Summer Stampede: Mumford & Sons, Vampire Weekend and more

7.7.13

Yesterday I went to the final show for Mumford & Sons' Gentlemen of the Road tour at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. Among acts including Vampire Weekend, Ben Howard, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Haim and Bear's Den. All in the 'indie realm' as my friend and I were discussing yesterday, I think this is what made the day such a success as well as the fact that the weather was simply beautiful, you couldn't ask for a better day. I did not make it to see Bear's Den, in all honesty I never knew they existed until the line up had been announced but I will check them out one day.


As I walked through the arch welcoming 60,000 people to the venue Haim were in the middle of their set, I saw them live in the winter and I had a good feeling about them, I was not wrong. The Los Angeles based band had a much greater reception compared to 7 months ago with the hippie-esque rocking, seriously the drum solos are something special. I'm looking forward to the day they release an actual album because they deserve a high chart position.

Once they finished a cider was in order, weaving through a sea of people to get nearer to the stage for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, I only knew one song but now I know a lot more. The way that the band leader Alex Ebert involves the crowd by going down to them, pulling people over the barrier to dance with, asking people to tell stories and even filming one of the girls telling the story felt very humble on his part. It made you feel like you're not just there to watch a performance but to actually enjoy the company of the people on stage. I have most definitely developed a love for this band, I strongly believe that discovering a band during a live performance creates a bond between the artist and the listener.



Ben Howard came on afterwards, I'm personally not a fan and I can't put my finger on the reason why even after watching him live. Vampire Weekend were good, I was standing a bit further back and the experience is definitely different in comparison to being closer. It wasn't until A-Punk played that everyone and I mean everyone started shouting/singing along. Ezra Koenig expressed how he was happy to be here and was having a great day.


My friend and I decided to get a little closer for Mumford & Sons, we saw them together 2 years ago in Hyde Park, they are our favourites. While waiting we were talking about what will be the first song and what will be in the encore, I bet it would be something from their 2nd album and I was right, the opened with Babel. Arriving as the sun was about to set playing a mix of both albums, Marcus saying how great it is for them to be back in their home town. Of all the bands I've seen they have always been best when they play everyone is waving their arms in the air, jumping up and down. I was hoping for my favourite song, Timshel, the quiet one but so beautiful in every way and of course they delivered. Following with I Will Wait. Writing about this now just 24 hours after is only making me wish I was there again right now.


Last week they headlined Glastonbury Festival and cheekily told us we were better, followed by the comment that we were not on as much drugs as them. It is expected because everyone here paid to see THEM whereas at Glastonbury it is just luck when you buy the tickets because you won't know for months. For those of you who may not know, Ted Dwane had brain surgery a few weeks ago, amazingly he appears well and Marcus even pointed out and said 'Here's Ted'. Expressing his obvious thankfulness that his fellow band member and I can imagine one of his best friends to be alive and well. I love this about the band, how they just feel like a bunch of brothers and all they want to do is create and play music they adore.


They continued into the night leaving with a cover of Bruce Springsteen's I'm on Fire during the encore as well as Winter Winds and The Cave, as it ended confetti (that looks like glitter in the photo) shot out everywhere, it felt incredible to be in a crowd of people that are thinking about the same things you are while listening to a band sing their hearts out. That is one thing nobody can deny about them, they put their heart and soul into each song. For the finale they brought out Vampire Weekend and Haim to help perform a cover of Fleetwood Mac's The Chain, it was simply a perfect end. If you ever get a chance to see them live, please just do yourself that favour and go, you won't regret it.


3 comments

  1. wow Mumford and Sons are an awesome band!! It looks like you had a lot of fun!! :)

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  2. sounds like a super fun time, and you had perfect weather for it too :) xx

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  3. So jealous, love every single one of these bands! xx

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