI, never use Etix. They only have 1.6/5 stars on their Facebook page, if that's any indication of how frequently they rip off people. This did not deter me, though, because I was intent on seeing Mumford & Sons. I found another Mumford show in June at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, just outside of Baltimore. I'd already visited Baltimore before, but I was quite alright with visiting it again. Bonus: Emily, my friend that I'd not seen since undergrad in 2010, was living in Baltimore and wanted to go see Mumford & Sons with me!

If you've never been to Merriweather, here's how it's set up: there's the stage with the pit directly in front of it. Behind the pit is the stadium seating. There is also a lawn is behind the pit; the lawn is basically a big hill where people can sit and watch the show. The problem with the lawn is that you're a pretty good distance from the stage, so you can't see the performers very well (they look lego-sized from the lawn, honestly). You mainly have to rely on the huge screens on the pavilion to see them. If people in front of you are standing, that further decreases your visibility, and people love standing at concerts. People also get pretty territorial about their lawn space and dibs their spot with blankets. If you get too close to someone's blanket space, don't worry, they'll let you know. Emily & I, of course, were on the lawn. Unsurprisingly, we didn't get many good photos of the event.

The opening acts were Son Little and The Maccabees. Son Little was a bit hard to hear simply because at that time, a lot of people were arriving to the venue and getting situated. I listened to his music both before and after the show, though, and really enjoyed it, especially "The River." The Maccabees were really good live and even got Marcus Mumford onstage for one of their songs.

Photo by Business Wire, via Pandora

Finally, it was time for Mumford & Sons! The first song they played was "Lover's Eyes." During the intro of this song, I had just a really peaceful moment where I had a realization: "This is it. I'm here, they're here, and this event that had been a wild dream of mine is happening right now." It was a feeling of being in the right place at the right time and one of my happiest moments.

They played a total of 20 songs, four of which were played in the encore portion of the show. The band didn't hold back at all during each song, & they were incredibly funny and down-to-earth in the snippets between songs. They cracked jokes about their lighting guy and whether or not Baltimore was part of the south (it's definitely not, so Marcus Mumford quickly learned).

What I would consider the best performance of the night was the extended version of "Thistle and Weeds." The stage lighting made everything red, and Mumford & Sons just went crazy during the performance. It was amazingly ominous and dramatic, It also doesn't hurt that "Thistle and Weeds" is one of my favorite Mumford & Sons songs, though. The only song I was disappointed was excluded from the set list was "Broken Crown," my absolute favorite Mumford & Sons song. Overall, there was a good balance of songs from the new album and older songs from the first two albums.

Me & Emily

Even though our seating left much to be desired, Mumford & Sons was still without a doubt the best show I have been to thus far. The quality of their performance was incredible, and the experience was one-of-a-kind and extremely meaningful for me. It was well worth the 6.5 hour drive to Maryland from Ohio. If I ever get the opportunity to see Mumford & Sons live again, I will absolutely take it...but I'll definitely spring for better seating.

Hipsters, what's the best concert you've been to so far? Comment below!

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