Aside from his comment about the crowd being so full of "virgins" -- as is recounted in the full review of Wednesday's sold-out Xcel Energy Center concert -- Marcus Mumford really didn't have anything interesting to say between songs. Bassist Ted Dwayne, however, did tailor some comments to the local crowd, recounting the band's earlier gigs.
"Where were you when we played the 400 Bar to 12 people?" he smirkingly asked the nearly 16,000 fans. "And now the place is closed," he added, as if those who didn't show were to blame. He then listed off the sold-out Varsity and First Avenue gigs that followed.
I saw that Varsity gig in May 2010, right when the band first started getting a good buzz, and it was a right-place, right-time sort of affair with a folkier charm to it. Mumford seemed more out of place and going-through-the-motions in the big hockey arena on Wednesday.
Interestingly, though, the Vaccines -- a band that typically plays Varsity-sized venue nowadays -- faired surprisingly well in the second of two opening slots. The West London rockers contended with a chatty, uninterested crowd at first, but by the time it got to the playful, Blur-bouncy gem "Bad Mood" and the echoy pop anthem "If You Wanna," the audience seemed to be won over. And that's no small feat, considering how ready and eager those fans were to finally see Mumford & Co., first time or not.
Here's the Mumford & Sons set list:
Lovers' Eyes / I Will Wait / Whispers in the Dark / Holland Road / White Blank Page / Broken Crown / Timshel / Little Lion Man / Lover of the Man (Marcus on drums) / Thistle & Weeds / Ghosts That We Knew / Beneath My Feet / Roll Away Your Stone / Awake My Soul / Dust Bowl Dance (Marcus on drums again)
ENCORE: I'm on Fire (Springsteen cover, on acoustic stage) / Reminder (also acoustic stage) / Come Together (with the Vaccines on big stage) / The Cave