Mumford & Sons: All Points East 2019 review
- Credit: Archant
Joyful sing-a-longs and giddy dancing in the evening sunshine as Mumford & Sons thrive in Victoria Park.
As they walked out to play Saturday's headline slot at All Points East, Mumford & Sons knew there was plenty for them to contend with.
The Champions League final had just kicked off, for starters. One week earlier - on this same stage, at this same festival - The Strokes' highly anticipated show had been beset with sound problems. Less than a mile away, Muse were opening their own blockbuster gig at the London Stadium.
And yet, the four-piece group from west London could not have looked more at ease if they tried. "It's good to be home," said frontman Marcus Mumford, before leading the way through two hours of cheery, upbeat folk songs which were brilliantly executed.
Opening with Guiding Light - the lead single from latest record, Delta - crowd favourites like Little Lion Man and The Cave were played early in the piece, sparking joyous sing-a-longs and giddy dancing from a crowd basking in the late-evening sunshine.
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Keeping an audience fully invested in the action for a two-hour stint can't be easy, but Mumford & Sons' varied setlist provided its intimate moments - then quickened up the pace when necessary as band-members rotated between instruments and Mumford's vocals remained consistently excellent.
Engagement with the crowd was also a firm positive, and after coming face-to-face with those on the front row, Mumford scaled the fence and sang the rest of Ditmas while fully immersed in the audience, closely followed by a stocky security man who, if I'm being honest, didn't look as thrilled to be there.
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The band made this a collaborative performance, too. After inviting The Staves on to play a part in Beloved, Gretta Ray strode out to join them, adding a beautiful harmony to Forever while the rest of the band squeezed around one microphone to play a three-song acoustic interlude.
This didn't work quite as well - these stripped-back, acoustic songs were out of sync in an open-air setting - but Mumford's call for the band to "stop messing about" led in to a memorable rendition of I Will Wait, which had people scrambling to find their friends on the fringes of the crowd to join them for a dance.
Finishing with a rendition of With A Little Help From My Friends, Mumford & Sons looked totally comfortable with the occasion as they sent fans into the night with a spring in their step.