Written by Mike Duffy
Long before Mumford and Sons took the main stage at Coachella Saturday night, there was a sea of people waiting to see the wildly-popular folk-Americana quartet from the United Kingdom.
In fact, bodies were pressed up so hard against the front rail of the stage that around 10 teens asked to be crowd-surfed out of the din into safer havens on the outskirts of the show.
But when Marcus Mumford and his merry men did finally come out to appease the masses, it’s a safe bet that no one was disappointed.
The show — which essentially opened for Animal Collective and Grammy-Award winning Arcade Fire -— started out somewhat slow, at least for a Mumford and Sons outing.
The group opened with the ballad “Sigh No More” off 2009′s album of the same name and easily grabbed everyone’s attention. Mumford and Sons made sure they never relinquished it by performing a new song the band has recently been testing on the road. Titled “Lovers Eyes,” the song starts soft and continues that way until Marcus gives his trademark “Heeya!” and the tempo kicks in.
If that wasn’t enough, Mumford and Sons also played another new one they’ve been working on titled “Lover of the Night.”
One can definitely guess it’s a Mumford song, but the fact that Marcus takes the drums while continuing his singing duties (and the song is percussion-driven) is somewhat surprising.
What’s more, they even brought out a horn section to compliment the stringed assault.
Of course, the big hits were some of Mumford and Sons’ tunes of the past year: ”The Cave,” which they played in last year’s Grammys before supporting folk-music legend Bob Dylan along with the Avett Brothers; And “Little Lion Man,” which brought the house down midway through the show, as well, with the sprawling audience singing and dancing along with every word.
At one point during the set, Mumford recalled how he once came to Coachella as a fan to catch Rage Against the Machine. Now, it seems the band has reached another level in their career.
They are not only on the cusp of headlining a massive music festival, but they can also elicit a rabid response to their classics while generating a ton of buzz with new treats.