Mumford & Sons at Phoenix Park | Review

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Mumford & Sons at Phoenix Park, Dublin on July 14th 2013

And so it arrives; the final instalment of the Phoenix Park summer hat-trick. Folk’s flag-bearers Mumford & Sons headline the bill and with summer at its relative mid-point, the sense of festival is as clear as the boundless blue sky above.

Ireland’s newly adopted Californian summer and acts such as Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Ham Sandwich, Ben Howard and The Vaccines mean that music lovers, beer enthusiasts, and sun worshippers alike can soak up the atmosphere in equal measure.

Shortly beyond nine o’clock, Babel opens proceedings, and it seems we’re entering the prologue to a woody-wondrous musical. Women everywhere, crowned in flowered bands and gowned in floral threads, sing proudly up on shoulders. Little Lion Man follows, sung brilliantly by those in attendance, whereas the band simply smile along to the music.

Winter Winds from début album ‘Sigh No More’ provides elegance and heart, with it’s medieval drum stomp reminding us how simple it is to compel a crowd’s feet to bruise the earth. It’s at this point, when the song reaches its final and diluted calm, that you realise every song previous faced the same fate. The unremarkable breaks between each track are disappointing, moments of complete silence from the stage that kill the momentum and quickly isolate the crowd. Let it be said, however, that the die-hards are in good voice, but an outbreak of socialising takes place in the audience and sadly becomes viral in certain sections. Intuitively, singer Marcus Mumford says “it’s time to dance” and the band, accompanied by impressive strings and brass, erupt into their monster hit I Will Wait. The crowd assist with vigour, like the voice of an army.

And then, again, the fizz the band have managed to bottle goes tasteless and flat. A slow and uneventful mid-section rumbles along like a long school lesson. Dust Bowl Dance provides some kind of hope, with Marcus Mumford seating himself behind the drums and beating them to a shrill pulp. But the night has passed without much event and many in the crowd have chosen to leave early and beat the rush. Perhaps a venue this size doesn’t quite suit the warm, homely sound of folk; in this writer’s opinion, intimate venues are certainly more favourable to this genre.

Mumford & Sons may not have the stadium sound befitting a large park, but they do have good manners by the bucket load and give it good welly; they’re positively endearing chaps. For whatever reason, the spark is misplaced – a belt of The Cave and our very own Galway Girl at least send those that remain behind striding home with a smile and a tan.

Mumford and Sons Photo Gallery

Photos: Owen Humphreys


  1. Kel says:

    Some very negative points u have there.. I stood in the crowd for 9 hours waiting for them to come on, with the pain of my feet and hunger and having to hold my toilet i can honestly say they made me forget about all that.. They killed it.. Some people dont have the luxury strolling around with a lanyard round their necks

  2. Shoons says:

    I agree with the above comment, concert was amazing, Mumford and Sons Killed it!!!!!

  3. James Hendicott says:

    Die hard fan in doesn’t like mediocre review shocker… There is a reason media don’t send the kind of people who’ll queue in the front for 9 hours. Its supposed to be impartial. Also, we don’t get lanyards, that’s the promoters ;)

  4. Derv says:

    I would agree with the first comment and I wasnt a die hard fan before seeing them. I waited 5 hours and also forgot about my sore back etc. I waited that long because I wanted to see the earlier bands who started at 3 not because I had queue btw.

  5. That’s fair enough Derv but the biggest problem with the world of internet comments are people with a blatent bias prepared to write off someone’s work simply by saying “you’re wrong”… if you want to be so critical (you weren’t, I get that), the very least you owe the author is a reason other than ‘because I say so’ for why the article is wrong. The first commenter failed miserably at that.

  6. mairead flahive says:

    They were AMAZING, simply AMAZING.

  7. Darrel says:

    Everyone who seems to go to Mumford concerts just has to go again. In my view one of the premier bands of the modern era they simply must be seen live

  8. Gary says:

    My favourite concert this year so far they were better than the killers!! The killers at the park didn’t seem near as busy! Btw you say it’s supposed to be impartial, but the reviewer should at least know all the songs off all the albums and to know they have some slow songs too rather than be so critical of the slower songs and the songs he may not know! I understand you have to be somewhat critical but don’t accept your point of tasteless and flat! Coz I was singing along to the slow ones as well as the upbeat ones!

  9. Aidan Cuffe says:

    Gary you don’t understand the concept of objective review, of course you were singing along to the slow and fast ones, you’re a Mumford fan, own the albums, know all the songs.

    The idea of objective is to independently of being a fan produce a review that is both critical and praising in the parts they deem good and bad. That is why fans don’t review for publications, because it isn’t objective, you are guaranteed to have loved it.

    We only aim to give an honest opinion of the event from someone from the team who was in attendance and we don’t allow huge fans of a band to review them. It’s not objective and therefore not reviewing.